Little Monsters & Zombieland : Double Tap – Laughing to death
For the two new zombie comedies’ theatrical release, a short track record
of the funniest films full of living dead… A decade long prolific pandemic.
By Axelle Amar
Reading time 5 min.
This year, living dead conquered the dark theaters. While the French cinematheque dedicates a retrospective to George Romero, we have seen quite a lot of them in author movies like Atlantique, awarded in Cannes, or Bertrand Bonello’s Zombie Child, or in a lighter mood, Little Monsters (on October 16th) or Zombieland Double Tap (on October 30th). If the virus is infecting other genres, the end of the year is expected thanks to 2 coming zombie comedies, hard genre to master. A great opportunity to subjectively rank the last fifteen years’ zombie comedies.
5. Zombieland : Double Tap, by Ruben Fleischer (2019)
Following the already worshiped 2009 movie, it blends into the unoriginal second opuses group. Astonishing giving all the new characters coming to Zombieland’s universe. Each one gives something to laugh at in this already seen scenario : Zoey Deutch (The Politician), almost too much, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Luke Cage) as a tough survivor, wipe Emma Stone, who has been better. A few honest laughs against a lot of forced comedy… Screenwriters seem to have rested on their gifted cast which is having a hard time blossoming in this uninspired film.
4. Little Monsters, by Abe Forsythe (2019)
A failed musician, a kindergarten teacher and a crooked television host get stuck inside a classroom full of children in an educative farm, surrounded by zombies. Their goal : protect the children and convince them it is all a great game. Between two Taylor Swift covers on ukulele, Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o) doesn’t mind decapitating a few living dead with a shovel. Despite a few fails (wheezy humor and thick screenplay), you end up entertained. Thanks to the final scene making up for the rest of the film.
3. Life After Beth, by Jeff Baena (2014)
Life After Beth has defaults, some lulls and a flawed screenplay, but at the end, you forgive everything just to enjoy Aubrey Plaza as a hungry zombie who doesn’t get what is happening to her. Acting with talent as Dane Dehaan’s girlfriend, who died but was resurrected as a zombie, she carries the film. This absurd love story gathers a very Sundance cast and seduce us with his peculiarity. We can also quote Warm Bodies, a kind of zombie Twilight, halfway between a teen romance and a comedy (sometimes unwanted)
2. Zombieland, Ruben Fleischer (2009)
Take Jessie Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson, typical buddy movie’s mismatched tandem, and make them survive a zombie apocalypse… Bring Emma Stone as a young woman trying hard to protect her younger sister Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and an unforgettable Bill Murray cameo (10 years before The Dead Don’t Die). Zombieland is fun and well thought, deserving its rank in this list. Original while premiering, a bit less with time, it has still all its charm.
1. Shaun of the Dead, by Edgar Wright (2004)
Undeniably the best zombie comedy of all time, the first film of Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto Trilogy” (Alongside Hot Fuzz and The World’s End) doesn’t rest on its unsuited characters, its sharp dialogues and its absurdly funny scenes. Comedy is in the film’s essence, thanks to the editing (Edgar Wright main strength) using everything it can as a visual support to comedy. Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s trio gives us a clever comedy, a flawless film visually rich. To eat without reserve.
Special mention :
The Dead Don’t Die (2019) : Despite not reinventing the zombie comedy like Jim Jarmush wanted to, at least it gave us a wonderful steps climb in Cannes. With Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny, Selena Gomez…
Santa Clarita Diet (2017-…) : Suburban version of zombie comedy. A blend of Desperate Housewives and The Walking Dead starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant.