Sunday, June 16, 2013

Warm Bodies - A Zombie Love Story

I don't know why zombies are so popular these days, from television to books to movies, the shuffling dead are all over pop culture.  Some of the representations are gross, gory things, scary, fully grown horror stories.  Some are a bit different.  I already posted about the BBC's mini-series called "In The Flesh" and mentioned the hilarious film "Shaun of the Dead" in the same post.

Yesterday for some reason, I decided to watch "Warm Bodies" newly out on video.  It's based on the novel by Isaac Marion.  It is billed as a zombie love story.  Surprisingly, that's exactly what it is.

It the world of the story, zombies are bent on killing the last surviving humans.  The zombie numbers grow while the human numbers diminish.  When the zombies waste away to skeletons, they are vicious predators, somehow faster than their stumbling counterparts.

The humans are safely behind a huge constructed wall in an urban area.  Their soldiers, led by the General Grigio, played by John Malkovich, patrol the wall 24/7.  Because food is scarce, they send out trained young people to forage and bring back supplies.  One of these is Julie, the daughter of General Grigio. 

On one trip outside the walls, the team gets surrounded.  Her boyfriend, a headstrong young man, gets killed.  One particular zombie, eats his brain and gets his memories.  He becomes very protective of  Julie, intent on keeping her safe.  He cannot remember his name, indeed can barely growl in the beginning.  But he remembers his name began with the letter R, so that's what he's called.

The love story develops between the two main characters.  The more R loves Julie, the more human, the more transformed he becomes.  And the oddest thing happens, it's contagious.  Other zombies begin transforming as well.

Of course the General is having none of that, but ultimately listens to his daughter's pleas when R saves her once again.

This really is an entertaining film, told from the zombie's point of view with all his problems in the thinking process and issues with his motor skills.

This is a modern take on Romeo and Juliet, complete with the balcony scene.  It is a sweet story of young love with a better ending than its predecessor.

Notable as R is Nicholas Hoult, who goes from pasty-faced stumbling zombie, to a very attractive young man.  Teresa Palmer as Julie makes a wonderful counterpart to R.  It is a believable situation as played by these two young actors.

Malkovich is his usual credible self in the role of the unforgiving General who relents in the end for the sake of his daughter.  Rob Corddry plays Marcus, R's zombie friend who improves as fast as R.

The film ends with the new world and the transforming zombies reentering human society with some comic results.

I really enjoyed this film and found it highly entertaining.  It's a perfect entry for Father's Day because the father's love for his daughter changed the course of the world.

Okay, tonight, be doo doo doo doo doo (twanging guitar) is the opening of season 6 of "True Blood!"  Get ready for them all to invade your homes once more...

And on a personal note, thank you to everyone for giving my blog over 3,000 views.  It is much appreciated!!  I considered singing the song from "Sunset Blvd" as Norma Desmond sings to her fans out there...but I thought I'd spare you.

Take care.  Enjoy your day, your dad, and our pop culture!  And remember, the grandaddy of all zombie flicks opens next Friday, "World War Z" with Brad Pitt and a star-studded cast.

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