Zombieland Premieres at Fantastic Fest
September 30, 2009 |
By Dani Dudek

Align Center Woody Harrelson talks to the Independent Film Channel.

The best part of the Zombieland world premiere at the Paramount Theater came after the film ended. As part of Fantastic Fest, stars Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and director Ruben Fleischer hit the stage to answer questions from avid zombie fans.

I’ve got to tell you, Jesse Eisenberg may be the poor man’s Michael Cera (at least that’s how my friend Holly refers to him) but not for long.

That kid is a hoot and he’s destined to become a name in his own right. You know who else is a hoot? Bill Murray! He has a supporting role in the film (which includes a scene where he and Woody go ghost busting) and I was hysterically laughing because I had just posted my blog that referenced Viggo and the Ghostbusters. Even funnier yet, when I got home from the movie…GHOSTBUSTERS was on!
Anyway, when an audience member asked, “Why Bill??” Ruben answered, “Because he said yes.” Apparently, they had approached a few people about the role and Bill wasn’t asked by pal Woody until a mere 48 hours before shooting began.

On that note, it’s not surprising that much of the movie was improv. It’s especially not surprising after watching Woody and Jesse interact.

The movie begins in Austin and Ruben stated that there’s no better place to do a film than Austin, Texas. Unfortunately, due to monetary budgets, the majority of the film was shot in Georgia. There are references to both Austin and Garland, TX, in the film prompting one audience member to ask if it was an homage to King of the Hill. No, it was not.

On the subject of homages, there’s quite the homage to the Twinkie. Why Twinkie? Because they are a symbol of a simpler time. Snowballs just don’t cut it. When you see the movie, you will understand. It’s not the taste, it’s the consistency.

Someone asked if Hostess paid for the product endorsement. They did not. They did, however, have to grant permission and apparently had concerns about how the product was represented in the film, even nixing one scene for fear it was too defamatory of the Twinkie. And though Woody is seen devouring a Twinkie at one point, it wasn’t actually a Twinkie he was eating. Multiple fake Twinkies were made to accommodate his all natural diet choices.

Well, I guess that’s enough insider info. I don’t want to reveal all the movie’s secrets and surprises. If you want to discuss after you view, please email or tweet me.

As for a “review” of the film…if you like camp, if you like Shaun of the Dead, if you like Ghostbusters, you will like this movie. You may even love it.

I did.



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