Review: Zombieland - Pilot

By: Heather Seebach

Eli Roth's Hemlock Grove is not the only horror series making its internet debut this weekend. The small-screen adaptation of 2009's horror-comedy Zombieland has a pilot episode available to watch right now on Amazon Instant. It is penned by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writers of the original film. And replacing director Ruben Fleischer is none other than Eli Craig, the man behind the stellar horror-comedy Tucker and Dale vs. Evil!

 The actors are new, but the characters are all there - Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock. The series takes place after the film, with the make-shift family still surviving in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-filled world. The pilot episode sees them growing lonely and seeking out new survivors to join their group. 

The show rehashes a few things at first, but that is to be expected of a new show that is not trying to alienate some viewers. There is still lots of funny new material and I expect that will continuously improve as the show goes on. 

The pilot has plenty of foul language and a lot of gore. The latter combines practical and CGI but it's not distracting. One zombie fake-out in particular is really clever and I'd never seen it before. The biggest thing fans of the movie will miss is Woody Harrelson. His replacement, Kirk Ward, just doesn't have the same hero charisma. He comes across more like a buffoon than a badass - a bit Will Ferrell-esque. If the series continues, perhaps he will grow on me but so far I am not sold.

The Zombieland pilot really captures the humor the film, especially a hilarious opening scene that sucks you right in and tells you, "Yep, this is the Zombieland I know and love." In fact, nothing in this episode tops that scene and I truly hope we get to see more of that! 

But anyone who loves the movie will love this pilot episode. All the iconic elements are there - the survival rules, the zombie kill of the week, etc. - and so are a few subtle references to the film. Don't hold your breath for Bill Murray, but if you dug the movie, you will not be disappointed here.

Check out the pilot now on Amazon Instant (free!):

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