I Watched the World War Z Trailer. I Would Like to Take a Moment to Rage Incoherently.
Posted by Alan Edwards
Side note: yes, I know I’m a week late on The Walking Dead Episode 3. I just finished watching it this morning since I was busy last week. Plus the events of Episode 4 were surprisingly spoiled by close to a dozen people on Facebook within hours of it being shown, leaving me ambivalent for the moment. I’ll get to them. Promise. Here’s a heapin’ helpin’ of rage to tide you over.
World War Z is a book. It’s a zombie book. It was written by Max Brooks, son of Mel, who also wrote The Zombie Survival Guide. Both of them are considered essential reading by zombie aficionados for very good reasons. They are smart, well-written, and funny while treating their subject matter seriously. They are near and dear to my heart, as they are to many. Upon finishing my first zombie novel, The Curse of Troius, my dear friend and sadly passed Carl Spicer declared simply, “I’ve only read one good zombie novel, and that was World War Z.” (Sorry Carl, you know I can’t resist telling people that even though you tried to explain what you meant. It’s too good a line. Miss you, bud.) Max Brooks’ books are the literary equivalent to Romero’s cinematic influences on the entire zombie genre.
What makes World War Z special for me and many others is its story structure. Instead of focusing on a particular protagonist, the story is presented as one-on-one interviews with a wide range of people who were involved in the zombie war that ended ten years prior to the story. This allows the tale of the war to spin out in little vignettes, from its ostensible beginnings in China to its spread throughout the world and eventual conclusion, as told by the eyewitnesses to the events. The different stories highlight bravery and cowardice, self-sacrifice and self-promotion, agony and joy and despair and hope and everything in between. The eyewitnesses are neither good nor bad; they’re people, some more sympathetic than others. Reading through the novel provides the best of both worlds: the epic saga of man’s battle against the shambling hordes of the infected dead as a whole, and the harrowing and humanizing tales of the individuals swept up in it all. It is a remarkable book. If you’ve never read it, buy it here. It will not disappoint.
Z was successful enough to collect the eventual interest of Hollywood, the mangy cur dog that shoves its snout up the anuses of anything that it thinks will make it money. I remember first learning that it had been picked up. I was excited. To see those stories brought to life, the acts of those people involved in the greatest zombie tale ever told – I was elated. With CGI and special effects being so advanced, the horde pouring out of New York City towards the ill-equipped and unprepared soldiers left out to dry and the battle that ensued would surely send chills up my spine. I couldn’t wait.
Then I learned it would be starring Brad Pitt.
In any other story, the casting of a world-famous actor to help build interest and excitement for the movie would make sense. I don’t hate Brad Pitt (well, I didn’t). I love him in Fight Club. And some of his other movies aren’t bad. He’s not my favorite, but it’s not like he’s horrible like the fucking Rock or anything. See, the problem isn’t Pitt – well, it is, but it’s complicated – it’s the fact that there is no place for him in the movie. There is no star to this story. The only character that is involved in every story is the interviewer, who we never see and rarely hear from. Brad Pitt wasn’t going to be a guy sitting across the room from someone who was involved in the war. Nope, Pitt would need to be more. He’s a Star. Stars don’t sit around listening to other people talk. They’re the Heroes, the Movers and Shakers and what-the-fuck-evers that get to be portrayed as more important than any other fucking person. That description fits literally NO ONE in the fucking book at all. There are people who do heroic things, sure, but they aren’t saving the world. The world is FUCKED. It takes pretty much every survivor getting together and cleansing the world of the zombie plague using systematic and careful means. There is no antivirus, no miracle cure, none of that bullshit. Even ten years later, little outbreaks happen as pockets of zombies are found. It’s a long war of attrition. Mankind won. Not one man. So the idea that there would be a star of Pitt’s level attached to it was disheartening, because it signaled that someone would be elevated to a level far above the others.
