Friday, 3 August 2012

Zombies! #3

Post 3 in my countdown to the release of Dead Things on 11th August.
So, I'm going to start by posting an excerpt from the start of the book. Meet Devin Reid...

Dead Things
Chapter 1

"You're kidding, right?"

Devin Reid tapped his thumbs thoughtfully against the steering wheel of the dark Mercedes-Benz SUV. No, he wasn't kidding. In fact, he was deadly serious. He guided the vehicle to the side of the road, and left the engine running as he considered the surrounding area. Through the SUV's dark-tinted windows he saw the old diner set back from the highway. The place wouldn't have seen a dime or a customer in almost nine months. The outer door hung crookedly on only one of its hinges, and the windows were filthy, covered in dirt kicked up from the highway and the strong wind that blew through the valley. Despite the few cars sitting out front in the parking lot, there was no one around. There were no lights on inside the diner or the adjoining gas station, and both buildings had an eerie stillness about them.

Aware of his partner, Lee, fidgeting in the passenger seat beside him, Devin made a decision and cut the engine. "Come on," he said and pulled at the door handle. The door swung open and he stepped out of the car. Pushing his shades higher, he stepped back from the SUV and closed the heavy door, his hand lingering around one of the metal strips welded across the dark glass of the driver's side window. He twisted his hand around the metal and checked the car up and down. Several similar bars secured the SUV's radiator and wheel arches.


Devin looked across the hood of the car and frowned, silently disapproving of his young companion's attempt to lighten the mood.

"Get it?" Lee continued, quirking his head and smirking as he nodded toward the specials board beside the door. The writing was faint, bleached by the sun, but the offer of any omelet and fries for under three dollars could be made out beneath the layer of old dirt.

Devin pressed his mouth into a thin line as his partner raised his automatic weapon and scanned it across the front of the diner. With a sigh he pushed his own gun into the holster he wore on his thigh.

"I get it," he said flatly and turned from the diner toward the horizon. He found it comforting as he looked across the large empty plain. There was nothing but miles of dry, sandy dirt spattered with tuffs of tall grass reaching out in all directions from the diner. With a crooked smile, he walked to the back of the vehicle then opened and closed the trunk quickly, appearing with two gas cans in his hands. "Let's make this quick," he said and started toward the gas station. "Head up to the diner. See if they've got any canned food in the back."

"The diner?" There was fear in his young companion's voice.

Looking back over his shoulder, Devin gave a heavy sigh. He lowered the gas cans and folded his arms across his chest as he turned to Lee. He watched the teenager shift nervously from one foot to the other and run a shaky hand through his short, auburn hair. The spatter of freckles across his youthful cheeks was darker than usual as his face paled.

"Lee, stop being a pussy and get over there," Devin said firmly, and nodded toward the diner. They didn't have time to mess around. He waited, watching as Lee eyed the dilapidated building, the idea seemingly daunting to the teenager. He hadn't wanted to bring the kid with him, but as he had been told, everyone needed to pull their weight. There was no easy ride in this world. Not anymore.


Available from N/A

3. Zombieland

Columbus: The plague of the 21st Century, remember mad cow disease? Well mad cow became mad person became mad zombie. It's a fast acting virus that leaves you with a swollen brain, a raging fever, makes you hateful and violent and leaves you with a really bad case of the munchies.

I remember dragging my husband to see this and thinking, he's gonna hate it! This is a guy that sat through The Avengers and his favourite bit was when Hawkeye ran out of arrows because that was the most realistic part! Luckily, he didn't and I think it was the comedy element of this film won him over.
Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are wonderful as Columbus and Tallahassee. The characters are great and have a nice mismatched buddy thing going on for most of the movie. They play off each other well and have great comic timing. The movie is set in the aftermath (with occasional flashbacks) and trails 2 guys and 2 girls as they try to find a place for themselves in the new and not-so-improved Zombieland. Columbus is looking for family, the girls an assumed zombie-free theme park where everything will be okay again, and then Tallahassee appears to just be about the killing, but you find there's a little more to him as the story progresses.

Columbus: The first rule of Zombieland: Cardio. When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go, for obvious reasons... were the fatties.

I am all for the rules of Zombieland, because seriously, no matter what the horror movie, characters always do the dumbest things. They fall over, they go into dark places, and they never notice the guy with an axe in the backseat! So, Columbus's rules on bathrooms, seatbelts, limbering up, and double tap are all good ones to take note of. He may come across as a wimp, but he's a wimp that's survived. I'm pretty sure if there was a zombie apocalypse I'd be totally screwed. I can't run and I never seem to have any food in the fridge and cupboards, so someone would have to leave the house eventually *nominates the hubby* - maybe I need to start getting some tinned food in just incase. It would probably depend on the zombies of course, I could dodge the odd slow mover...maybe :) In Zombieland they are the fast-style zombies, which personally, I do prefer to see on screen. There's just something a little scarier when they can catch up to our survivors and not just have to rely on them doing something a bit daft and getting cornered by a hungry mob.

Tallahassee: My mama always told me someday I'd be good at something. Who'd a guessed that something'd be zombie-killing?
Columbus: Probably nobody.

Zombieland is a great film. It's funny and exciting. Has a nice cameo from Bill Murray (Who you gonna call? Probably not the Ghostbusters as it's a zombie movie lol). There's a zombie clown. The characters are likeable and interesting. It's not groundbreaking stuff, but it's done well. There's only so many ways of showing a zombie outbreak and only so many tropes, settings, types of characters that can be used in this genre. Heck, despite trying to be original, I've most likely used a few myself in Dead Things. Though, a movie I am looking forward to seeing is Warm Bodies - having a zombie romantic lead is something a little bit different and sounds like it might be interesting- plus I like Nicholas Hoult of Skins. But anyway, overall, Zombieland is a fun film and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Actually, I might go watch it right now :)

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