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I’m not sure where to begin. I both read the book and watched the film and had two different experiences. The movie was a campy, loose, pg-13 extravaganza, with a happy ending. The book was a journey of self awareness and accreditation that was much darker in overall tone, with splices of humor mixed in.

In the movie you’ve got R, a zombie, who falls in love with Julie, a living person, and through the consumption of Julie’s boyfriend’s brain becomes closer to her which triggers a “change” in him that is primarily physical in nature; whereas in the book the change is much deeper and isn’t solely dependent upon Julie as a focal point.

I’m one of those people. You know the ones. The snobs, the elitists, the fanboys; who, when they know the source material, are super critical of any adaptations. I don’t mean to be. It isn’t that I think there is some kind of holy pact one enters when they decide to bring to life literary characters; I just have a vision in my mind of the way things are supposed to be when I read them. Luckily for this film I saw it first before I read the book, otherwise I would have experienced several WTF?! moments.

Don’t get me wrong. The film is good in my opinion. Not super stellar, but it is great piece of fun to watch if not just for the hilariously dedicated zombie run of Nicholas Hoult. But to put it in perspective for you, the book has prostitution, zombie sex, pornography, alcoholism, suicide, and everyone doesn’t live happily ever after. There is hope mind you, but it embraces the difficulty of the road ahead.

I call this the one the ugly, because in my mind I kept picturing sexual activity with a zombie and that is just nasty. Just like sex with a vampire is nasty. Yeah, I’m talking to you Twihards. Edward is dead and that shit is disgusting. I have a problem even thinking about Lestat doing the deed, and I actually love him as far as fictional vampires go. Necrophilia is a disease and it is not cute, even if you do sparkle like diamonds in the sunshine.

I do have one issue with the film and I said I wouldn’t write about it, but screw it, this is my blog. The character of Nora is Julie’s best friend. In the film she is played by the awkwardly beautiful Analeigh Tipton. I loved her in Crazy, Stupid, Love; but Nora is supposed to be of African descent. Her skin is characterized as coffee brown, with the author going out of his way to mention the half-Ethiopian heritage of the character.

When the author, Isaac Marion, was questioned about the casting choice he had absolutely no problem with it.

“I was consulted in the early stages of the process, and may have helped narrow down the list a little. I’m not sure what would have happened if I seriously objected to any of their casting, but luckily, I didn’t. I love the cast. They paid more attention to the actor’s personalities than their physical appearances, and I think that was the right choice. Personality is what matters in a character, not superficial indicators like height or hairstyle or even skin color, and the personalities of the cast all fit beautifully.” –Warm Bodies author Isaac Marion

And that is when I had my first WTF?! moment. Look I’m not racially or socially sensitive, but how asinine does it get honestly? “Pay more attention to the character’s personality?” Are you for real? The character of Nora is barely an entity in the book and even less so in the movie. Are you telling me they found no actresses of color to hide under a desk and look worried. To put makeup on a zombie corpse. To hold a gun up to someone’s head. None whatsoever could encapsulate the personality of a young half African female for 10 minutes of dialogue? I call bullshit.

That will conclude this edition of Zomnibus. I have a lot more zombtastic materials just waiting for me to peruse, but I think I’ll take a break from it for now. My garage door came back up after I let it down the other night, and I was convinced that Bicycle Girl had crawled under in time to trip the sensor and was hiding under my car.

J.R.H.

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