Zombieland is an American zombie comedy horror film, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and directed by Ruben Fleischer. The film stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin as survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Distributed by Columbia Pictures, Zombieland was released on October 2, 2009 in the USA and Canada. The film is rated R for horror violence/gore and language.
The movie begins with a shot of now-destroyed Washington D.C. with an overturned limo as a man picks up a camera and runs for his life from a secret service agent that has been infected. Unable to outrun him, the man falls victim. A narrator explains that zombies have appeared in the world and that he has survived by following rules to ensure his safety - amongst them are staying in shape, wearing a seat belt, and giving a second shot to the head when facing a zombie to ensure it won't get back up. People are shown not to have done this.
Two months later, America has fallen into ruins. The narrator, revealed to be a college-age kid named Columbus, explains that a virus mutated from Mad Cow Disease into "mad zombie" disease, making people extremely violent and with a bad case of the munchieds, destroying their ability to feel pain and their intelligence in the process. Columbus is attempting to find a restroom at a Gas 'N Gulp, but finds a bloody fingerprint on the door. As he considers this, a zombie bursts out of the door and gives chase; a second one then also appears from nowhere and joins the other zombie in chasing Columbus. After a second lap around the parking lot, Columbus discovers that his car is unlocked, gets in, and drives off, leaving the zombies behind. The moment he relaxes, he notices a zombie in his rear-mirror which had somehow climbed into the car while he was running. He slams on the brakes, sending it through the windshield into a flower shop, while he is safe thanks to his seat-belt. Seeing it's not dead, he shoots it in the head. Columbus then sits down, unintentionally defecating in his pants due to his Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The next day, Columbus is continuing his trip on foot, since there's a gapping hole in his windshield. He goes on to explain that he's leaving Austin, Texas for Columbus, Ohio, where he hopes his paranoid, shut-in parents are still alive. He sees a black truck with white 3s painted on it, along with a cowcatcher on its front, racing towards him. The truck stops, and the driver, who is dressed like a cowboy, has a standoff with Columbus, until Columbus signs that he's looking for a ride. When he attempts an introduction, Columbus is told by the driver that he doesn't wish to be on a first name basis, since it would form some kind of attachment. After explaining their destinations, which is Tallahassee for the driver, the narrator decides to call himself "Columbus" and the driver "Tallahassee"; Tallahassee decides to take Columbus with him until his patience runs out.
A flashback shows Tallahassee attacking zombies with chainsaws, with Columbus' narration explaining that he was very good at killing zombies. However, there is only one thing that Tallahassee is just as obsessed with - and that is finding a Twinkie. They find a crashed Hostess truck, deciding to search it; however, Tallahassee explodes with rage when he finds that only Sno Balls are inside. Columbus also reveals his next rule: Limber Up before a chance of zombie encounters. Tallahasse laughs at it, thinking it's a waste of time. Columbus asks to be taken to a rest-stop, while he flashes back to when he first encountered the virus.
In Columbus' past, he was spending his time in his dorm, playing World of Warcraft (for 4 weeks). He answered the door to his "insanely hot" neighbor, 406, who explains that a crazy homeless man bit her when she was walking home. Too afraid to be alone, she wishes to spend time in his company. He lets her rest her head on his chest and both doze off. Columbus later awakens to find 406 turned into a zombie. Columbus fights her off with whatever he can find as he tries to trap her in a room, resorting to using the cover of his toilet tank. Whacking her with it, he breaks 406's neck, killing her.
