‘Zombieland’ keeps the movie genre alive

July 26, 2009 | 12:46 a.m.

Zombie movies are pretty straightforward. There are zombies. To survive, you have to kill them. The only surprise is in how you go about it. You’d think Hollywood would get tired of cranking out these films more than 40 years after “Night of the Living Dead.”

But like the zombies themselves, the genre never dies thanks to die-hard fans such as David McRae, a San Diego food service worker who came to watch sneak peaks of “Zombieland” this afternoon at Comic-Con. “There’s a big thrill in survival zombie movies,” McRae explained.

For “Zombieland,” the thrill lies in its witty script and its cast, which includes Woody Harrelson as a roughneck zombie hunter named Tallahasse who snuffs zombies with the zest of a professional exterminator. When not obsessed with Twinkies, Harrelson’s character takes a demented pride in the variety of his technique that is reminiscent of his role in “Natural Born Killers.”

“I thought this was going to be a silly zombie movie,” Harrelson said of why he took the part. “Reading it, I thought it was riveting. It’s a page-turner.”

Of course, if the dialogue fails to win the crowd, there’s always zombie killing as a source of endless creative possibilities (see Sony’s trailer above).

Said an approving McRae, “This is the first time I’ve seen someone fighting zombies in an amusement park.”

— Alex Pham

Follow my random thoughts on games, gear and technology on Twitter @AlexPham.

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