Warm Bodies - Jonathan Levine – Nicholas hault plays a zombie (named ‘R’…as he distantly recalls his human name beginning with an ‘R’), a shuffling member of the mumbling undead…but, as voiceover reveals, his human consciousness is intact. Trapped in the shuffling gait of his cadaverous body there remains frustration, a human sense of compassion and the vague and murky memory of his life before. In a post zombie apocalypse the remaining humans are penned in, quarantined from the infected hordes that wander the rest of the city. The man in charge of this last island of untainted humanity is John Malkovich (obviously…), in a an uncomplicated role of alpha and paternal, military leadership. He has a daughter, ‘Julie’, played by Teresa Palmer - who looks uncannily reminiscent of Kristen Stewart if she was blond. Julie and a group of others are innvolved in some sort kind of vague mission. They are ambushed by zombies, one of whom is ‘R’, and most of them are killed – including her at the time boyfriend. So…after the feeding frenzy ‘R’ shows his unorthadox zombie charity by saving her. It is, thankfully, a comedy.
As a simple, at times genuinely funny, piece of cinema entertainment it does just swell! It’s enjoyable tone and simple central conceit carries the film, helped mainly by a strong and charismatic performance by Nicholas Hault. Essentially a indie romcom transposed onto apocalyptic zombie territory: it dabbles with kooky soundtrack choices; references to the joy of vinyl; awkward relationship firsts - compounded by the all too relatable moment when one realises, that yes, your partner did in fact eat the brains of your ex; the overbearing and disaproving father figure etc. There is even a brilliant Reservoir Dogs sequence where a group of Zombies stiffly lurch in slow motion, like the less cool, more dead version of Tarantino’s black suit, tie and sunglasses strut. In terms of going for allegorical/political zombie satire – this is not really going to be adressing the same vein of commentary as a Romero film – but it is self aware, fun and satisfying enough to merit a casual cinema trip. Perhaps the most obvious light-hearted metaphor, is that of the stumbling hormonal clumsiness of adolescent love. Teenage passion imagined as the paralysed fear and awkward gestures of that beloved horror icon: the zombie…makes sense really. This is about as forgivable and cute as necrophilia gets…which was perhaps an early discarded tagline? 7/10