There was a lot of rumors swirling around production about problems. I ignored them because I don’t give a flying fuck about insider Hollywood bullshit. I want to fucking watch movies, not read articles about fucking script rewrites. The rumors caused a lot of rumors and angst and hand-wringing. I didn’t care. I was apprehensive about the whole fucking thing, I didn’t need to drop a goddamn Duraflame soaked in kerosene onto my own nerdly fires.
Then, today, mere hours ago, I saw that there was a trailer for the movie. I, being dumb, clicked on it. I watched it. And here I am now.
Go ahead, watch for yourself. I’ll wait. It’s 30 seconds long. I’d embed the video but I’d have to pay to upgrade my WordPress subscription to do that and I love you guys and all but not THAT much.
OK, you’ve watched it. Now, if you haven’t read the book yet, reread my synopsis above, then compare it to what you just saw. If you’ve already read the book, then it’ll take you a minute or two until your synapses start to fire again. It’s all good. I’ll wait.
For added fun, read the description for the movie from IMDb:
“A U.N. employee is racing against time and fate, as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic.”
Not just time, but also fate.
OK, I’m going to attempt to be coherent as possible here. I’m not sure where to begin. I’ll start with this:
WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT STEAMING PILE OF FUCKING MAGGOT-RIDDEN DOGSHIT SUPPOSED TO BE? DOES THAT IN ANY FUCKING WAY EVEN REMOTELY FUCKING MATCH THE FUCKING NOVEL THE FUCKING THING IS BASED ON OR DID THE DIRECTOR JUST JERK OFF INTO A FUCKING MIRROR AND USE THE SPATTER TO DETERMINE EXACTLY HOW HE WAS GOING TO SHOWCASE BRAD PITT’S STUPID FUCKING SLACKJAWED HALF-NEANDERTHAL MUG AND I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD IF IT WASN’T ILLEGAL TO MAKE TERRORISTIC THREATS I’D
I’d better calm down. I’ll try again. So, in the trailer, we see Brad Pitt Looking Concerned as a Driver. This is important because it conveys that he is a courteous family man always on the lookout for things that might prevent him from helping his family. Then we see Brad Pitt Looking Concerned Purposefully and Heroically While Panic Ensues Around Him, which indicates that he is a man who makes calm and deliberate decisions at any and all times, especially when he’s sporting a dumb-ass fucking haircut. Then we see gunfire and our first glimpse of zombies. I assumed they were zombies, but they seem awfully fast. This is exactly how they are portrayed in the book, except in the book THEY WERE FUCKING PORTRAYED COMPLETELY THE OPPOSITE. GOD FUCKING DAMNIT WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS FUCKING SHIT ABOUT FAST FUCKING ZOMBIES WHEN THE BOOK EXPLICITLY DEMONSTRATES THE EXACT OPPOSITE FUCKING EFFECT I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD I’M GOING TO
OK, OK, I’m good. Then it’s Brad Pitt Being Dramatic, then Brad Pitt Running, followed by more Brad Pitt Running from a Fast Fucking Zombie. Then it’s just stock MICHAEL BAY SPLOSION type footage for 1.2 seconds, followed by… followed by… you see, what happens next is….
OK. I can’t explain what the fuck is going on here. The zombie hordes – fast zombies, which aren’t zombies at all, because by definition they aren’t fast, it’s like having vampires that drink urine instead of blood, it’s not a fucking vampire then, whatever, anyway – the zombie hordes are moving like a fucking swarm of fucking bees down a stairway in like a circular pattern thing and I have no fucking idea what coke-addled douchecock dickbag piece of shit moron thought of it but it makes no fucking physical sense in any way shape or form. I have to move on.
Next, it’s Brad Pitt Being Earnest With Seriously the Shittiest Fucking Haircut Of All Time Ever, followed by Brad Pitt Kissing Passionately, soldier, Brad Pitt Jumping, Brad Pitt on a Touching Phone Call, Brad Pitt Running, then another stupid fucking scene of the least plausible zombies ever conceived of – seriously, Zombie Strippers has more credibility in this arena – followed by Scared Child and Brad Pitt Looking Desperate In a Crowd and that’s it, that’s the end, the merciful end, until you realize that the actual trailer comes out on Thursday and things will probably get worse.
