The United States of ‘Zombieland’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

The zombie comedy was hardly fresh territory when Zombieland (2009) came along (and really, will anyone top Shaun of the Dead?) but it nonetheless does a fine job of mining the humor inherent in the end of the world.

Jesse Eisenberg is the loner college geek who finds that his obsessive-compulsive instincts are just what he needs to survive a world gone walking dead. He puts together his simple rules for survival and goes off in search of… what, we’re not really sure, but he’s happy to discover another warm body when the gun-toting Woody Harrelson comes careening down the wreck-filled highway and gives him a lift. This redneck madman takes a more devil-may-care approach (zombie-bashing as sport) while Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, a cagey pair they find in a supermarket stop, have simply adapted their mercenary skills to life after people.

Think of Zombieland (as in “We are now the United States of Zombieland”) as I Am Legend as a road movie comedy. First-time feature director Ruben Fleischer moves it along with decent momentum while punctuating the sardonic humor with cheeky graphics that flash and crash on screen, and he certainly doesn’t skimp on the splatter or the sport. But it’s a character piece at heart and these oddballs discover that, emotional baggage and survival scars aside, there’s something to be said for human companionship in a world where every other living thing wants to eat you.

And if that’s enough, there’s a terrific appearance by Bill Murray.

Rated R

On Blu-ray and DVD and on SVOD through Amazon Video, iTunes, GooglePlay, Fandango, Vudu and/or other services. Availability may vary by service.
Zombieland [Blu-ray]
Zombieland [DVD]

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Actors Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg get front billing on the group commentary track but they generally defer to director Ruben Fleischer and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. There’s a good camaraderie to this crew, who keep it entertaining while keeping it focused on the film. Also includes the featurettes “In Search of Zombieland” (a conventional making-of) and “Zombieland is Your Land” (on the production design) and seven deleted scenes. Exclusive to the Blu-ray is the “Beyond the Graveyard” picture-in-picture track, which runs storyboards and production footage to fill time between the sporadic interview sequences, plus BD-Live movieIQ and a digital copy of the film for portable media players.

http://streamondemandathome.com

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

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