I love World War Z. I was properly scared while reading it and the Bear had to put up with me whimpering and gasping "oh nooooo!" while I read, as did a train carriage full of people who probably thought I was mental. It's one of my favourite books and when you know that one of your favourite books is being made into a film, you kind of have to lower your expectations and will pretty much always end up being one of those dickheads that moans about the book being better.
I get that a book like World War Z would be impossible to film without making huge changes and that's fine, but my problem is with the fast zombies in the trailer. The book manages to pull off this growing sense of dread as the world starts to get overrun by the undead, and it's that build-up of terror that proper zombies are all about. Zombies are scary because, yes, they're rotting, moving dead people and that alone is horrible enough, but it's the slow, creeping relentlessness that really scares the pants off me.
Fast zombies like the ones in 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake aren't really zombies at all. They're rabid people infected with a virus, which is fine (although not for them, I suppose) but it does make them a different class of monster. The whole point of zombies is that they're dead. Simon Pegg pretty much nailed what I'm trying to say in a brilliant Guardian piece from a few years ago that he recently tweeted in response to people asking what he thought of the WWZ trailer:
"The speedy zombie seems implausible to me, even within the fantastic realm it inhabits. A biological agent, I'll buy. Some sort of super-virus? Sure, why not. But death? Death is a disability, not a superpower. It's hard to run with a cold, let alone the most debilitating malady of them all."
|HEY ASSHOLES, THIS IS NOT THE ZOMBIE OLYMPICS. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.|
The TV version of The Walking Dead has done a great job of screen zombies, although I did get mad at them in one episode where they seemed to have the dexterity to climb over fences, which was total bullshit. As is the fact that Danny Trejo isn't playing the Governer, but that's besides the point. Aside from the fact that the fast zombie is a pretty big deviation from what the classic zombie is all about, my chances of survival would drop dramatically if I had to outrun the fuckers.
It'll be a shame if the film leaves out the worldwide character plotlines from the book and just shows Brad Pitt running around and saving his family, as that was what made it so enjoyable in the first place. Seeing the ways in which each country dealt with the outbreak, the Battle of Yonkers, Israel's self-quarantine plan, North Korea's population disappearing underground, so we don't know if there's a functioning human city beneath the country or if there's a fuck-ton of shambling Korean zombies down there are all things that added extra layers of delicious detail to the usual people vs. zombies story. Also, seeing as I'm not sold on the film having FAST HOORING ZOMBIES (to quote the lovely Dawn) in the first place, I'm not entirely convinced on the swarming tsunami of CGI zombies climbing up a huge wall and toppling a bus like a wriggly herd of dead bastards either.
I'll still go to see it when it comes out and I'm looking forward to seeing how they tackle the story, but basically what I'm getting at is that fast zombies can go fuck themselves.