In the present, Columbus helps Tallahassee move a car out of their way. They talk about the possibility of there being no infection somewhere, but dismiss the idea as ridiculous, with Tallahasse comparing it to penguins going to the South Pole from the North Pole (even though there are no Penguins in the North Pole). They arrive outside at grocery store, where Tallahassee arms himself with a variety of weapons. They enter the store, and Tallahassee lures zombies by playing a banjo. He then uses it, a bat, and hedge trimmers to kill the zombies. Meeting a beautiful dark-haired girl, Columbus and Tallahassee attempt to help her kill her sister, who apparently had a zombie bite; however, the moment they hand over a gun, they reveal it was a ruse to get supplies to survive. After taking their weapons and Cadillac Escalade, Columbus narrates that the girls are hypocrites, having backstabbed them while claiming Columbus and Tallahassee were the ones who could not be trusted.
Tallahassee and Columbus are left to find new gear, but Tallahassee destroys a minivan they could have used in anger. He keeps Columbus around to maintain his sanity, as isolation would only make his mind deteriorate. Luckily, they discover a yellow Hummer filled with weapons. Tallahassee paints a new black 3 on the doors and they drive off. Unfortunately, despite trying to out-con the girls when they come across the stolen Cadillac Escalade, the men are forced to travel with the girls at gunpoint. After a tense standoff following Tallahassee disarming Little Rock, Columbus convinces the group that it's better to stick together.
During the drive, Wichita informs Columbus that Columbus, Ohio has been destroyed and burned to the ground, "a total ghost town". Columbus is upset and is given a chance to find his own way there, but falling for Wichita, he decides to stay. They decide to drive towards Pacific Playland, an amusement park that is supposedly zombie-free and where the girls were originally headed. On the way, they pass through and decide to sleep at Bill Murray's mansion. Tallahassee and Wichita meet a seemingly zombified Murray, who reveals that he only disguises himself with make-up so that he can walk safely among the zombies and play golf. Murray decides to scare Columbus and Little Rock, who are both together watching Ghostbusters, as a practical joke, but Columbus, unaware of the joke, shoots and kills Murray.
After a makeshift funeral, Tallahassee reveals he lost his son to the zombies (earlier, Tallahassee told Columbus that he lost his puppy), coming to see Little Rock as a surrogate child, and Wichita starts developing feelings for Columbus. Fearing this attachment, Wichita leaves with Little Rock for Pacific Playland, convincing themselves that they should go back to trusting only themselves. However, Columbus decides to go after Wichita, and he and Tallahassee pursue the sisters in one of Murray's vehicles.
Wichita and Little Rock arrive at Pacific Playland and turn on all the rides and lights, unintentionally attracting nearby zombies. A battle ensues, leaving the sisters trapped on a Blast Off ride and running low on ammo. Tallahassee and Columbus arrive just as the sisters run out of ammo and try to lure the zombies away from the them. Tallahassee manages to lure the majority away, then intentionally locks himself in a game booth while Columbus goes after the sisters. Just as he runs out of ammo, Columbus comes across a zombie clown. With the sisters at stake, he overcomes his fear of and destroys it with a giant mallet. Columbus then saves the girls, and in thanks, Wichita reveals her real name to him and the two share their first kiss. Tallahassee, using the enclosed space of the game booth to bottleneck the zombies, takes out the remaining zombies single-handedly.
In the aftermath, Columbus and Tallahassee scavenge a fast food booth for Twinkies. Hearing a noise behind a door, Columbus shoots it. They are relieved to find the source of the noise was just a rat; however, Columbus' shot destroyed the only box of Twinkies. Tallahassee is initially devastated, but Little Rock finds a Twinkie and gives it to him, and Columbus comes to the realization that this is the only family he needs, and the four leave Pacific Playland together.
The main four starring characters are listed first with the rest being listed as they appear in the film.
- Secret Service Zombie
- Camera Man
- Cardio Victim
- Cardio Zombie
- Tony Montana
- Gas N' Gulp Station Manager
- Gas N' Gulp Bathroom Zombie
- Banjo Zombie
- Baseball Bat Zombie
- Big Hoss Zombie
- Cowboy Zombie
- Piano Smash Zombie
- Cynthia Knickerbocker
- The Tramp Zombie
- Bill Murray
- Clown Zombie