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The Zombie Comedy Killing It On Netflix Right Now

Zombies! As a culture, we can't get enough of stories about the flesh-eating undead. We live in a world with a new take on the zombie apocalypse just about every year since "28 Days Later" arrived in 2002. "The Walking Dead" is still alive, ironically, and it's an important franchise to AMC, with one spin-off still airing and several TV movies on the way.  After almost 20 years, we haven't gotten tired of reanimated corpses.

One of the biggest zombie movies in recent memory is slowly shambling toward a release date on Netflix. Zack Snyder's "Army of the Dead" releases later this month, and it's a long-awaited follow-up to Snyder's 2004 "Dawn of the Dead," itself a remake of the 1978 George Romero classic. If you're having trouble waiting until then, there's another zombie film from last decade that's currently devouring Netflix. This horror comedy was a big hit in 2009, and it's currently the #9 movie on the streaming platform within the United States.

'Zombieland' is a totally fun zomcom

"Zombieland" is set in a version of America several months into the undead apocalypse. A mutant version of mad cow disease has turned almost everyone into an undead cannibal, and survivors are finding their own ways to get by. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a neurotic college student, follows a series of rules he's devised, which flash on screen in text form when they occur in the story. The way the rules pop up in "Zombieland" gives it a distinctive visual identity that has helped the film retain a longer shelf life than many of its peers.

Crude redneck Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is brutal with his zombie-killing methods and tries to enjoy the little things that feel good for a fleeting moment, like eating a Twinkie. The cunning Wichita (Emma Stone) and her younger sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) are bandits who pull a sob story routine to trick unsuspecting travelers into handing over their supplies. After some false starts that involve armed robbery and kidnapping, the four of them start traveling across the country together in search of a place without zombies, learning what it means to be part of a family.

The movie was a smash hit with critics and audiences

"Zombieland" is the directorial debut of Ruben Fleisher, who went on to direct "Venom" and the upcoming "Uncharted" adaptation, as well as the 2019 sequel "Zombieland: Double Tap." The screenplay is by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who went on to write the "Deadpool" movies. It made about $100 million against a budget of less than $25 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

The film was very well-received by critics, and has a 89% "Fresh" critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 86% audience score. Reviewers praised its witty script, exciting action, and fun performances from its talented cast. Everyone loves its secret celebrity cameo, too, and if you've managed to go 12 years without finding out who it is, we're not about to ruin it for you. You'll never see it coming.

Zombie movies aren't dead, and "Zombieland" is still as much fun as it was when it came out. It has gut-busting comedy, well-executed zombie action, a killer heavy metal soundtrack (including a great use of Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls"), and even a little bit of heart. It's a tasty treat for people who like movies about biters.