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By Anna

I’ve watched so many zombie movies in such a short amount of time that I’ve dreamt about zombies twice this month, and never once have I been a zombie in these dreams, which tells me I’m relating to the not-yet-zombie characters and here’s how:

1. I find humor in horrifying situations, much like Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) does.

2. I am a list maker (Columbus again) and need to make lists in order to survive in non-Zombieland.

3. I drive a Saab (Columbus’ first car), but would switch to a yellow hummer if it meant that it wouldn’t break down … ever.

4. I have fond memories of amusement parks like Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and want to believe zombies wouldn’t exist there, but the movie is named Zombieland so don’t hold out much hope for that.

5. I don’t really think I’d be able to survive in Zombieland—using a shotgun, crowbar or hoe for survival is not my thing (see Woody Harrelson’s character, Tallahassee).

Of course Zombieland wasn’t the first film to do zombie parody well, Shaun of the Dead is just as great for laughs. What I liked about Zombieland that Shaun of the Dead didn’t give me was the character narration and continual integration of Columbus’ rulebook, which threaded the film. Where as Shaun’s thread was alluding to previous actions presented in non-parody Zombie flicks—effective, but not a thread for first time Zombie watchers. Zombieland is for everyone (old enough and stomach enough to handle the gore) and you don’t have to be a fan of the living dead to get it.

Don’t let the film’s gory introduction stop you from watching because the initial guts and literal blood curdling are the worst of it—it only gets funnier and has a great surprise you have to see.

Quick reviews of movies I saw this week:

Brothers

If I had known Brothers was a slow-Stephen-King-build-up-to-climactic-ending plot I would have enjoyed it more. But I was disappointed at the slow approach, and even in the respected time it lacked relationship development. Overall, not a film I would watch again, but if you are prepared for a slower film with little combat the acting is pretty decent even though the writing is weak.

Whip It

A fun coming-of-age story that made me laugh, but didn’t convince me of Page’s skills as an actress nor did it convince me that roller derby is an activity I would want to watch. It’s worth seeing, but I would not put it on last year’s top films in spite of Wigg’s enjoyable performance.

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Compiled by Ryan

The links:

self-titled scored an interview with The Dead Weather, and it includes bits about upcoming Jack White projects, one of which is some sort of White Stripes film.

Any excuse to post a picture of this man.

Any excuse to post a picture of this man.

-Will Oldham (of Bonnie “Prince” Billy fame) doesn’t do many interviews, so it was nice to read one in A.V. Club this week.  Spoiler: he doesn’t like the way Wes Anderson uses music in his movies.

Mark Wahlberg and James Franco have been added to the upcoming Tina Fey and Steve Carrell comedy Date Night.  Unfortunately, so has Leighton Meester.

-CNN headline: Woody Harrelson claims he mistook photographer for zombie.

-Watching the NFL on television just won’t be the same without John Madden, for better or for worse.  The legendary announcer is retiring.

The YouTube highlights:

I’m a sucker for cool animal videos (save your emails: I’ve already seen all the good ones).  This fox rox:

A couple of New Pornographers stopped by Letterman this week, albeit on different nights.  Here’s A.C. Newman with “Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer” and Neko Case with “This Tornado Loves You”:

New music spotlight:

There was really nothing that came out this week that I found noteworthy, so instead I’ll give you a new song from the upcoming Sunset Rubdown record:

Sunset Rubdown – “Idiot Heart” from Dragonslayer, out June 23 on Jagjaguwar

By Adam

Get it?  The computer has a virus.  Like it's a person!  Also, it has a watermark that says "stockphoto" because we stole it.
Get it? The computer has a virus. Like it’s a person! Also, it has a watermark that says “stockphoto” because we stole it.

 

 

Writing this from a computer literally riddled with trojan viruses developed by the meanest internet nerds you’ve seen in your life, I had an epiphany: the internet is a dangerous place.  In order not to infect Ryan’s computer with viruses that are probably draining my bank account as I type this, I’m instead updating from the girlfriend’s computer, who was kind enough to help out.  Until I get some actual gear to get back to work, the traditional Onward and Downward you’ve come to love (remember, just search for bloody vaginal secretions!) is going to be replaced with vintage shit I find on this computer.  Consider it a “Greatest Hits of Things That Never Deserved the Greatest Hits Treatment” type of deal.

