On Zombieland (and Zombies)

by Leanna Renee Hieber

So I'm a Zombie fan. Not that I like them, actually, they scare me a lot. But I like them in movies and fiction, because they actually scare me more than any other monster. Night of the Living Dead spooked the heck out of me when I was a kid. 28 Days Later spooked the heck out of me later in life. Shaun of the Dead cracked me up (Simon Pegg being a favourite writer/actor combination).
Why are Zombies so terrifying to me? Well, I'm not a big fan of rot, ooze and all that - it makes me shudder. Give me a mesmerizing vampire to cleanly suck my blood any day over being torn apart like hyena prey. It's the irreversible nature of Zombies, the mindlessness of them, whereas Werewolves and Vampires can have good guys and good sides and appear more intelligent, which somehow makes me able to better relate to them. In the end it comes down to the gross part with Zombies that makes me cringe, plus they move all sick and twisted and that really wierds me out.

Books like Razor Girl by my buddy Marianne Mancusi have rocked my world. (My jury is out on Pride and Predjudice and Zombies - I like my Zombies but I'm not sure I want them in my Jane Austen) Mancusi's got another story in the upcoming Dorchester anthology My Zombie Valentine that's sure to be a hit come Feb. If you haven't checked out Mark Henry's irreverent Zombie fiction, well, you're missing out on somethin' else.

So with the Zombie craze out there at full mast, I went into Zombieland (along with buddy Marianne) with an open mind. The verdict is: appropriately disgusting (I don't think any Zombie flick can avoid being disgusting, it's part of the deal)... and fun (although since I don't like slasher flicks, I had to turn my head at some of the really disgusting moments, even if they were campy - rot is rot - again, uck). There were some truly clever parts, like the list of survival rules continuing to pop up through the film, and some laugh-out-loud moments that came from Woody Harrelson really selling his outlandish character and the star being a good straight-man. It is indeed the geek-gets-hot-badass-chick story, screenwriters perhaps positing themselves in deprecatory-geek-hero-turned-stud-via apocalypse scenarios. Tis the stuff of hollywood and romance novels, where anything and everything can happen.
Now I don't deal with Zombies, I deal with ghosts. If you're looking for something strange and beautiful this Halloween (and less with the brain eating), might I suggest...

Happy Halloween everyone!

Leanna Renee


Leanna Renee Hieber is the award winning author of the critically acclaimed The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker which is currently on sale through the end of October at Barnes & Noble thanks to the recommendation of True-Blood.net!


  1. Not a fan of zombie flicks - too impressionable I guess, nightmares for weeks and the likes!

    Did love Shaun of the Dead though, love the combo of Simon Pegg and the other bloke with him. First saw them in Hot Fuzz and that too is a riot!



  2. I'm not a huge zombie movie fan, but I loved Shaun of the Dead (yeah Simon!) and I really want to see Zombieland. Maybe the key for me is making zombies funny.

  3. I was dead (oopps bad bun) against this new zombie craze -- I fear them. They haunt my nightmares, chasing me, and reminding me of my unresolved issues.

    Shawn of the Dead was the exception -- I loved that movie. Simon Pegg is hilarious.

    I was refusing to read all zombie fiction until a Bitten By Books dot com interview with Mark Henry geared me up for a good laugh with his zombie books. And to my surprise, and delight, I won a copy of one of his books.

    One thing has become clear to me, if it's done in humor, my brain can cope with zombies. When done in full on 'brains' feast, I can't deal.

    Previews for Zombieland look hilarious, and hip. YES! I want to see another zombie flick. I may get over my zombie fears if theses comedies keep reeling.

    THanks for the fun post -- HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

  4. Leanna fun post! Okay I enjoy zombies - yup! because I have an indie filmmaker friend who's made some low budget zombie-style flicks that I'm rather fond of. Zombie movies don't really scare me - what scares me is the spooky "otherwordly" ghosty movies or psych horror movies. Where you don't necessarily see the gore but you know it's there. I do want to see Zombieland - Woody Harrelson looks fun in it - I saw a few clips - it looks like a lot of fun. I think zombie movies are becoming so popular in reaction to - well perhaps all the strange viruses that seem to pop up every year - and the reaction that the media/public officials and public have to them - and also to our feeling so out of control when it comes to the economy, health care, war, etc...so there is a method to all the zombie madness ;D

  5. I just finished editing Hungry for your Love: An Anthology of Zombie Romance, which will be the Hallowen title at ravenousromance.com. This is a fabulous anthology, which crosses the two genres. We have 5 NY Times best sellers in here.

  6. Didn't think it was possible to have a zombie in romance until I read Jeaniene Frost's paranormal series. Still not my fav, but I guess it's possible! I agree than Shaun of the Dead is the most clever, humorous, rocking zombie movie. There's nothing like mixing up humor and horror...it's a great combination. (I can't wait to see Zombieland!)

  7. I loved Zombieland! Thought it was fabulous. Loved Shaun of the Dead as well. Both had their 'downer' moments that added depth to the films and both have such great hope in them as well. But Zombieland has a great cameo from Bill Murray!

  8. Holy True-Blood.net promo, Batman!

    My husband wants to see Zombieland. I went to Law Abiding Citizen instead (...Gerry...)


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