....and holy good God, it was insane!!!
Ok, yeah, I just started a blog post in the title, AND I spoke about myself using a weird third-person persona. Sue me.
Anyway, Zoe's over at my mother-in-law's, Charles has a new Playstation to make up for the one that exploded two weeks ago, and we have the house to ourselves. So of course, we watched a zombie flick.
And I have to say....overall, 100%, it just might displace Dawn of the Dead as my all-time favorite zombie movie! I...I just can't believe it.
To be fair, not all of it was believable (and I approach all zombie entertainment with a great many grains of salt). Brad Pitt is beautiful as the One Fella Who Can Save Them All, but some of his escapes are a bit much even for me. Jerusalem in particular was a pain point for me - why is everyone risking everything for HIM? (Other than his obviously amazing Brad Pitt-ness?)
There was also a distinct lack of animals that surprised me. I, of the zombie cows, expected at least a few animal interactions. German shepherds patrolling city gates, chocolate Labs sniffing airline passengers, whatever. Just something to add a little more depth. I guess I'm just not satisfied with wiping out humanity....I want to see what happens to the animal kingdom as well. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment.
But on to the good stuff.
The opening scenes with Brad (ok, Gerry, but he's just so Brad in the movie, it's hard to call him anything else...)...the opening scenes with Gerry desperate to save his wife and two girls absolutely killed me. They ripped out my soul, stomped on it about a thousand times, and left it there, a withered-up, rippling pile of goo on the floor at my feet. Seriously. Ever since Zoe was born, I have a MUCH harder time watching bad things happening to little girls. It's only natural, I suppose. I can't help but imagine what I would do if it were Charles, Zoe and me in those scenes. Would I be able to save her? Keep her safe? Get her out of Jersey? God only knows, and it's that exact unknown that gets me.
I cried as the initial cities fell.
Yes. Total dork. That's me.
The pace of WWZ was what I like to call "an anxiety attack on a silver platter." I don't think my heart-rate ever dropped. But I like that. It's the constant assault on my senses that takes me so completely out of my world and drops me right into their's.
I love that the movie diverges completely from the book, really only sharing a title with Max Brooks' bestseller. Between you and me, I didn't like the book. My friend Charlie is probably going to argue with me - he and I have gotten into it over the book before - but the lack of an overarching character-anchored storyline in the novel was something I couldn't overcome. It's a matter of taste, that's all. I prefer to know my characters, to move with them through time and space to see how they all come out in the end. In that respect the book had too many characters in too many directions. I was never connected to anyone.
So having a family to root for - and then a random bad-ass girl soldier from Jerusalem - was key for me to making the movie a success.
And finally, I learned something very important about myself tonight. I...like having control of the action. I like creating my own little worlds, and manipulating them how I want. It's part of why I write....it's a great way to gain control over my fears, to put them to bed with a single well-placed swing of a Louisville slugger.
World War Z might be the first zombie movie I've watched since writing the first Undead America novel. Relinquishing control over a world so similar to the one I've inhabited for months at a time wasn't easy. But after a while - once the girls were safe and I could focus on Brad Pitt - Gerry - most of the time, I was able to let it sweep me away. To frighten me. To carry me on its back through hell and back again.
And I liked it.
P.S. Thanks to a freak case of viral meningitis when I was six weeks old, I now feel immune to the zombie apocalypse. Watch the movie to find out why.