Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (15)

Five sisters in 19th century England must find suitable husbands while protecting the family from an increasing population of brain hungry zombies.

For those of you not familiar with the less gory version of the tale Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice tells the story of a groups of sisters who need to marry wealthy men in order to escape their mediocre lives and secure some spending money for when their father eventually snuffs it.

Of course it all goes to shit. Some of the girls fall in love with men well above their station and the most moronic one runs off with the first man that pays her any attention. This leaves the family completely up the shitter. It might be more romantic than that but it’s obviously gone over my head. In essence it’s about snooty people, pride and yes you guessed it, prejudice.

So as you can imagine Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has a shit load more action and comedy. It follows the same storyline as Austen’s story just with a few brain hungry Zombies thrown in for good measure.

We see Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) lead her feisty sisters into battle with the undead in this clever, action-packed mash-up of Austen and zombie fiction.

It’s Regency England, but not as we know it. In this reality the Black Plague has caused the dead to rise from their graves. So the chore of finding a suitable husband has to go on the back burner while the sisters fight for their lives and prevent the total destruction of the human race.

While most women their age are searching for the perfect man, pass the sick bucket, the Bennet sisters are practising their Chinese fighting techniques, sharpening their swords and checking the sights on their rifles. Unlike their pampered peers the Bennet sisters can easily take on the ravening zombie hordes.

Our heroine joins forces with not-so hunky Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) on the battlefield. Somewhere between decapitating zombies and burning them alive the Bennet sisters find love. How short-lived these romances will be depends on their combat skills, so they better get fighting for love.

This thrilling action-horror supercharges Austen’s tale of manners and morality with shit load of martial arts zombie-slaying mayhem.

Sam Riley seems promising at first but like the undead, even the current toast of the town Lily James couldn’t breathe life into Mr. Darcy. Instead it’s Douglas Booth as Mr. Bingley who steps up and provides a great performance and the much-needed eye candy. James’ real-life beau Matt Smith is also hilarious as Mr. Collins.

This retelling of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling parody of Austen’s much-loved novel is utterly ridiculous. But that’s what makes it work. Naturally this isn’t a movie to be taken seriously. My advice? Leave your delicious brain at the door and enjoy this ridiculous spectacle.

By Ruth Walker
★★★☆☆

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