Seriously, I have no fucking words. Well, besides the 1500 I’ve already written. This movie bears no fucking resemblance whatsoever to the fucking book. Hollywood saw the shiny cover, ripped it off, slapped it on the side of Brad Pitt’s stupid fucking face and seriously awful fucking haircut what is that look supposed to fucking be anyway he looks like a goddamn fucking idiot, threw millions of dollars into pointless effects and tons of marketing, and is now sending it to walk the streets like an undead fucking hooker. God I fucking hate everything about this movie and Brad Pitt and everyone involved and everything they’ve ever done retroactively including their own fucking conception and I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD THAT IF WE DIDN’T LIVE IN A LAND OF LAW AND ORDER I WOULD BUY SIX THOUSAND POUNDS OF THUMBTACKS AND FOUR HUNDRED ALLIGATORS AND DIG A HUGE-ASS PIT AND DUMP EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THIS FUCKING ABOMINATION OF A MOVIE INTO THE PIT WITH EVERYTHING ELSE AND ALL THOSE E.T. ATARI CARTRIDGES AND FILL IT WITH FLAMMABLE TOXIC WASTE AND I WOULD BUILD A TIME MACHINE TO PREVENT MYSELF FROM DOING IT JUST SO I COULD HAVE A CHANCE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN IN AN INFINITE TIME LOOP AND IF THERE WAS A JUST GOD IN HEAVEN THEN ANGELINA JOLIE’S JAW WOULD DISTEND AND FINALLY CONSUME BRAD AND HER MUTANT FUCKING LIPS AND DISAPPEAR IN A CLOUD OF FUCKING BRIMSTONE LIKE THE LIFE-SUCKING PARASITES THEY ARE AND MAYBE AND ONLY MAYBE THEN COULD I HAVE SOME FUCKING PEACE AFTER WATCHING THAT FUCKING TRAINWRECK OF AN ADAPTATION, YOU KNOW WHAT, YOU GUYS CAN ADAPT MY FUCKING BALLS BECAUSE I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD IF I EVER FIND YOU I’M GOING TO
About Alan EdwardsFormer cancer caregiver. Husband of the most magical and amazing person who ever lived.
Posted on November 6, 2012, in Rantin' and Bitchin', Zombies and tagged Annoying Things, I'm Not Dangerous I Swear, Nerdery, People Are Idiots, RAGE, Reviews, Two Minutes' Hate, Zombies. Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.
Next novel I write will have to have piss drinking vampires in it, thanks! Agreed, when I posted this up on FB this morning (under Jack’s page) I was torn, no I was PISSED THE FUCK OFF on how bad it looked and I am glad that the madness is spreading…
Just give me an acknowledgement of my role in the dominant rise of the Pisssuckers and it’ll all be good.
I didn’t even know this was coming until you posted it. I was afraid to click it. I ended up doing it anyway, hoping against hope. Well, now you see the result. I really hope this movie tanks like Ishtar.
I will make sure you get credit as the creator of the Pisssucker movement (although I hear it’s big in Germany) and I needed to drink a lot of Jameson mixed with lighter fluid to kill the part of my brain that retained the slight bit of images on that post. So sad…
Freakin’ Germans, man, every time.
Dammit, *I* was going to write a book about Pisssuckers! It was my first thought, but I’ll cede to your dibs. The irony here: Pitt already starred in The Vampire Lestat as Louie, eating rats. Piss ain’t so far behind.
Hahahahaha – on second thought, you guys can share the credit for the idea.
This post doesn’t have enough “like” buttons for me to click…
I hate it when Hollywood makes a movie based on a book and then takes the liberty to change everything about it. I haven’t read the book, but this has happened with other of my favorites so I understand your frustration. However, since this is zombies… my guy will have to see it, but when it’s free on television.
