It’s that time of year again! Time to celebrate the Resurrection with a weeklong plunge into all things zombie! Here’s the history: In 2008, Dr. Girlfriend and I decided to spend a week or so each year marathoning through zombie films that we’d never seen before and I would blog short reviews. And simple as that, the Easter Zombie Movie Marathon was born. For the curious, here are links to 2008, 2009 (a bad year), 2010, 2011, 2012 (when we left the blog behind), 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Writer/director Burr Steers adapts a work of classic literature… no, wait. He adapts a zombie adaptation of a classic work of literature as 19th Century romance goes head to head with the walking dead in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! I have a confession to make. Even though I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English Literature, and am technically ABD (all-but-dissertation) for a Ph.D., I have never read Pride and Prejudice. I worked a crooked line through my college reading and graduate education, focusing on the things I enjoyed rather than the things to which I should have been exposing myself. Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813 and tells the tale of Elizabeth Bennet’s education in the errors of hasty judgments and appreciation of the difference between the superficial and the essential (thanks, Wikipedia!). It is one of the most beloved and popular novels in English literature and has been adapted into just about every medium imaginable. And I’ve avoided them all. The 19th Century literature I’ve always been more entranced by was the later years, closer to the turn of the 20th Century. Stephen Crane and Dostoevsky were my interests. Before that, specifically from the time period that Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice, there was Shelley’s Frankenstein and Goethe’s Faust and, of course, a decade or so earlier we had Blake and de Sade. So, needless to say, I’m approaching Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at a bit of a disadvantage, especially as I never read Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 zombie mashup either (nor his Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, although I did see and enjoy that movie). I guess I was just feeling too snooty to read them (and too jealous that I didn’t think of the ideas first). Anyway, that means I’m coming at this film, solely as a fan of zombie cinema rather than as an English major, and as such… eh, it’s not bad. I may have been spoiled watching this after Train to Busan and The Girl with All the Gifts, but then again, maybe not. It’s a quality production and brings an interesting and unique concept to the idea of a zombie apocalypse, although there are a few moments where the mythology becomes a bit metaphysical without any real follow-through in the narrative. The story still follows Elizabeth Bennet’s (Lily James) education and realization that not everyone is who they appear to be on the surface, as she discovers that the seemingly noble George Wickham (Jack Huston) and the seemingly deplorable Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) are actually the opposites of her initial impressions. Add to that the idea that zombies, when infected only go full feral once they acquire a taste for human brains and through the power of their Christian faith (and heaping helpings of pig brains), while they are still disgusting undead monsters, they’re not all bad. But when it comes down to war between the living and the dead, the film knows where it’s bread is buttered and our romantic heroes ultimately come out on top and the film ends with a romantic double wedding — only to be interrupted by an approaching zombie horde! Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 2, anyone? Lily James is charming as Elizabeth, though her sisters aren’t really given enough attention to create any sense of who they really are. And while Huston’s Wickham and Riley’s Darcy make good opponents in the ideological battle between the living and the dead, neither actor is really given much to work with beyond some iconic – almost stereotypical – broad strokes representations of their characters. There is a nicely staged sword fight between the two that I was impressed with, though. Matt Smith appears in a smaller role as Parson Collins and is a delight. He’s the only performer who is allowed to have fun with their role, playing the love-struck parson in extremely broad and sometimes hilarious strokes. I think the film could have done with more of this approach. Ultimately, I didn’t really feel that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies really brought all that much to the table beyond the novelty of its source material. However, if you’re one of the vast multitudes who love Jane Austen’s novel and at the same time, has a hankering experimenting with zombie-killing action, this might be your perfect introduction to the genre. Hell, if you ever needed proof that zombies are mainstream, this film should give you all the ammunition you need. See larger image Pride + Prejudice + Zombies [Blu-ray] A zombie outbreak has fallen upon the land in this reimagining of Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England. Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) is a master of martial arts and weaponry and the handsome Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) is a fierce zombie killer, yet the epitome of upper class prejudice. As the zombie outbreak intensifies, they must swallow their pride and join forces on the blood-soaked battlefield in order to conquer the undead once and for all. 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