Monday, February 4, 2013

WARM BODIES - corporeal spirit

Warm Bodies is a good zombie movie. It surprised me—80's style. Entertaining, fun, ridiculous, smart and a little something new. 

It reminded me, oddly, of Awakenings, a movie about patients in a psychiatric ward that had lived for decades in catatonic states, pretty much like zombies except that they didn't seem to crave brains. A new drug was developed in the 60's called L-Dopa that acted as a stimulant. The famous clinician and author Oliver Sacks decided to try the drug out, and amazingly, all the patients came back to life, some of them almost completely normal! I submit that this is the saddest movie in existence because after their "awakening" they all regressed back into suppressed catatonia. I found numerous corollary parallels throughout. Back to Warm Bodies. I kept thinking its great that these zombies are coming back to normative states but what happens if they regress? How can society trust their newfound change of heart? Especially since there is no good explanation of why they transformed in the first place. 

Regardless of all the realistic issues avoided (after all it is a zombie movie) I really enjoyed the film. Warm Bodies contained some novel ideas. I thought of things that never occurred to me before while viewing flesh eating monsters. Sex with a zombie anyone? How would that be I wonder. One may shudder at the thought of engaging a necrotized cannibal, and I have no such fantasies, but I found myself contemplating it none the less. Would all the parts work? What animates the bodies if they are dead? I'll stop there. 

The brain eating was interesting as well. Apparently you can eat brains, and as the zombie, experience the thoughts and memories of the victim. Cool idea. But why? Why do I accept this so easily? I've eaten sheep brains and  I don't suddenly see scary creatures barking in my face or do I cringe at bipedal naked apes shaving off my hairy skin. I guess the notion of eating brains and seeing memories just seems plausible somehow. I will now shrug my shoulders. 

One little part that bothered me was the more far gone bone eaters. What if they started to become human again? In the film they say that these decrepits were beyond regeneration. But really this is cowardly. Humans would reject the emaciated ones and turn into zombie racists. I guess appearance really is everything (gag).

There is no epic apocalyptic narrative, just a simple story of boy meets girl. I found it endearing, eerie and jovial. The conflation of horror and dry humor sometimes felt off kilter but for the most part was done well. The demographic was teens but I think most will enjoy this feature.   

Recommended Viewing: Zombieland - 28 Days Later - Zombie

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 6.7   -   The Fan: 7.9
             MetaCritic: 66
 Rotten Tomatoes: 77
                    IMDB: 7.4

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