I can’t wait for your feedback on TWD E4. I thought about tweeting you Sunday night, but didn’t want to give anything away…
I’m not sure this movie could be any more different than the book. I’m not sure anyone actually read it. I hate the idea of someone going to see it, but I understand and won’t judge. Too harshly. 😉
I’m really torn about Ep 4 since I know the bombshell stuff. Trying hard to go in with an open mind. Still can’t believe that it was spoiled multiple times first thing Monday morning.
It’s like Moby Dick, save there is no whale, it takes place in the desert, there is no Ahab or boat, but there are little green aliens that like to sing show tunes about their hatred of revenge. So in that way, it’s exactly like Moby Dick…
That is a remarkably perfect summation of the situation.
Fab piss and vinegar, all the way around. I’m touched and inspired. Mostly to watch Fight Club for the nth time, and then go and start a fight… 😉
You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank, you’re not the car you drive, you’re not the contents of your wallet, you’re not your fucking khackis. You are the all singing, all dancing, crap of the world.
Yeah, but I keep getting distracted away from my latest story: Pisssuckers Vs. Martin Luther. I figured if we can work out a tale that includes piss sucking vampires trying to stop the Protestant Reformation and ML and John Calvin (Played by Mel Gibson and Danny Devito in the movie) fighting against them in a Red Dawn sort of fashion, I might have gold on my hands. Golden Shower gold…
I believe that you are now deliberately trying to give me a stroke.
Yes, yes I am…
Well, it’s working. I can’t feel the left side of my face anymore.
If it’s any consolation, all this laughing is making my head hurt…
In a world overrun by zombies, only one man can spew enough hate and bile to see off the horde. With a wife and 3 dogs to protect, these zombies are barking up the wrong tree.
OK, I kinda love that.
HAHAHA! I would pay to see THAT movie!
Alan, I hate it when you restrain your self. In regards to fast Zombie’s, I believe they first appeared in 28 days latter…..and here is a flash…..THEY WERENT ZOMBIE”S….They were infected people. I totaly agree dude, it looks like they are just trying to milk a cash cow.
Return Of The Living Dead is credited with the first fast moving zeds on film. 28 days later were not zombies, but that is another fish to scale…
I hate that movie for starting the BRAINS meme too. Meh.
You now how I can’t help but restrain myself and restrict my comments to those that would not be out of place in a Victorian era dining parlor with finger sandwiches and tea. It’s just my nature.
Uwe Boll…I wonder if he has anything to do with this film. Because it is what I would expect from that shlockmaster.
If you haven’t ever heard of him before…
I heard on ScifiWire a while back that the film was laughed at by studio test audiences, laughed so hard they sent it back for extensive rewrites and revisions and a lot more filming. It doesn’t seem to have helped…
The last two are the best…the first two links are obviously studio corrective to the bad press.
Ahhh, Uwe Boll. He’s truly something else.
Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_Z_(film) and especially what Brooks has to say about Straczynski’s script, and I quote “I can’t give it away, but Straczynski found a way to tie it all together. The last draft I read was amazing.”
Of course, as we know from history, the original writer endorsing changes doesn’t hold up so well once fans decide they own it and IT CAN ONLY EVER BE ONE WAY.
I trust Straczynski and even he talked about how much work he put into making this work as a movie. If he and the original writer say it’ll be fine, then I’m sure it will.
There is the later statement that more work was done to it, but I get the sense by that point, JMS had already figured out a way to make it work with a star.
How about waiting until the full trailer, or holy god the unbelievable amount of forever time!, the actual movie comes out, before deciding if the changes work or not?
(In the interest of full disclosure, mouth-foaming rants from the basis of ignorance is sorta the raisson d’etre of my blog – it’s meant to be tongue in cheek and so over the top to render the “points” I’m making silly. It’s all meant in good fun.)
I’ll absolutely keep waiting for the whole movie, and I’ll probably review the main trailer when it comes out too just because I love a good chance to vent my spleen.
