He’s Still Dead, But He’s Getting Warmer!
Warm Bodies – The Delightfully Soul-Stirring Zombie Romance Movie That Created its Very Own Genre!
“R – I don’t wanna be this way. I’m lonely. I’m totally lost. I mean, I’m literally lost. I’ve never been in this part of the airport before.”
Chances are you’ve never come across a movie with the words “Zombie” and “Romance” in the synopsis. But then again, it’s unlikely you’ll have ever heard of a movie quite like Warm Bodies – a real genre-buster that took Hollywood and the world by storm! It might sound like a bit of an odd concept, but take the time to check it out and you’ll find yourself taking a new and enriched look at the power of human emotions and connections like never before!
“R – I wish I could introduce myself, but I don’t remember my name anymore. I mean, I think it started with an ‘r’ but that’s all I have left. I can’t remember my name, or my parents, or my job… although my hoodie would suggest I was unemployed.”
Based on the best-selling book by Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies first hit the big screen back in 2013 and was largely described as a ‘Zombie Romance’ – the first time critics had ever come across the term. Originally, the book itself was no more than a short story with the slightly less catchy title of “I Am A Zombie Filled With Love” which might not have the same ring to it but does a good job of explaining what it’s about. In any case, it was given the green-light to be made into a movie back in 2010 and the rest is history. Call it an ultra-modern taken on Romeo and Juliet or a weird and wonderful rom-com with no real comparable counterpart, nobody saw Warm Bodies coming or predicted how game-changing it would be.
“R – Even though we can’t communicate, we do share a similar taste in food. Traveling in packs just kind of makes sense. Especially when everyone and their grandmother is trying to shoot you in the head all the time.”
As for the plotline, the world as a whole is facing dark days to say the leas and the human race is largely living as a rather unpleasant zombie hoard. There is one exception to the rule however in the form of R – the rather more thoughtful and self-aware zombie played quite brilliantly by Nicholas Hoult. While going about his daily business of eating human flesh and general fighting with his brethren, he comes across a not-so zombified girl by the name of Julie – aka Teresa Palmer. For some reason he can’t quite put his finger on, he feels compelled to protect her and the two strike up the most unusual of bonds the Earth has ever seen.
What follows is the story of the unique and undeniable charming relationship that the two share, which focuses largely on R once again discovering his human side and embracing real human emotion. Of course, the fact that this a couple formed of a zombie and a human girl presents all manner of problems…often hilarious…not to mention the worry of the partnership having any real future.
And if all this wasn’t enough, there’s also the ever-present threat of the Bonies to fight off – the fierce and gruesome zombies that are out to get both what’s left of the human race and the more peaceful zombie population.
Is it really possible for R and Julie to maintain a relationship while fighting for survival and hoping to build a better world for everyone?
Well…let’s just say on all accounts they’re in for a bumpy ride!
Reviews and Reception
“R – Why can’t I connect with people? Oh, right, it’s because I’m dead. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I mean, we’re all dead. This girl is dead. That guy is dead. That guy in the corner is definitely dead. Jesus these guys look awful.”
It’s not often a movie comes along and wins unanimous praise from the critics. And that goes double when you’re talking about a movie genre that’s never, ever been tried out before! Let’s not forget here we’re still looking at a Zombie Romance which by its very definition is going to split the field right down the middle.
Or at least, that’s what you’d think, but somehow Warm Bodies managed to achieve the impossible and draw in rave reviews from all sides.
Here’s what the UK’s Guardian newspaper had to say about it:
“Warm Bodies is smart, entertaining, with some nice writing, although it fudges what Simon Pegg has described as a key zombie issue: whether or not they are allowed to run. Zombie-ism in the movies is traditionally inspected for metaphorical qualities. Here it could simply be that we males are emotionally dead … until love revives us.”
And as for Roger Ebert who’s not exactly known for mincing his words, he seemed pretty won over too:
“I kinda love this movie. “Warm Bodies” is a well-paced, nicely directed, post-apocalyptic love story with a terrific sense of humor and the, um, guts to be unabashedly romantic and unapologetically optimistic. A lot of zombie movies have heart — but usually the heart ends up on someone’s plate. Cheers to “Warm Bodies” for taking us in a different direction for a change.”
Last but not least, Empire gave Warm Bodies a big thumbs-up:
“Somewhere between the pop-culture deconstruction of Zombieland and the skewed romance of (500) Days Of Summer, this manages to make the apocalypse seem charming. Warm is the right word.”
Warm Bodies Trivia
“R – What am I doing with my life? I’m so pale. I should get out more. I should eat better. My posture is terrible. I should stand up straighter. People would respect me more if I stood up straighter. What’s wrong with me? I just want to connect.”
Fancy a few facts to chew on? Well, the good news is there’s more to Warm Bodies than meets the eyes in one or two ways, so feast your eyes on these little beauties!
For example, did you know that the whole Romeo and Juliet concept goes a lot deeper than the whole star-crossed lovers element? Think about it – Romeo = R, Juliet = Julie, Marcus = Mercutio…starting to get the idea? And of course, the scene in which Julie is talking to R from her balcony is a direct nod to eh famous balcony scene of Shakespeare’s romance epic!
It’s also interesting to note that when the production team first went about casting, they were looking for an Egyptian-looking female to fill the role of Nora. They changed their minds at the last minute and that’s how Analeigh Tipton got the part!
And just in case you were wondering, yes it was very VERY difficult for the zombie actors to keep their eyes open without blinking for long periods of time! It was the actors themselves that decided it was important to do so, which for Nicholas Hoult meant sometimes painfully long periods of dry eyes due to his starring role. Still, dry red eyes only added to the effect!
Warm Bodies 2 – A Sequel on the Cards?
“R – So much for dreaming. You can’t be whatever you want. All I’ll ever be is a slow, pale, hunched-over, dead-eyed zombie. What did I think was gonna happen? That she’d actually want to stay with me? It’s hopeless. This is what I get for wanting more. I should just be happy with what I had.”
If you’re a big fan of the movie…which of course you are…then chances are you might have heard chatter of a sequel on the cards. So what’s the truth – is Warm Bodies 2 alive and kicking or dead and a double-killed zombie?
Well, the good news is that there is for sure another Warm Bodies book in the pipeline and some of the cast have spoken about the possibility of a sequel. Nicholas Hoult for example sounded more than up for the idea when interviewed as the Sundance Film Festival.
“I’m not sure, it’s difficult to say. Obviously we had a great time making the first one, it was a lot of fun, and I loved that character, and it got received well…. But there’s no definite plans at the moment. If a good story came along that it made sense to make, then maybe”.
And there you have it – a glimmer of hope but a heck of a lot better than no hope at all, right?