Why the 'Zombieland' TV Show Bit Off More Than It Can Chew
Here's a little factoid about the movie Zombieland: The two guys who wrote the script originally planned it to be a TV show. It was deemed too expensive for television, but the budget was just right for a movie. Thanks to Amazon.com and its Amazon Originals streaming service, Zombieland is a show again. You can watch it right now.
If you've watched it, this was probably the thought running through your head: "How did we go from such a great movie to ... this?"
Hey, uh, buddy? That shotgun is pointing right at your girlfriend's head.
Say what you will about the writing, and put aside the fact that all of the characters have been recast from their Hollywood originals to much cheaper (read: less talented) alternatives. The major problem with Zombieland: The Series stems from its pathetic budget.
Although really, the casting is godawful.
Everything -- the sad state of the zombie makeup, the piss-poor sound effects, the CGI blood spurts that look like they were MSPainted in -- looks like it was funded not from the deep pockets of the mega-corporation that is Amazon.com, but from mostly depleted Amazon gift cards a crew member won at a raffle.
For comparison, here's the zombie makeup from the movie:
And here's one from the Amazon pilot:
He looks like some sort of Star Trek alien from the planet Herpex.
And just for fun, let's add in a picture of Bill Murray from the movie:
The zombie makeup Bill Murray wears in the movie when he pretends to be a zombie is better than the zombie makeup for the actual zombies in the show, who just look like people who are really sloppy when they eat Beefaroni.
The real nail in the coffin comes when you compare the image of the show's zombie to an image taken from the trailer for Birdemic 2: The Resurrection showing a guy with a similar open wound:
If something you're working on in any way compares to the quality of Birdemic, that thing should be burned, salted, and started over.
The pilot was written by the guys who wrote the original Zombieland movie. They've been trying to get something, anything -- a sequel, a show -- off the ground since before the release of the movie. If they wanted to continue the story so badly, why didn't they just Kickstart this bitch? The Kickstarter for the Veronica Mars movie shattered every Kickstarter record on the books, and that was for a movie based on a show that was canceled six years ago because no one watched it. Zombieland is the second highest grossing zombie movie ever, right behind Hotel Transylvania, which barely qualifies as a zombie movie. It's got fans, and it made an impact on pop culture. There has to be someone out there who could throw money at this thing so it can be done properly.
Hell, a Kickstarter titled "Woody Harrelson in cowboy gear shooting stuff" would have made enough money to fund this baby.
As it stands now, though, Zombieland: The Series would be impressive if it were an independently produced fan film on YouTube and not something funded by a company whose stock currently trades in the neighborhood of $260 per share.
Then again, maybe this is what happens when the store you get your dildos and cookbooks from tries to make TV shows.
"What do you mean, 'not in our wheelhouse'? We sell televisions!"