By Jake “The Movie Guy” O’Bannon, Columnist
In case you haven’t already noticed, I’m kind of weird about movies. I check IMDb ratings, I give IMDb ratings, I compare IMDb ratings with Rotten Tomatoes ratings, and I judge movies based of their trailer.
I refuse to see any movie that has: 1) a poster with Nic Cage making eye contact with me, 2) a trailer that says “In a world where…” or 3)…wait–as I was writing I just read that Harrison Ford has signed on for “Anchorman 2.” That just blew my mind. Anyway, I’m sorry, back to my list–or, before last Saturday, 3) a movie that involves zombies. I’m sorry to all the Waking Dead fans out there, but zombie stories just don’t do it for me.
That being said, there is nothing like being pleasantly surprised by a movie (okay, “nothing” might be a stretch; I’ve failed to consider the combination of peanut butter, ice cream, and Lucky Charms, right Zach Bond? That’s better than being pleasantly surprised by a movie. But I might be rambling).
This past week I went to see “Warm Bodies,” breaking my third rule of movie going. But hey, some rules are meant to be broke. I think it was Abe Lincoln who said that.
“Bodies” tells that story of a huge zombie outbreak (which I totally called!) and how the people in a big city that seems to resemble Chicago are able to fight the outbreak and avoid being bit/killed by the zombies. But there is quite a twist, and this twist gave me the push to actually enjoy a zombie movie.
The main zombie, who is also the narrator, goes out with a group of zombies to look for food. The only way they can survive is to eat humans, so they must make a trip to the city. In this particular attack, the narrator zombie (later named R) makes a decision to save one of the human girls (Julie), rather than eat her. He then brings her back and places her in his protection.
As he is protecting her, changes start happening within him. R is beginning to talk better, move quicker, and feel emotions that are human. With Julie, R no longer feels lonely or isolated. He begins to feel companionship, which is the first thing he has felt since becoming a zombie.
I know what you’re thinking, because I am thinking it too. You’re thinking, Jake, you’re talking about a zombie right now. Well, get ready, it’s about to get worse. I’m going to get a message out of this movie, and even make it spiritual.
Over time R and the other zombies start becoming more and more human, to the point where R is sleeping and even bleeding his own blood. Rhetorical question 1: Why did this happen? Rhetorical question 2: What made the zombies become human again?
The answer is easy: love. Yes, when the zombies were loved by others they became human again. Sure, the original humans were scared to accept them at first, but once they did, they were able to live together in a community of acceptance. And when that happened, the walls dividing the city between the humans and the zombies came down.
Do you ever feel like a zombie? What I mean is, do you ever feel so judged or unaccepted by people that it is almost dehumanizing?
Maybe more importantly: do you have any zombies in your life? By that I mean are there people in your life that you are scared to accept or unwilling to live with? I am nervous that we, as well-off people, or even dare I say we as Christians, have too many zombies around us because we look at too many people in a way that is dehumanizing.
What’s the solution? Love everyone, no matter who they are or what they are doing. Love a homeless person that you may not even look at as human just as much as you love your best friend.
I’m not saying it’s easy or that I do it well, I’m just saying it’s what we’re called to do and it’s what brings down walls in our world.
And it was a zombie movie that told me that one.