never learn exactly what caused the undead to roam the earth — plague, scientific mishap, supernatural curse? — because R simply doesn’t remember
While zombie films often differ in their reasons for how the dead start walking, omitting the origin story entirely is “not uncommon among the modern, more light-hearted zombie films [like] Shaun of the Dead.”
Generally when we think of the walking dead, we think of creatures who progressively deteriorate in both mind and body. Here there are walkers who, abandoning all humanity, tear off most of their skin and become “bonies” (yes, it’s hard not to call them “boners” or “bronies”). Bonies oddly get far more aggressive and gain increased, 28 Days Later-esque speed when they hit this stage
At the beginning R noted how it takes [zombies] forever to get anywhere, but that seemed to change a bit
One common zombie-ism that does remain in Levine’s film is the ability of walkers to retain some of their former human skills: janitors keep sweeping floors; TSA agents keep scanning passengers. For example, in Day of the Dead, Big Daddy comes out to pump gas when the bell at the gas station where he worked when he was human rings, which is itself a nice homage to Pavlov and behaviourism
Usually the verbal abilities of walking corpses don’t move much beyond, “Uhhhnnnhhh…” But here, particularly as the zombies begin to heal, characters like R can actually start to formulate sentences based on the thoughts in their damaged heads – for example, when M (Rob Cordry) first meets Julie, he screeches “EAT!” at R, who is trying to protect her. “This is unusual as many zombie movies give their zombies no level of cognition,” Voytek said. “Except for maybe Return of the Living Dead, where they say “braaains” or even...