Zombieland is a 2009 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin as survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Together, they take an extended road trip across Southwestern United States in an attempt to find a sanctuary free from zombies.
Zombieland received critical acclaim and was a commercial success, grossing more than $60.8 million in 17 days and surpassing the 2004 film Dawn of the Dead as the top-grossing zombie film in the United States until World War Z was released on June 21, 2013.
Two months have passed since a mutated strain of mad cow disease mutated into “mad person disease” that became “mad zombie disease” which overran the entire United States population, turning American people into vicious zombies. Unaffected college student “Columbus” (Jesse Eisenberg) is making his way from his college dorm in Austin, Texas to Columbus, Ohio to see whether his parents are still alive. He encounters “Tallahassee” (Woody Harrelson), another survivor who is particularly violent in killing zombies. Though he does not appear to be sociable, Tallahassee reluctantly allows Columbus to travel with him. Tallahassee demonstrates a soft spot for his pet dog, killed by the zombies, as well as an affinity for Twinkies, which he actively tries to find.
The pair meet “Wichita” (Emma Stone) and her younger sister “Little Rock” (Abigail Breslin) in a grocery store. The sisters are con artists, and trick Tallahassee and Columbus into handing over their weapons by pretending that Little Rock was infected by the disease, then steal their Escalade. The two men find a yellow Hummer H2 loaded with weapons and go after the sisters. However, the girls spring another trap for them and take them hostage. Tallahassee steals his gun back and has a stand-off with Wichita, until Columbus lashes out in anger that they have bigger problems to worry about, resulting in an uneasy truce between them. The sisters reveal that they are going to the “Pacific Playland” amusement park in Los Angeles, an area supposedly free of zombies. After learning his home town has been destroyed, and his parents likely killed, Columbus decides to accompany the others to California. Along the trip, Columbus persists in trying to impress and woo Wichita.
When the group reaches Hollywood, Tallahassee directs them to Bill Murray’s mansion. Tallahassee and Wichita meet Murray himself, uninfected but disguised as a zombie so he can walk safely around town (and play golf). Murray is killed when Columbus shoots him, mistaking him for a real zombie during a practical joke while watching Ghostbusters with Little Rock.
Columbus realizes during a game of Monopoly that Tallahassee has not been grieving for his dog, but rather for his young son. Wichita becomes increasingly attracted to Columbus, and Tallahassee bonds with Little Rock, with whom he was previously at odds. Despite Wichita’s attraction to Columbus, she fears attachment and leaves with Little Rock for Pacific Playland the next morning. Columbus decides to go after Wichita, and convinces Tallahassee to join him.
At Pacific Playland, the sisters activate all the rides and lights, attracting nearby zombies. A chase ensues, and just as the sisters are trapped on a drop tower ride called Blast Off, Tallahassee and Columbus arrive. Tallahassee lures the zombies away from the tower, creating a distraction for Columbus to get to the tower ride. Tallahassee eventually locks himself in a game booth, shooting zombies left and right at his leisure. Columbus successfully evades and shoots through several zombies to reach the tower, but not before conquering some of his phobias and even changing one of his rules of survival. In thanks, Wichita kisses Columbus and reveals her real name, Krista. Little Rock gives Tallahassee a Twinkie, and the group leaves Pacific Playland together.
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First Published: Jan 11, 2012 – Re-Published: Apr 1, 2014