World War Z


Mankind is facing immanent destruction from a virus that reanimates the dead and only one man can save us…Brad Pitt.

You know, I should really hate Max Brooks for coming out with The Zombie Survival Guide but I don’t. That book is chalk full of useful tidbits on how to survive an undead outbreak, and trust me when I say that the man knows what he’s talking about. Every piece of info contained within its pages could save your life one day. And while that’s very good for you, it’s very bad for us. I have no idea how the man has so much knowledge about us (my guess is that he may have found some other pliable zombie like myself) but he sure knows his shit. The only thing he got wrong is the whole Solanum bit, even we don’t know what the hell it is that reanimates us and to be quite honest, we don’t really care. It works, end of story. So yeah, I should hate the man for spilling so many of our secrets (because it’s not like I do that or anything) but I just can’t help loving him for writing World War Z. I love that book; I think I’ve read it close to twenty times at this point and it never seems to get old. Sure, it might present us in a bad light but it’s such a damn enjoyable read. Too bad the film with the same name wasn’t anything close to an enjoyable watch.

I’m guessing there may be twenty or thirty (forty at most) people left in the world who don’t know about World War Z, and just in case any of those few people happen to read this review I’ll explain the plots (notice the plural, which will become important here in a minute).

The Book:

Mankind came very close to extinction. A zombie outbreak forced humanity to retreat to small pockets all over the world before humanity decided it was time to take their world back. Now, after ten years of painstaking work and untold sacrifice, the world is slowly inching toward a zombie free planet, or at least as close as it may ever come, and one man wants to tell the stories of those who faced an apocalypse and survived. Collecting tales from all over the world from the people who were involved in fighting off the greatest threat humanity ever faced.


The Movie:

When a zombie outbreak threatens the world it’s up to UN investigator Gerry Lane to discover where the outbreak started, and in doing so, possibly discover a cure. If his job wasn’t already hard enough, he has to travel to varying locations around the world while the undead are overrunning them.


Yep, if you were hoping for a decent interpretation of the book, you’re shit out of luck because other than a few locations, name drops, and the zombies, they are two entirely different entities. Actually, scratch that last one, because the zombies are fucking terrible in this piece of shit interpretation of an awesome book.

I was ready before walking into the theatre for this to fail as a film adaption, but I kept telling myself to keep an open mind. Even if it wasn’t going to be like the book (and admittedly the book would be really hard to turn into a movie) it could still be an awesome zombie flick. Sure, the previews showed some poor CGI zombies but that was just a preview. Right? Wrong. The zombies are easily the worst I’ve seen in years and I watch a lot of zombie movies. I was hoping that the bad CGI I saw in the previews were just going to be in a few parts. Sadly, the majority of the zombies’ screen time is in that same bad CGI and they look incredibly bad awful. If this were any other movie I might be able to forgive it but…no, fuck that, it is so bad that it is entirely inexcusable. If low budget indie flicks can do better I can’t imagine how they thought they were going to be able to get away with it in a big budget version of one of the most well-loved zombie books in existence. There was absolutely no reason, and no excuse, for how bad the hordes looked; even less of an excuse for how bad the individual CGI’d zombies looked. That’s right, even individual zombies are CGI’d for some fucking stupid reason (i.e. the movie makers were lazy assholes blinded by the dollar signs in their eyes). Not that there aren’t zombies done without the CGI, and they even looked really good when they used makeup instead of a computer. Unfortunately those rare times in the film where they took the time to use makeup you get to really see how much World War Z’s zombies suck.


{Also, they figure out how to make a pyramid because why the fuck not}

I’m pretty sure whoever came up with the idea for the zombies in this film watched 30 Days of Night way too much. That was what they constantly reminded me of, a 30 Days of Night vampire crossbred with Chatterer from Hellraiser. They just act silly and ridiculous. Constantly hissing and chattering their teeth while jerking around like an epileptic after watching Pokémon. Then there is the fact that the zombies seem to get kicked into overdrive when they reanimate, running extremely fast and tackling people like a linebacker on crack, even jumping distances that would shame an Olympic jumper (all done via CGI mind you, really, really, really bad CGI). I’m already not a major fan of fast zombies (not only do I know from personal experience that zombies don’t move very fast but on screen they just don’t carry the same human yet inhuman character of real zombies, coming across as just typical animalistic movie monsters instead) but these ones were ridiculously quick and agile, actually gaining abilities from being dead. The zombies for the cinematic adaption of World War Z were horrible versions that looked terrible while CGI’d (like I said, the make-up versions weren’t bad), had horrible mannerisms (I honestly don’t see how they thought, after watching the test footage, that the zombies’ actions were okay), and came across as bad jokes (I actually laughed more than a few times while the zombies were on screen, when I wasn’t fuming anyway).


{Rigor Mortis, the key to super powers}

Okay, now that I’ve bitched about how lame the zombies were I’m sure the burning question you want to ask is “How well did the book translate to the silver screen?” Well shame on you for not having any patience; I was going to get to that. If you’re going to watch this movie, even after hearing how bad the zombies are, you need to understand one thing, do not, I repeat do not, walk into the theater expecting anything even close to a faithful adaption of the book. World War Z is about as faithful to the book as John F. Kennedy was to his wife. This movie is basically just a vehicle for Brad Pitt to add “zombie film” to his roster. True enough, he does travel to a few locations from the book, and there are some name drops (such as talking with Jurgen Warmbrunn in Israel) but for the most part it’s just Brad Pitt trying to save his family and discover some form of a cure.


{Lots and lots of Brad Pitt}

I’m not going to spoil too much, just in case you still feel like watching it, but the one thing I will say is this, if the zombies had been even close to decent, this probably wouldn’t have been too bad of a movie. The acting is great, as is the story on its own, even though it doesn’t have anything to do with the book, it is a good zombie story that manages to stay fairly original in a sea of zombie flicks. If they had just worked on the zombies, I’d probably be writing an entirely different review right now. I’d still be bitching about them calling it World War Z since it seems obvious they just used the title to make a few more bucks and draw a few more people into the theater but at least I’d be able to say it was a good movie otherwise. That being said, since they put about as little work into creating the zombies as I put into losing weight, the movie is absolute shit.


{One of the few times they don’t use CGI, see not bad, now hear him hissing and chattering his teeth as if he were really cold…which I guess he kind of is}

If I were you, I’d send Hollywood a message and tell them to go fuck themselves by not watching this piece of trash. If you’re a fan of the book, you’re going to fucking despise the movie; if you’ve never read the book but just like zombie films you’re still going to hate it thanks to the horrible looking and retarded acting zombies. If you’re going to watch it anyway I’d get drunk first, it might at least make the movie a little funnier for you.


The Undead Review


Directed By: Marc Forester (Machine Gun Preacher, Quantum of Solace)

Starring: Brad Pitt (Fight Club, Se7en), Mireille Enos (Gangster Squad, The Killing {TV}), Daniella Kertesz (Ha-Emet Ha’Eroma {TV}), and Fana Mokoena (Hotel Rwanda, Machine Gun Preacher)

Released By: Paramount Pictures, Plan B Entertainment, and Skydance Productions

Release Type: Theatrical Release

Release Year: 2013

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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