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…And the Dead Shall Rise Again

February 3, 2013

WARM BODIES – it’s a movie that just came out – here’s the trailer:

So, last night I saw the movie Warm Bodies and I really enjoyed it.

I’ll just go ahead and get this out of the way: any youth pastors reading this, or if you know a youth pastor, take your youth group to go see this movie. It is rich in material for discussion and it’s PG-13. Being a zombie movie there are gruesome bits to it, but nothing anyone, except those sheltered, haven’t seen before.

Okay, so if you watched the trailer embedded above you can see this is not your typical zombie movie. For one thing, the protagonist, the lead character, is a zombie – and he has an inner monologue. And it’s the first zombie movie I’ve seen in which the condition of being a zombie is reversible.

Sidenote: THAT being said, you may think it’s one of those trailers that gives everything away, but it isn’t.

There’s a lot going on in this movie by way of it channeling several different stories already out there. The first thing that stood out to me is the similarities to George Romero’s films – for those who don’t know, Romero is the father of the zombie film genre, his first feature being Night of the Living Dead. I’m not referring to the obvious link of there being zombies in this film, I mean, duh, that’s a given. Every zombie film owes a debt of gratitude to Romero because they would not exist otherwise.

Rather there’s a social subtext of racism and discrimination. In that regard the story comes close to getting a little heavy-handed at times, but never for very long.

As you’ll also see in the trailer, there’s bona fide hope in this film. Every other film I know of dealing with this kind of thing – excepting the brilliant Shaun of the Dead – has a bleak, hopeless ending. That’s not to say the ending of Warm Bodies is all happy-dappy, but it isn’t bleak and I like that. There’s a fatigue developing for all the post-apocalyptic films and stories out there. I know I’m feeling it. I mean, told the right way they’re still entertaining, but for once it’s nice to see things turn out a little bit differently.

Of course, you can see that the hope springs from our undead lead falling in love with a potential victim.

Sidenote: The people who made this trailer are very shrewd in how they play around with the timing and sequence of events they show when they cut it together; there’s no deception, but like a masterful magician they show their skills in the art of misdirection. Other trailer companies, take note, please.

Take a hapless, lovestruck zombie, put him in a story with a racial subtext and there are going to be undeniable parallels drawn between it and the Bard’s tale of star-crossed lovers. And we all know how that one ends…

There are also some spiritual parallels to be drawn which I can’t really get into without going into spoiler territory, so I’ll do all that in another post, suffice to say is it not Love that brings life to our spirits dead in sin?

Go see Warm Bodies.

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