The film adaptation of the Isaac Marion “zombie romance” novel, Warm Bodies, releases in theaters February 1st, just in time for Valentine’s Day. From the previews I’ve seen, it appears to be a witty tongue-in-cheek rom-com that fully acknowledges its absurd premise. What’s the premise you ask? Per the production notes provided by Summit Entertainment:
An unlikely romance between a beautiful human teen and a sensitive undead slacker sets off a chain of events with the power to transform the world in Warm Bodies, the hilarious and heartwarming zombie action rom‐com based on the popular novel by Isaac Marion.
It’s a familiar scenario—a mysterious virus has devastated civilization, turning its victims into flesh‐eating monsters without memories of their past lives. What is left of humanity is holed up in heavily fortified bunkers where they live in fear of their former loved ones. But all that changes when a ravenous zombie hunting party crosses paths with a human reconnaissance crew scavenging supplies. R (Nicholas Hoult), a soulful zombie, is so captivated by the lovely and living Julie (Teresa Palmer) that, instead of eating her brains, he saves her from being consumed by his companions.
Taking her back to the zombie‐ridden airport he calls home, R hides Julie in an abandoned 747 filled with treasures he has collected during his hunting expeditions—vinyl records, snow globes, musical instruments and other lost relics of a saner time. Over the next few days in their surprisingly cozy hideaway, the feisty Julie awakens long‐forgotten feelings in R, while she begins to realize there is more to him than a vacant stare and a slow‐motion shuffle.
Confused by her feelings, Julie returns to her walled‐off city where her father (John Malkovich), a ruthless zombie hunter, leads a well‐armed security force. Meanwhile, the lovelorn R has begun to change in ways he never thought possible and believes his connection with Julie could be the salvation of the human race. But when he shows up at her doorstep, it sparks an all‐out war between the living and the undead that threatens to derail the couple’s chance of a future together. A fresh twist on a classic love story, Warm Bodies offers a surprisingly romantic look at the lighter side of the zombie apocalypse—and reminds us what it means to be human.
Personally, I was sold on seeing this film once I saw John Malkovich in the previews. The man is a fine actor with a particularly dry highbrow sense of humor that appeals to me and will certainly add a fine layer to this film. Another selling point, the writer/director of this film, Jonathan Levine, also directed 50/50 with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Seth Rogan in 2011 – which I loved. Although I’m not a zombie freak (yes, I watch and cover The Walking Dead – but it’s a damn good show!) the current obsession with the undead could use some lightness and humor. Watch the extended preview below and be sure to look out for my Warm Bodies review after its release the first weekend of February.