Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Warm Bodies

"My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy"

I'm not your average chick-flick kinda girl. With few exceptions, romantic comedies take a back seat to most other movies by choice. Warm Bodies (2013) is one that makes the cut. I normally wait for movies to come out on TV - not DVD or blue ray, TV, but as soon as Warm Bodies hit Redbox, I had to see it. I was not disappointed.

Warm bodies is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet based on the book of the same name by Issac Marion. It's set in an alternate reality where zombies have taken over as the dominant species.

"R" played by Nicholas Hoult is a zombie living at the airport. The zombie disease progresses in levels. R and most of his peers are the standard, brain-loving zombies called corpses. They eat human flesh and wander slow and aimlessly through the area they were when they died but they still have remnants of their humanity. They look like humans, move like humans, and through R's inner dialogue we learn that they think like humans though on a rudimentary level. The zombies, in this way, are paralleled to the human condition where the plague is a symbol for the loss of human connection through the overuse of technology.

Then there are the "bonies" who have progressed to the final stage of the plague. Bonies are the main protagonist in Warm Bodies. They've lost their human form and their human thought. Their only goal is to eat. According to R's narration, "They call these guys Bonies. They don't bother us much, but they'll eat anything with a heartbeat. I mean, I will too, but at least I'm conflicted about it."

Enter Julie. Julie, an uninfected human and daughter of the survivor's leader. She and her team get caught by zombies on a supply run and R eats her boyfriend. He then fixates his gaze on Julie but instead of eating her, he kidnaps her and falls in love with her. Over time, she falls in love with him too. Meanwhile, their contact with one another cures him of the plague, bringing warmth into his dead body (Which is, of course, the opposite of the conclusion of Romeo and Juliet.). With the alliance of the corpses and the humans, they bring down the impending scourge of bonies and bring to life those who were once dead.

Warm bodies is a fun, albeit different take, on the zombie trope and a great addition to any zombie library. For further reading, this is a good place to look.
*Only 18 days till the return of TWD*

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Snacking Dead

This is a review of the cookbook, The Snacking Dead - A Parody in a Cookbook by DB Walker

A few years ago it seemed like everything was a Walking Dead parody - including cookbooks.

The Snacking Dead is a fun cookbook with spectacular pictures. Each recipe is accompanied by a story about surviving the outbreak and each has a clever Walking Dead invocative name. I assumed this was more of a survival-food cookbook, but most of the recipes are standard American fare with a twist.

Today I'm making Guac and Load Guacamole.

I picked this recipe because I had some avacado that needed to be used.
Step 1. Put all ingredients in a bowl. (avocado, green onion, jalapeno, lime juice)
Step 2. Mash it together with a fork or if you're lazy, like me, throw it in a food processor.
Step 3. Ignore the book and add garlic powder, seasoning salt, and cumin.
4. Serve with tortilla chips or on chimichangas or tacos.

That's it. 

We're guacamole purists here so I was worried it wouldn't go over well but my kids licked the bowl clean which I consider a food success.

The Snacking Dead isn't a daily-use cookbook, but if you like amazing food pictures, it's a fun one to add to your collection of zombie heads in fish tanks.

On the back of the book is a website, but it's down now. It can be purchased at Amazon.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Floating around this house somewhere is a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, a parody of Jane Austin's famous Pride and Prejudice. It was a birthday gift from my mom. I've been trying to find it for three weeks so I could finally read it. I hadn't bothered before because the words "Pride and Prejudice" nearly sends me into convulsions. I hate that book and did every time (four - I had to read it four times) it was assigned for school reading. But the movie was good, so it deserves a shot. I mean, who doesn't want to see aristocrats from the Regency period get eaten by reanimated corpses?
I finally found it!
Themes: Love, honor, vanity, and zombies.
Genre: Apocalyptic Romance (that was weird to type).

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is set in an alternate reality in Britain during the Regency period in the countryside of the gentry - the upper class - during a long war against the living dead. Unlike London, the country lives in relative peace, saved by the protection of a wall around the city where most of the dead are contained.

While the original toyed with themes of love, its real value as a literary classic was its commentary on the social structure and the roles of women in society and their value therein. Their value as a gender relies solely on their value as a potential wife. Love is secondary to accomplishment in the delicate arts of entertaining with skill on the Pianoforte (a predecessor to the modern piano) standing as a symbol of utmost femininity and culture. Young ladies of this culture are pitted in a vicious competition to marry well. 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies adds an additional accomplishment to the list: skill in martial arts with the different styles and schools drawing a clear line in the subtle variances of high social class. This plays a huge role in the story arc between Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennett and symbolizes the cutthroat life of high society by paralleling the kill or be killed reality of a zombie apocalypse.

The plot follows the original love story between Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) and Miss Bennett (Lily James) except for one little detail; Mr. Darcy is an expert zombie hunter. Well known for his skill in rooting out the most clever of zombies and his thoroughness of eradicating them, Mr. Darcy comes across as pretentious and apathetic in social situations which is only matched by Miss Bennett's obstinance and pride.

Once they realize their folly in judgment of one another, the duo, equal on the battlefield of both love and war, defeat the vile foe and turn the tides on the war against the reanimated dead, and find a place within each other's arms.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was a fun take on the genre as well as an interesting and creative adaptation of a classic novel. Well worth the watch.

Happy New Year!