I Watched the World War Z Trailer. I Would Like to Take a Moment to Rage Incoherently.
Posted by Alan Edwards
Side note: yes, I know I’m a week late on The Walking Dead Episode 3. I just finished watching it this morning since I was busy last week. Plus the events of Episode 4 were surprisingly spoiled by close to a dozen people on Facebook within hours of it being shown, leaving me ambivalent for the moment. I’ll get to them. Promise. Here’s a heapin’ helpin’ of rage to tide you over.
World War Z is a book. It’s a zombie book. It was written by Max Brooks, son of Mel, who also wrote The Zombie Survival Guide. Both of them are considered essential reading by zombie aficionados for very good reasons. They are smart, well-written, and funny while treating their subject matter seriously. They are near and dear to my heart, as they are to many. Upon finishing my first zombie novel, The Curse of Troius, my dear friend and sadly passed Carl Spicer declared simply, “I’ve only read one good zombie novel, and that was World War Z.” (Sorry Carl, you know I can’t resist telling people that even though you tried to explain what you meant. It’s too good a line. Miss you, bud.) Max Brooks’ books are the literary equivalent to Romero’s cinematic influences on the entire zombie genre.
What makes World War Z special for me and many others is its story structure. Instead of focusing on a particular protagonist, the story is presented as one-on-one interviews with a wide range of people who were involved in the zombie war that ended ten years prior to the story. This allows the tale of the war to spin out in little vignettes, from its ostensible beginnings in China to its spread throughout the world and eventual conclusion, as told by the eyewitnesses to the events. The different stories highlight bravery and cowardice, self-sacrifice and self-promotion, agony and joy and despair and hope and everything in between. The eyewitnesses are neither good nor bad; they’re people, some more sympathetic than others. Reading through the novel provides the best of both worlds: the epic saga of man’s battle against the shambling hordes of the infected dead as a whole, and the harrowing and humanizing tales of the individuals swept up in it all. It is a remarkable book. If you’ve never read it, buy it here. It will not disappoint.
Z was successful enough to collect the eventual interest of Hollywood, the mangy cur dog that shoves its snout up the anuses of anything that it thinks will make it money. I remember first learning that it had been picked up. I was excited. To see those stories brought to life, the acts of those people involved in the greatest zombie tale ever told – I was elated. With CGI and special effects being so advanced, the horde pouring out of New York City towards the ill-equipped and unprepared soldiers left out to dry and the battle that ensued would surely send chills up my spine. I couldn’t wait.
Then I learned it would be starring Brad Pitt.
In any other story, the casting of a world-famous actor to help build interest and excitement for the movie would make sense. I don’t hate Brad Pitt (well, I didn’t). I love him in Fight Club. And some of his other movies aren’t bad. He’s not my favorite, but it’s not like he’s horrible like the fucking Rock or anything. See, the problem isn’t Pitt – well, it is, but it’s complicated – it’s the fact that there is no place for him in the movie. There is no star to this story. The only character that is involved in every story is the interviewer, who we never see and rarely hear from. Brad Pitt wasn’t going to be a guy sitting across the room from someone who was involved in the war. Nope, Pitt would need to be more. He’s a Star. Stars don’t sit around listening to other people talk. They’re the Heroes, the Movers and Shakers and what-the-fuck-evers that get to be portrayed as more important than any other fucking person. That description fits literally NO ONE in the fucking book at all. There are people who do heroic things, sure, but they aren’t saving the world. The world is FUCKED. It takes pretty much every survivor getting together and cleansing the world of the zombie plague using systematic and careful means. There is no antivirus, no miracle cure, none of that bullshit. Even ten years later, little outbreaks happen as pockets of zombies are found. It’s a long war of attrition. Mankind won. Not one man. So the idea that there would be a star of Pitt’s level attached to it was disheartening, because it signaled that someone would be elevated to a level far above the others.
There was a lot of rumors swirling around production about problems. I ignored them because I don’t give a flying fuck about insider Hollywood bullshit. I want to fucking watch movies, not read articles about fucking script rewrites. The rumors caused a lot of rumors and angst and hand-wringing. I didn’t care. I was apprehensive about the whole fucking thing, I didn’t need to drop a goddamn Duraflame soaked in kerosene onto my own nerdly fires.
Then, today, mere hours ago, I saw that there was a trailer for the movie. I, being dumb, clicked on it. I watched it. And here I am now.
Go ahead, watch for yourself. I’ll wait. It’s 30 seconds long. I’d embed the video but I’d have to pay to upgrade my WordPress subscription to do that and I love you guys and all but not THAT much.
OK, you’ve watched it. Now, if you haven’t read the book yet, reread my synopsis above, then compare it to what you just saw. If you’ve already read the book, then it’ll take you a minute or two until your synapses start to fire again. It’s all good. I’ll wait.
For added fun, read the description for the movie from IMDb:
“A U.N. employee is racing against time and fate, as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic.”
Not just time, but also fate.
