Okay… I want to stress that watching this movie was a fucking chore for me. Not so much for the movie itself. But because, due to my busy schedule, I was unable to get to the movies before it went out of theaters so in order for me to watch the damn thing, I had to watch a bootlegged Spanish version of the movie and then find a transcript of the movie on the internet. The lengths that I went to get this fucking thing are absolutely mind boggling. The fact that this movie did very little for me didn’t help either. I will stress that this may be because I had to watch a bootlegged spanish version on the internet has something to do with it. But ultimately, even if this was in pristine HD English, I feel I would have still walked away with a similar experience.
You see… I’m just not a big fan of Seth Grahame Smith, his writing, or his stories. I find both Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter to be little more than eye catching stories that are fun merely through novelty. While I do admit that I have not read the book, I did watch Dark Shadows and the movie version of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and what I got from both of those is that the script was utter garbage. Luckily, the producers behind this movie realized this and got Burr Steers (who I swear to god is probably a male stripper from Reno) to handle the screen writing. Ultimately, I was happy to see that P&P&Z was more than just garter belt wearing women slaughtering zombies. But what I got was still a slightly satisfying watch.
The plot of this movie is… Well… It is Pride & Prejudice. Anyone who took an English class in high school knows what I’m talking about… Only this time it is with zombies. What more do you want from me?… Okay, okay… I’ll give it to you. You see in this version of the Jane Austen novel, the USA has fallen under the boot of the undead zombie hordes and the vestiges of humanity remain closed off from the undead world. Colonel Darcy (Sam Riley) travels to the home of a wealthy man in the hopes of seeing a zombie. After they dispense of the zombies in grand fashion, we get a story of the Bennett Sisters who have been sent to China to learn the art of martial arts and the two coalesce at a party thrown by the Bingley Family. As you would expect, things don’t exactly go as planned as zombie raid the place as zombies tend to do. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett (Lily James) become smitten with one another after seeing the two in battle. The movie then follows are protagonists through a bloody retelling of the famous Jane Austen book.
The Action and Effects are Great
The director of this movie, also writer Burr Steers (greatest name ever), he does know how to film an action movie and a zombie movie. I do wonder how many people he had to blow at the MPAA to get this video to a PG13 and not a R, but that is beside the point. While he does use CGI effects for his gore, which always irritates the shit out of me, I will at least admit that the effects do look good. They look grotesque and the zombies have an intimidating look to them. The ‘style’ of zombies that this movie has is a little weird, to say the least, with them hiding until it is time to attack. But regardless of their physiology, they have a strong look.
The action itself looks great as well. Each of the fight scenes are well choreographed and the Bennett Sisters kick massive amounts of ass in this film. To be sure, the technical aspects of this film are on point.
If You are Into This Sort of Thing, You’ll Love It
I’ll get into the negative aspects of this in the con section but this also does play to the movies advantage. This movie is most certainly a ‘niche’ type of movie. If you are a fan of zombie movies, if you like the Jane Austen book, and if you like the tongue in cheek blend of the two then this is the type of movie for you.
This is certainly a genre that has a hardcore and loving fan base to it. The genre itself is loaded with a type of classical satire. It is almost like sticking it to your high school English teacher who just hated the fact that you read zombie books all day while trying to force yourself through other classic pieces like The Canterbury Tales. So an apathetic youth takes those cherished classics AND SHOVES ZOMBIES IN THEM MOTHERFUCKERS! I get the appeal of it and it is easy to see why anyone who is into that kind of genre can get behind it.
If You are NOT Into This Sort of Thing, It is Painfully Boring
So I’ll be honest… I’m just not a big fan of the book Pride and Prejudice. It is a good story, it is a classic, and I can see why other people like it. But I didn’t click with it in my high school English class and I didn’t click with it during this movie either. The story is, at its heart, Pride and Prejudice if you just stuck zombies into the equation. I can understand why people would love this… But if you are someone like me and I’m certain that there are others like me in the world, the idea of P&P&Z just won’t do anything for you.
Past the premise of a Jane Austen book with zombies, this movie isn’t that interesting. It is a very niche type of movie. If you are the kind of person who is a DIE HARD zombie movie fan that has not been disenfranchised by the over-saturation of the genre and if you are the kind of person who likes Jane Austen and wants to see a twist to it, you will like this movie. But if you are not one of those people, this movie is going to feel somewhat generic and boring. I’m not even the kind of guy who enjoys zombie movies that occur before the 1900’s. If you do not fit into one of those two genres… Then this movie just won’t do it for you and it is best that you probably skip it.
As simple as I can put it, if you were someone who was looking forward to this movie then you should see it or pick it up on Blu Ray/DVD. If you were not the hugest fan of the book or if you had a passive curiousness about the movie, I would stay away.
The movie is good. But that is about as much as I can say about it. It didn’t leave an impression on me and it will be a movie that I will quickly forget about as more of the 2016 movies begin to make their way onto Tanner Reviews.
Final Score 2.5/5
Thank you for reading and please like and subscribe for more. That also does it for Cheesy Romance Month! It has been a wild ride guys and I look forward to round 4 next year!