Last night, I watched two 'funny' zombie flicks Dance of the Dead, it was better than I expected it to be, and Warm Bodies, which could almost be chalked up to a feel-good romantic comedy. So, maybe they weren't exactly horror, but we all need a break from slasher flicks and torture porn, or maybe that's just me.
Title: Warm Bodies
Synopsis: After a highly unusual zombie saves a still-living girl from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion events that might transform the entire lifeless world.
Tagline: There's nothing hotter than a girl with brains.
Boys the world over cringed at this movie. It's the romance. And the fact that it smelled like a chick-flick. Not to mention that cover? It practically screams high-school love-fest.
The truth is, there's a bit more going on than what you might naturally assume. It is because I read the book that I knew this wasn't going to be another Notebook or High School Musical. Granted, I will watch anything with Zac Efron and Ryan Gosling in it, so perhaps my opinions can't really be trusted. Whatever, just read the damn review.
The number one reason this movie is watch-worthy is the main character is a zombie. It's from his perspective. His point of view. He's the narrator, for crying out loud! That's a big 'hell yes'. Yes, sure, the movie deviates away from the 'unfeeling, unthinking, uncaring' zombies we grew up with, but that's why it's rather brilliant. Not to mention he eats his love interest's boyfriend's brain, but not all at once. He takes some of it to go and, throughout the course of the movie, takes bites. There's a reason for this, which I will detail in a minute, but if you think about it from the angle of the girl, Julie, then you realize this is a very disturbing thing. Of course, she doesn't know, and maybe that's what makes it even more twisted.
Up next, the second reason why you should watch this movie is why 'R', the zombie, decides to keep the boyfriend's brain and savour it. Not to devour it all at once. Brains to zombies are a glimpse at their humanity again. They experience the memories of the owners of the brains and, for a brief time, get to live again. I've never seen this twist in any zombie movies. While I certainly love the shuffling, groaning, non-thinking walkers we have know for decades now, I always enjoy an alternate way of looking at things. It shows imagination.
Thinking outside the box and all that crap.
Up next, plot. The movie has heart - if you've seen the movie then you understand what I did there. If not, oops. Normally, zombies aren't curable, but in this, love kind of saves the day. And that might seem hokey and clichéd, but sometimes clichés are clichés for a reason.
Another point to make would be the humour. It really is fantastically written. The dialogue, the awkward moments, the uncertainty between the two main characters, and the inner monologue of R is witty and funny. Not to mention the development of the characters is believable. If you have great actors in far-fetched roles, then sometimes you can add a sense of believability to a 'this will never happen' plot.
While there are other parts I loved about this film, including the score, special effects, bonies, best friend sub-plot and humanizing zombies, I feel the need to end this review with mentioning John Malkovich is in it. Have you ever disliked anything he's done? He plays Julie's militant, don't bend the rules, kill kill kill father, and he does a superb job.
The bones of this plot aren't original. It's actually a parallel with Romeo and Juliet, R and Julie, but the flesh is what sets it apart from other similar movies. In the wake of Twilight, there are a lot of monsters falling in love with awkward girls. Unlike others, this one is actually quite charming. If Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead can be considered horror movies and be loved the world over by zombie enthusiast, why can't this one?