And in regards to the thought that “it can only be one way” – I think, for a lot of people, it was the presentation of the story and how it was told, with no emphasis on any single person, that resonated with the readers. Changing the story to focus on one guy trying to prevent the apocalypse is more than a subtle change to the story – it’s a different story entirely. The way they are apparently portraying the zombies is jarring and again completely different than the original. It’s off-putting to a lot of us for those reasons. That’s all. I hope the script works. I want it to. I want a great zombie movie. I hope this is it. I’m apprehensive, but not without hope.
I do appreciate, though, you stopping by and giving your perspective. I hope I can convey that and also demonstrate that I am capable of rational thought, heh. I’ll have to stop being rational now, though, or else it’ll confuse my regular readers. =P
Thank you for that reply. I appreciate the clue in. I almost didn’t post anything because I expected a response causing me to exclaim ‘Holy Caps Lock, Rantman!’ Thank you for surprising me by demonstrating that there rational thought type stuff.
I sincerely hope it keeps the cool of the book and somehow works on the screen. I gotta admit now that I saw that clip, the zombie swarms gave me the chills, even if there was a bit much of that ‘blurry fast CGI action fakery’ showing that I’m burning out on lately.
I can definitely understand your apprehension. I know plenty of people who treat the comment section as their own personal pissing ground, and based off the especially-unhinged nature of this post, I applaud your willingness to try seeing what a reasonable, rational response to relative insanity would accomplish. I rather think it worked out well!
And to your last point, maybe I’m getting old, but I swear I have more and more trouble nowadays following the action scenes of the quick-cut-close-up-blurred-punch genre of the new millennium.
So to you, I raise a glass of something classy and alcoholic and say, “To Hope.”
Aw man. I was so excited for this movie too. I did wonder why Brad Pitt would even be interested because like you said, there’s no “star” of the book. It bums me out that they had to do and ruin the whole thing. I wonder if Max Brooks is ok with this…
According to what I heard, Brooks loved the script.
That’s what I’ve heard too. Hope does spring eternal.
Well at least he’s happy about it. 🙂
Yeah. If he was Alan-Moore-apoplectic about it I’d be crying into a pillow right now.
If I had written a reasonably successfully zombie book, and Hollywood made a film adaptation of it, and the script was a flaming pile of dog excrement, you can bet that I’d be telling everyone how great the script was anyway. I’d want people to watch the movie, not scare them away.
Yeah. When they adapt Curse of Troius and turn it into a ’30s era musical starring a talking dog and its pet fish, my smiling mug will be plastered all over everything telling everyone how this movie is gonna be the greatest thing since the invention of the automobile cigarette lighter.
Doesn’t mean the film won’t be crap, and lots can change from the process of script to film. I was honestly kind of surprised.
Don’t take away our last hope. We need sunshine and rainbows and promised ponies! Please!
I got your ponies right here.
This is an EPIC string of comments…
Ha you aren’t kidding!
I completely agree with all you’ve said in this post. When I watched the trailer I just sat there, slack-jawed, thinking, “What the hell kind of garbage is this?!” I’m somewhat of a zombie aficionado myself and love both World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide and was so excited to see this film before watching the trailer. I probably still will, just because I love movies and have some sense of morbid curiosity, but it certainly doesn’t seem to live up to Brooks’ ideas, and that makes me sad. Rage on!
I’ll probably watch it too, mostly for the chance to do an epic spittle-flying temper-tantrum ragefest review of it here. I mean, hey, maybe it’ll be good, right, like the trailer is all of Brad Pitt’s scenes and in reality they’re going to hew close to the side of the story presented in the book and all our fears will be mollified and this is all actually a practical joke like a super-mega-early April Fools’ prank and they got, me, ho ho, I actually thought this was a trailer for World War Z, I’m such a sucker, heh, guys, good one, really good one, you got me.
Yeah I’ve heard this flick went through a ton of rewrites, changes and problems with production. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good zombie film and I’m really hoping this one doesn’t let me down. The trailer does make the action scene’s and the zombies look really intense so hopefully it’ll be a great film.
You took all the words out of my mouth in this Rant
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