I am planning on seeing World War Z this weekend. I’m a big fan of the book but don’t expect the movie to resemble the book in any way. I’m not one of those people who judge movies by their books. I watch them and judge them separately. I mean how can a movie compare with the unlimited budget of my imagination; I can cast anyone and the special effects are always spectacular. No, for me a movie stands on it’s own merits and while I may discuss with someone what was cut out, and how I believe that changes a characters agency, I don’t consider books sacred texts.
That said, World War Z reminds me of those 80s direct-to-video movies that were given the name of a series, even though they had nothing to do with the series.
No Retreat, No Surrender was a movie about a guy who learns martial arts from the ghost of Bruce Lee.
No Retreat, No Surrender 2 doesn’t star any of the actors and is about a guy rescuing his kidnapped girlfriend.
They share a name and nothing else. Sound familiar?
World War Z was a book written in a documentary style about the Zombie Apocalypse. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the preview doesn’t scream “oral history of the zombie apocalypse”.
So I’ve decided that when I go watch the film I’m going to assume this movie came from the Dark Mirror Universe first theorized about in Star Trek.
You see in the Dark Mirror Universe (DMU) Max Brooks’ World War Z was a zombie book done in the para-military thriller style. In the DMU zombies first became popular due to the mega blockbuster film Night of the Living Dead which featured extremely fast moving zombies that were capable of parkour and kung fu. These zombies moved so fast that there was a Flash comic that pitted the speedster against the zombies, to which Flash lost and was devoured. This was catalyst for their Crisis on Infinite Earths.
You see, I think what happened was a couple years ago a rift opened between our universes and their movie ended up here (The World War Z that premieres Friday here is a faithful adaptation of their book and was filmed by Academy Award Winner – in the DMU – Brett Ratner) and because the government feared what would happen if people found out about the DMU everyone was sworn to secrecy (obviously it’s the DMU’s government that is keeping the secret, our government can’t keep a secret to save it’s life).
The movie that was supposed to come out in our universe is a beautiful film that mixes traditional cinema with a documentary and found footage style. It’s a masterpiece of modern horror film making that does for zombie films what the Dark Knight did for Superhero Movies.
However, in the DMU the movie is being roundly criticized for using slow moving zombies that were first made popular (in the DMU) in the remake of Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later (which in the DMU is also, rightly, considered an “outbreak” movie).
As one youtube reviewer from the DMU posted, “C’mon slow moving zombies! EVERYONE knows that zombies are free runners that you have no hope of escaping! Also, WHY ISN’T ANYONE USING A PLASMA RIFLE! YOU CAN BUY THOSE AT TARGET!”
So this Friday I will enjoy the movie in the proper context: as a glimpse into the alternate dimension. Because that is the only place where this film is in anyway related to World War Z.
I hope it’s good.