OK, I’m going to attempt to be coherent as possible here. I’m not sure where to begin. I’ll start with this:
WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT STEAMING PILE OF FUCKING MAGGOT-RIDDEN DOGSHIT SUPPOSED TO BE? DOES THAT IN ANY FUCKING WAY EVEN REMOTELY FUCKING MATCH THE FUCKING NOVEL THE FUCKING THING IS BASED ON OR DID THE DIRECTOR JUST JERK OFF INTO A FUCKING MIRROR AND USE THE SPATTER TO DETERMINE EXACTLY HOW HE WAS GOING TO SHOWCASE BRAD PITT’S STUPID FUCKING SLACKJAWED HALF-NEANDERTHAL MUG AND I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD IF IT WASN’T ILLEGAL TO MAKE TERRORISTIC THREATS I’D
I’d better calm down. I’ll try again. So, in the trailer, we see Brad Pitt Looking Concerned as a Driver. This is important because it conveys that he is a courteous family man always on the lookout for things that might prevent him from helping his family. Then we see Brad Pitt Looking Concerned Purposefully and Heroically While Panic Ensues Around Him, which indicates that he is a man who makes calm and deliberate decisions at any and all times, especially when he’s sporting a dumb-ass fucking haircut. Then we see gunfire and our first glimpse of zombies. I assumed they were zombies, but they seem awfully fast. This is exactly how they are portrayed in the book, except in the book THEY WERE FUCKING PORTRAYED COMPLETELY THE OPPOSITE. GOD FUCKING DAMNIT WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS FUCKING SHIT ABOUT FAST FUCKING ZOMBIES WHEN THE BOOK EXPLICITLY DEMONSTRATES THE EXACT OPPOSITE FUCKING EFFECT I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD I’M GOING TO
OK, OK, I’m good. Then it’s Brad Pitt Being Dramatic, then Brad Pitt Running, followed by more Brad Pitt Running from a Fast Fucking Zombie. Then it’s just stock MICHAEL BAY SPLOSION type footage for 1.2 seconds, followed by… followed by… you see, what happens next is….
OK. I can’t explain what the fuck is going on here. The zombie hordes – fast zombies, which aren’t zombies at all, because by definition they aren’t fast, it’s like having vampires that drink urine instead of blood, it’s not a fucking vampire then, whatever, anyway – the zombie hordes are moving like a fucking swarm of fucking bees down a stairway in like a circular pattern thing and I have no fucking idea what coke-addled douchecock dickbag piece of shit moron thought of it but it makes no fucking physical sense in any way shape or form. I have to move on.
Next, it’s Brad Pitt Being Earnest With Seriously the Shittiest Fucking Haircut Of All Time Ever, followed by Brad Pitt Kissing Passionately, soldier, Brad Pitt Jumping, Brad Pitt on a Touching Phone Call, Brad Pitt Running, then another stupid fucking scene of the least plausible zombies ever conceived of – seriously, Zombie Strippers has more credibility in this arena – followed by Scared Child and Brad Pitt Looking Desperate In a Crowd and that’s it, that’s the end, the merciful end, until you realize that the actual trailer comes out on Thursday and things will probably get worse.
Seriously, I have no fucking words. Well, besides the 1500 I’ve already written. This movie bears no fucking resemblance whatsoever to the fucking book. Hollywood saw the shiny cover, ripped it off, slapped it on the side of Brad Pitt’s stupid fucking face and seriously awful fucking haircut what is that look supposed to fucking be anyway he looks like a goddamn fucking idiot, threw millions of dollars into pointless effects and tons of marketing, and is now sending it to walk the streets like an undead fucking hooker. God I fucking hate everything about this movie and Brad Pitt and everyone involved and everything they’ve ever done retroactively including their own fucking conception and I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD THAT IF WE DIDN’T LIVE IN A LAND OF LAW AND ORDER I WOULD BUY SIX THOUSAND POUNDS OF THUMBTACKS AND FOUR HUNDRED ALLIGATORS AND DIG A HUGE-ASS PIT AND DUMP EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THIS FUCKING ABOMINATION OF A MOVIE INTO THE PIT WITH EVERYTHING ELSE AND ALL THOSE E.T. ATARI CARTRIDGES AND FILL IT WITH FLAMMABLE TOXIC WASTE AND I WOULD BUILD A TIME MACHINE TO PREVENT MYSELF FROM DOING IT JUST SO I COULD HAVE A CHANCE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN IN AN INFINITE TIME LOOP AND IF THERE WAS A JUST GOD IN HEAVEN THEN ANGELINA JOLIE’S JAW WOULD DISTEND AND FINALLY CONSUME BRAD AND HER MUTANT FUCKING LIPS AND DISAPPEAR IN A CLOUD OF FUCKING BRIMSTONE LIKE THE LIFE-SUCKING PARASITES THEY ARE AND MAYBE AND ONLY MAYBE THEN COULD I HAVE SOME FUCKING PEACE AFTER WATCHING THAT FUCKING TRAINWRECK OF AN ADAPTATION, YOU KNOW WHAT, YOU GUYS CAN ADAPT MY FUCKING BALLS BECAUSE I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD IF I EVER FIND YOU I’M GOING TO
About Alan EdwardsAn indie writer who does accounting full-time on the side. Joyously married with three dogs who are our children. Thankfully surrounded by a large group of friends who are more like family.
Posted on November 6, 2012, in Rantin' and Bitchin', Zombies and tagged Annoying Things, I'm Not Dangerous I Swear, Nerdery, People Are Idiots, RAGE, Reviews, Two Minutes' Hate, Zombies. Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.