Up first in the cycle is a paper I wrote for my College Composition II class back in good ol’ 2002, when terrorist attacks were still fresh and exciting.  It was a guide I wrote for the discerning zombie about what a healthy diet should include.  I wrote this for a college class.  I remember there being a peer review process involved in the editing cycle, and a middle-aged gay man who called himself Monkey gave it “two thumbs, way up!”  Actually, Monkey lent me a copy of The Hawkline Monster, the best book ever written by any human being, ever.  I subsequently lent this book to a friend for three months, and Monkey told me that if I didn’t return his book the next day he would stab me with a knife.  To punctuate that point, he thrust the blade of said knife into the table.  Well, my friend was actually out of town for that week, and I had to break into his house to get the book back.  This was easier said than done, because I didn’t have a key and none of the windows were unlocked.  So, I took one of the windows out.  That’s not to say I removed one of the storm windows or some pussy shit like that, I literally performed destruction and removed the entire window, frame and all.

Listen, I’m rambling, and a little bit drunk.  Without further ado:

                The clouds obscure the full moon, but not enough to completely eclipse it.  A crack of thunder booms in the distance as your hand breaks through the topsoil.  An eerie moan fills the graveyard, as the dead slowly come back to life to feed.  But as today’s health conscious zombie, you can’t help but ask what’s healthier for the decaying public: Flesh or brains?  Although located on the same body, the differences in these two post-mortem delicacies are great.

                Obviously, the more abundant of the two foods is easily flesh.  Found on every human, the “meat” is found all over the body, while brains are limited to just the head section of the body.  Also, depending on the size of your prey, you could end up having enough flesh to fill your coffin with during the long winter season.  The downfall, though, is that eating the flesh will transfer the plight of the undead to the victim, which floods the market with consumers and raises the already high prices of zombie food.

                Not nearly as available as the “meat,” the brains are the most coveted part of the human body.  Although harder to access than the flesh due to the presence of the skull and the natural human reflex to not allow a creature of the night to devour them, brains are the most highly revered food source in the zombie republic.  The effort involved in getting the brains is worth it, since those without brains cannot become zombies (due to the strange and wonderful rules of zombie physics) and brains can be sold for a high price on the zombie black market.

                Flesh is very malleable when it comes to preparing dishes.  Many chefs in the various undead cooking circles have agreed that “meat” can be used in so many different ways that it’s possible to never prepare the same putrid dish twice.  Also, many zombies who can’t afford the luxury of the fiery pits of Hell to cook their food can eat it straight from the bone, a classic throwback to ancient zombie culture.

                Brains, on the other hand, are very hard to prepare correctly.  Not many different meals can be prepared from the staple of undead food, but that doesn’t mean nothing can be done with them.  The majority of zombie chefs recommend boiling the brains in their own juices, while adding two tablespoons of paprika for the best possible stew in Halloween Town.  Furthermore, a lot of the new age zombies have found that brain smoothies are the perfect compliment to a “meat” and potatoes dinner.

                The biggest factor in deciding on what to feast on during All Hallows Eve is what will provide you with the most nutrients and vitamins to keep going, even after you re-die.  While more abundant and easier to cook with, flesh is not very healthy at all for the decaying zombie.  Filled with fatty tissue and blood, flesh becomes more of a problem than a solution.  The undead suffer from slow movement already, so why compound that problem by becoming an overweight zombie?  Moreover, blood serves no good to the corpse and actually causes more harm!  The FBA (Flesh and Brains Administration) has run conclusive tests to show that the consumption of blood will adversely affect the zombie by adding weight to the body.  Also, the addition of fluid to the system will cause the zombie to become unbalanced as you shuffle through the night and it sloshes around in the stomach.

                Brains, on the other hand, are totally good for the decaying zombie.  The FBA has proved that the consumption of brains will actually increase the intelligence of the normal zombie tenfold!  In layman’s terms, this means that any zombie who eats enough brains over the course of his or her un-life will cease to be a mindless killing machine and become the smart and savvy zombie that everyone wants to be around.

                While the work and dedication involved in acquiring brains may seem too daunting, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.  Although easier to find and consume than brains, flesh doesn’t provide what a zombie needs to shamble through the night and stalk the living.  So when Halloween comes around this year, make the smart choice and choose brains. You won’t live to regret it.