Saturday, October 3, 2009

Survival Movie Review

Just got back from watching a good survival movie at the local cineplex. This one would be good for those of you with friends, coworkers, and family who just don't seem to "get" prepping. This one teaches even while it evokes gales of laughter. As I wrote back in June, humor is a great way to get past the scary aspect of thinking about prepping. Survivalist advice in this one is packaged in scenes and narration straight out of a wild Joe Lansdale story.

The movie is Zombieland. This is TEOTWAWKI at [Matheson's original book] I am Legend level. A food-borne virus has turned the USA, at minimum, into a still moving charnel house. Across this chaotic world, a college nerd, Columbus; a redneck ultimate-survivalist, Tallahassee; and two grifter sisters, Wichita and Little Rock, travel to a place rumored to be free of the zombie plague. The acting is great, the gore is less than that in Shaun of the Dead and is only enough to advance the plot, the survival lessons are presented in an easy to remember form as rules.

The film opens with the viewpoint character, a nerdy college student going over the rules which enabled him, the unlikeliest person to survive, to endure. Rule 1 is telling: "Cardio" (be in good physical condition). The prepper who is not in good tune will have much less chance in a crisis situation. Rule 23, "Enjoy the Little Things", is a lifesaver for the characters' sanity and is vital to keep in mind in real world survival scenarios. Rule 2, "Double Tap", is applied in such varied and hilarious manners that even dedicated anti gunners will feel a glimmer of the survival spirit.

The characters' foraging is handled in a so so manner. The personal dynamics of making common cause with strangers in a horrific disaster is handled very well.

The college student starts out as the prepper who relies on "bugging out" to stay alive. The redneck seems at first glance to be the ultimate macho survivalist until you find out what he is fleeing, in a tragic scene. The two grifter sisters of course rely on their wits and their Rule: "Trust no One but Me". This group finally comes together as a post-apocalyptic "family" when the dysfunction of their individual survival strategies results in a near massacre of them. Unfortunately, the movie ends there, but it is clear that this "family" will pull through anything now.

Give this one a look see with family and friends. It certainly has the potential to evoke prepper discussions after leaving the theater. Rated R for gore (about 2qts of blood, entrails told once, multiple zombies shot), language (but much less than the typical, current, Hollywood excreta), brief drug use, and [brief] nudity.

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