Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Warm Bodies was strangely heart-warming...

Donna is normally our resident film critic, but I wanted to share this one. I know zombies aren't technically scifi - they have their own genre, and I'm seeing the odd zombie romance springing up (ZR?) - but I thought I could sneak this in as a kind of dystopian romance. ;)
I'm going to format this as I do my book review - what I liked, what I didn't like, and my conclusion. Let's start with a blurb and trailer.


Life for Julie (Teresa Palmer) and R (Nicholas Hoult) couldn’t be more different. R is a zombie; with a great record collection; limited vocab and an overpowering love of brain food.  Julie is a human; beautiful; strong; open minded and all heart. When R makes an unexpected decision and rescues Julie from a zombie attack, his lifeless existence begins to have a purpose. As the unlikely relationship develops, R’s choice to protect her sets in motion a sequence of events that might just change both of their worlds forever.  Directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50) and based on the debut novel by Isaac Marion, the heart-warming Warm Bodies is 2013’s zom-rom-com with a twist.


What I didn't like:

Okay, there were plot holes. Why didn't the Bonies (the super scary zombies) attack the human city waaaay before they did in the film? For a matter of fact why didn't the 'normal' zombies (Corpses)? How convenient that the best looking and teen zombie fell for the pretty blonde? (Okay, that latter bit is sort of explained in the film, and a suitably 'eww' reason - we ARE talking zombies after all). And oh how I cringed at the balcony scene, bearing in mind the girl is Julie and the zombie hero is R. It might have had Shakespeare crawl out of his grave to eat brains. A lot of things were rather convenient and/or kind of glossed over. The 'cure' seemed too simplistic, but I suppose the idea is that love conquers all, even the zombie apocalypse. (Some of this is explained in the book, but the book is different, and I still think some of it could have been explained in the film).

What I did like:

I don't watch zombie films and I don't like horror. But after seeing my editor and a fellow author raving about the book, then seeing the trailer on TV, I decided to give it a try. And I loved it! The horror element ( the super scary bonies) WAS scary (I don't like to be scared), but not enough to make me uncomfortable or give me nightmares. It was nicely balanced out by the sweet romance, the humor, and the intriguing idea that zombies could change, and an insight to a zombie's mind - such as they have. There's a bit of an Edward Scissorhands feel to it. I never quite knew where the story was going and how they were going to make it work - it surprised me a few times. Nothing came out quite how I expected, which was refreshing. And R's fellow zombie Marcus was a great supporting character. Two favourite bits - Julie attempts to play dead at R's prompting, and he has to tell her 'Too much.' When Julie confesses she's missing R to her best friend, the comment was 'I know it's hard to find guys, what with the zombie apocalypse and all...' The casting for R and Marcus was, for me, genius.

In conclusion:

This is a teen love story, but without the often whiny teenage angst - when they did whine, they seriously had things that deserved to be whined about! Essentially a Beauty and the Beast type trope. The idea of setting something AFTER the zombie apocalypse, and from the zombie's point of view made an intriguing change. Horror/undead fans will probably be hugely disappointed by the lack of gore and things to make you jump out of your skin, while Shaun of the Dead fans might enjoy it. This is also probably a bit on the light side for those who want a deeply meaningful, cerebral kind of film, scifi or otherwise. While it might be in the Twilight camp of films, I quit Twilight 40 minutes in out of sheer boredom but can't wait to watch this again! (note - I *have* watched it again, and loved it even more on the second run. And I got the book from the library. Different, but still loved it. I'm still trying to figure out how the author made me empathize with a flesh eating, brain-craving monster!). I want more!

Pippa's Journal

I'm away from my computer this week, so there'll be no last minute updates  before this post goes live. Next week my little monsters go back to school and my work will restart in earnest. I have three short stories to write/finish, and my decopunk superhero story to complete. Perhaps inspired by Warm Bodies I'm currently 6K into a brand new Venus Ascendant story (to go with Terms & Conditions Apply, although with completely new characters). My dealers table at LonCon 3 has just. been paid for. And I've just been invited to blog once a month at Romancing the Genre. The fun never stops!

Ping Pong

Donna, loved the post on making fight scenes realistic. It's one of those things I fret over having no experience, but like everything else research is the key.


  1. I loved WARM BODIES, and I'm not a big fan of zombies, either. Or of teen angst, for that matter. Somehow the lead actor made me feel for poor, lovesick R. It really was a sweet movie,and unique, less horror than romance. Glad you didn't find it too scary!

  2. Yep, I think they got the perfect actor for R. Funnily enough, hubs made the comment about Edward Scissorhands, and in the DVD extras, the film creators said they were looking for a young Johnny Depp, someone who could express a lot of emotion within the limits of being a zombie.


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