Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Warm Bodies" Gives Off Warm Fuzzies

by Pa Rock
Movie Fan

Okay, the world probably didn't need another feel-good zombie movie, a quirky romantic tale of a blossoming love between a rifle-toting, zombie-hunting, beautiful girl, and the ruggedly handsome young male zombie who befriends the girl after killing her boyfriend and munching on his brains - but "Warm Bodies" is so good that the cliches can be easily overlooked.

"Warm Bodies" is first and foremost a love story, but it also brings to light some zombie facts that aren't generally known.  I, for one, did not know that if a zombie kills and then destroys the brain of his victim, that victim is truly dead and will not walk the earth as a zombie.  Did you know that?  I also learned the when a zombie eats the brains of his victim, he acquires the memories of that person.  Another thing I learned was that there are two types of zombies - the standard stumbling dead, and the vicious black skeletal zombies (who resemble the demons of hell from the movie "Ghost").  The black skeletal zombies are well beyond redemption.  Also, the way to kill zombies is to shoot them in the head.  This movie was so educational!

The plot:  The world has suffered a zombie apocalypse and most of the population has been turned into the walking dead.  They roam the planet searching for the few remaining humans with the intention of dining on their warm, bloody flesh.  There are some surviving humans who have walled themselves into the center of a large urban area.   The secure area has one well-guarded gate, and one secret entrance that some of the teens know about.  Occasionally the humans have to send patrols beyond the wall to forage for supplies.  These patrols of young, pretty people are well-armed and ready to shoot any zombies that they encounter.

Julie (Teresa Palmer) and several of her friends go on patrol in search of medical supplies.  While they are rummaging through a hospital pharmacy, they are discovered by a group of roving zombies.   During the ensuing melee, Julie stands on a counter spraying fire in a manner that would have brought a tear to Rambo's eye.  Julie's boyfriend, Perry (Dave Franco), shoots a young male zombie named "R" (Nicholas Hoult), but Perry hit  him in the chest rather than the head - and that just pissed R off.  R attacks Perry, kills him, snacks on his brain and puts the left-overs in his pocket to enjoy later.  Somehow during the altercation, R takes Julie by the hand and leads her away from the danger.

R escorts Julie to the local airport that he and some of the other zombies inhabit.  He places her in a passenger jet where he keeps his valuables - vinyl recordings, a record player, and an old fashioned hand-slide viewer.    Very slowly as the two young people (okay, young lady and young zombie) begin interacting, R discovers that he is acquiring human characteristics.  (The tagline for the movie is:  "He's still dead, but he's getting warmer.")

One complication that the couple face is that Julie's father (John Malkovich) is the president of the colony of humans and he is firm in his belief that all zombies need a bullet to the head.

"Warm Bodies" is an enjoyable film, a look at love from a bit of a quirky perspective - but it is love nonetheless.  The soundtrack is fun and the actors are believable and engaging.  It's well worth the price of admission and refreshments!   Viewers who are truly human will take away some warm fuzzies from the experience!

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