If I had to choose one genre of film as my favourite, I would have to say horror. That’s a bit of a cheat because there are so many sub-genres within the horror genre, but there you go, don’t be unreasonable! Of the sub-genres, one of my faves is zombie. However, I’m a bit of a zombie snob. George A Romero says that zombies don’t run, ergo, zombies don’t run. Stop trying to make running zombies happen! If you think that zombies have to be fast to be scary, you are missing the point of zombies. Don’t even get me started on the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake.
Sorry, for the ranty introduction – what I mean to say is that I love zombie films. I watch a lot of them. I saw three at EIFF last month alone (Doc of the Dead, Miss Zombie and Life After Beth) but I haven’t read many zombie books. So I was pretty pleased that the book I received from the lovely Molly for the UK Summer Book Swap was Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. The film adaptation looks god awful but the book sounds pretty good so I pretty much devoured this as soon as it arrived on my doorstop.
R is a zombie. He doesn’t know how he became a zombie, how long he has been this way or even what “R” stands for. He spends his days either shuffling around an abandoned airport or on hunting trips to the city. Although speaking is difficult due to decomposed faces, the zombies form relationships, have sentient thought and experience something like memory. R is dissatisfied with his zombie life but doesn’t really have a choice – he is a zombie after all. Until he meets Julie.
A regular hunting trips takes an unexpected turn when something prevents R from attacking Julie. He feels compelled to protect her but also be near her. R already has glimmers of humanity within but Julie awakens this more fully and R begins to feel hope for his future.
The Zom-Rom-Com is beginning to be a sub-genre within the sub-genre of zombie media and, along with Shaun of the Dead and Life after Beth (seems this genre loves a good pun), Warm Bodies is central to this. Told from the viewpoint of a zombie, it adds some great details to the zombie legend. For example, the fact that zombies eat brains to experience the memories that lie within and get an intense and addictive high along the way, is an idea that I personally love. It explains their single-mindedness (lolz) and love for brraaaaiiiiinnnns.
Overall, I thought Warm Bodies was a fun read. I cared about the characters and it was fairly pacey which allowed me to forgive the somewhat predictable plot. Still not gonna watch the film though.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are your opinions on Warm Bodies (book or film?). Also, the crucial question: where do you stand on fast zombies?