There has been a funny zombie movie before this, the excellent Shaun of the Dead. That one takes place in England. This one is American, and I think it’s even a little better than Shaun. I think zombies are funny in and of themselves. They are so pitifully easy to kill. They shamble after you, no tactics, no lurking about, no plan at all, drooling blood, and you whack them over the head with whatever is handy. True, it’s gruesome, and they often get up again for another dose, but unless you are surrounded by them, you have little to fear from zombies.
This movie ups the ante a little in that these zombies don’t shamble, they sprint! Which leads to the first of Our Hero’s long list of rules for dealing with zombies: Cardio. Keep yourself in shape. The first people who got eaten alive by the plague of zombies were the fat people. So many of the zombies we see are enormous.
Other rules: Always check the back seat. Beware of restrooms. Always fasten your seatbelt. And: Double tap. You’ve shot the zombie once, and he’s lying there. Make sure he doesn’t do a Michael Myers Halloween number on your ass. Get up close and put a round into his head, just to be sure. These rules pop up (literally, like pop-up ad on your computer) all over the place as they are narrated by Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a nerdy guy who joins up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) in a quest to get to a California amusement park where the rumor is there are no zombies. Where did the rumor come from? Who knows. Why would there be no zombies there? Excellent question, but who cares? This is not a movie that cares much about plot logic, and neither do I. It’s clear that they are going there because an amusement park will be a cool place to film the final scenes, which involve killing lots of zombies. Cool. It’s all in fun, and very funny.