Lake Oconee Breeze

On the Screen

February 7, 2013

'Warm Bodies' updates the zombie genre with style

LAKE OCONEE — “Warm Bodies”

Rated PG-13 (for zombie violence and some language).

The zombie has become ubiquitous in popular culture. I remember back when it was the personal property of George Romero. But now, they are on TV, in books and the music business. Who knew the undead would have such a bitchin’ life after death?

Zombie movies have been so formulaic of late, that they tend to cause the living to become brain dead, grunt and lurch about in search for sustenance. And so, it is refreshing that Warm Bodies breathes new life into a decomposing genre.

“Warm Bodies” is narrated by a zombie, a handsome, young lad who can’t remember his past (or name) and roams about an airport. From him, we learn that zombie life is pretty dull.

Meanwhile, the yet-to-be undead, have built walls around their city and send out young people to fetch supplies and kill zombies. (There is a whiff of “Hunger Games” here.) One day, the military leader of the living, John Malkovich, sends his daughter (and her boyfriend) into the danger zone. There, the boyfriend is dispatched by none other than our gentle narrator. We learn that zombies eat the brains of their victims to experience the memories of said meal and feel, once again, what it is like to be alive. Nice touch, that bit of information.

We also learn that the real killers in the zombie world are called “bonies” because they peeled off all of their skin and will kill anything with a heartbeat. The others will too, but “at least they are conflicted,” according to our new zombie teacher.

The living are divided between the optimists and the pessimists. The pessimists (those who believe there is no cure) say they must kill all zombies; it is kill or be killed, that simple. The optimists are eager to temper the head blasting until a cure is found.

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