Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 2015

{Pride and Prejudice and Zombies opens in Seattle on Friday, February 5, and is screening at Regal Meridian 16, Lincoln Square Cinemas, and the Varsity Theatre

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

I’m happy to report that the insanity that is Seth Grahame-Smith’s Jane Austen-zombie genre mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies translates way better to film then Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter { … < insert snoring sound here}.

Set in an alternate universe where a zombie plague has infected Regency-era England, PPZ opens with a fantastic introduction to Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) via his method of detecting the zombification process: a vial of flies.

All of the familiar Pride and Prejudice Austen’isms exist in this universe too; proud Miss Elizabeth (Lily James, who absolutely KILLS it on screen – pun intended), pretty, shy Jane, flighty Kitty & Lydia, and devout Mary — the main difference being that these Bennet sisters brandish long swords and daggers and excel at slaying the undead, having studied the deadly marital arts (in China, not Japan, as people in the upper classes do).

Of course there’s also Mr. Darcy, George Wickham, Parson Collins (Matt Smith, turning the goofy charm he’s so damn good at up to 11), and the fearsome Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Lena Headey), who in this version is known for both her vast riches and her amazing zombie-killing skills … and her wardrobe, by me, who was coveting it every single second she was on screen, eyepatch and all.

I don’t want to give away any of the big plot “twists,” so I’ll just say that the way the very first parlor confrontation between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett shakes out was the most thrilling version in any Austen adaption I’ve seen on screen so far.

Here’s just my one nitpicky film nerd thing: it would have been awesome to see all the work that was put into the zombie make-up F/X instead of having to look at the super obvious CGI splashed all over it.

Even still, PPZ is a hell of a good time. It’s silly and over the top, for sure, but I really, really liked it. Also, even if you’ve read the book there will still be some surprises! The second half of the story varies quite a bit from Grahame-Smith’s pages.