By COLLEEN TRACHY
It’s a combination that shouldn’t work—one-half comedy and one-half horror, iced with a story about finding family—but “Zombieland” does work, hilariously.
College loner Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), has connected with no one his entire life, not even his parents. So when all things go to hell via a mutated version of mad cow disease, which has turned most of the human population into bone-chomping zombies, he heads from his school in Austin, Texas, in the only direction of what he thinks is home and where his parents live: Columbus, Ohio.
In Zombieland, which is what everyone calls the world now, Columbus has a set of rules of how he survives. Rules include cardio, always giving the double tap (shooting the zombie twice), limbering up (stretching before any type of strenuous activity), and remembering not to be a hero. He says that these rules of survival that he had practiced even before the outbreak are what have kept him alive so far.
While trying to get to Ohio, Columbus runs into zombie killer Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), who has an obsession with Twinkies and hadn’t found anything he was good at until he started killing zombies. Tallahassee is the one who says they should use nicknames of the places they’re from so that they don’t get attached to one another. When Columbus and Tallahassee make a stop at a grocery store on a search for the last of the Twinkies, they run into the conniving sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), two other humans left on Earth.
The horror-comedy works because it mixes a family, road trip, and romance story with the horrific possibilities of a post-apocalyptic USA. Columbus’ rules for surviving Zombieland are incorporated into the scenes and are occasionally destroyed or run over when the rules come into play. Overall, “Zombieland” is creepy and well done. Even people who like comedy, but hate zombie movies will like this movie. It’s good that Sony Pictures released ‘Zombieland’ now, so we can learn Columbus’ survival techniques that can protect us from an inevitable zombie outbreak.