The hunt for the last Twinkie on earth, or 'Zombieland'

By Tatiana Craine

There are always fads and phases, and the horror film genre is no stranger to these. Lately, moviegoers have been fixated by teenage vampires and werewolves. However, the old zombie standby has never really faded. One of the newest additions to the plethora of zombie films comes from director Ruben Fleischer.”Zombieland” is a breath of fresh air among recently stale flicks about the undead. The film blends a perfect mix of grim comedy and gross effects, resulting in one of the best zombie movies in the past few years.

The film takes a casual approach to the over-used set-up that zombies-have-taken-over-a-post-apocalyptic-world. It begins with a set of essential (and hilarious) rules about living in Zombieland, formerly known as the United States, including “wear your seatbelt” and “beware of bathrooms.” The film really kicks off when dorky Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) faces bad-ass Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) in a western-style gun showdown on an abandoned highway. The two unite as unlikely comrades in an otherwise desolate world. Before long, Columbus and Tallahassee stumble upon a pair of clever, backstabbing girls, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). The foursome travel across the country in search of a new place to call home, a supposedly zombie-free Pacific Playland amusement park and little, yellow creme-filled snack cakes. Yes, that’s right, Twinkies.

The film is as chock-full of one-liners and funny moments as a pile of dead zombies riddled with bullets, and the cast does a fantastic job of embodying their characters to the core. Eisenberg, plays a former World of Warcraft player gone zombie-savvy after the epidemic. Though he plays funny and nerdily attractive well, one can’t help but feel he’s the same character he is in every movie – only this time he gets to “double-tap” zombies with a shotgun. Harrelson’s Tallahassee is a force to be reckoned with. A lean, mean, zombie-demolishing machine, Harrelson portrays a tough, but ultimately sweet, guy who lost a lot during the zombie take over. Wichita, an independent, fiercely attractive woman seems almost superfluous in a cast full of insane characters. However, Stone makes up for it with her spunky deliverance – and unabashed eyelash batting. Breslin waltzes into “Zombieland” transformed from the pudgy little beauty queen in “Little Miss Sunshine” into a zombie-butt-kicking, malicious 12 year old. She fits her role well, never appearing out of her element in a cast full of seasoned veterans. However, don’t think these four are the only source of entertainment in the film. A certain, here-unnamed actor makes a much-applauded cameo in “Zombieland.”

Filled to the brim with laughs and only slightly gruesome gore, “Zombieland” has revived the spirit of horror-comedy with a vengeance. When most movies in this particular vein are focused more upon either horror elements or comedic timing, “Zombieland” walks the straight and narrow path into undead delight.