World War Z – Helping Us Catch Up On Our Z’s

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that I was one of the few people who didn’t particularly like Max Brooks’ breakout novel, World War Z. Like I hope that I’ve made it impossible for my wife to find other men to measure up to me, just about everything in the zombie pantheon has fallen shy of the original Dawn of the Dead for me. Everything that was right with DOTD was wrong with WWZ. More on that in a moment.


I’d heard that there were all kinds of productions issues with WWZ and if memory serves correct, this should have come out a lot sooner. Sometimes strife on a move set leads to greatness, like Predator (a movie that was said to have more issues than a NYC newsstand). But most times, chaos behind the scenes transforms into chaos on the screen. It’s very easy to see that WWZ had a lot of bad shit go down between the star and producer, Brad Pitt, and everyone else connected with the film.

I’m going to summarize WWZ quite easily. It’s a series of chase scenes that carry Brad Pitt from the US, to Africa, Israel and Wales. Brad goes somewhere, soulless zombies appear, Brad runs. He survives so many impossible situations, I was beginning to think he was Daffy Duck. And for a guy who was in 90% of the scenes, he said about 20 words.

It was like watching a 2 hour car chase, which gets very boring after a while. Unlike Dawn of the Dead, there are no real personalities here, either on the  living or the dead side. There’s no one to connect to here. At one point, I was rooting for an asteroid to slam the earth and put everyone out of their misery. Like the zombies, the script has no pulse, no heart, nada.

wall zombies

The only cool part, for me, was the way the zombies, perhaps the fastest and angriest since 28 Weeks Later, piled atop one another to scale any height just to get at human flesh. So, I got two scenes that raised my adrenaline level up a tick, and then I was rocked to sleep until the end credits.

And here’s something else that blew my mind – here we are with a zombie flick on an epic scale and there is almost no blood, certainly no gore! What the hell? Was this intentionally made for grade school kids?

Guess I’ll have to wait for the new season of The Walking Dead to get a real zombies fix, and that’s a show I think we’ll look back at and try to pinpoint exactly where in season 3 it jumped the shark.

Anyone else plunk down their hard earned cash for World War Z? Feel free to tell me I’m a small minded elitist a-hole or that you agree with me. I can take it. 🙂


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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. You’ll also find him every week on the Final Guys podcast, available everywhere. He’s a bestselling author of over 30 books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

9 responses to “World War Z – Helping Us Catch Up On Our Z’s”

  1. Maria D. says :

    A while ago (i think mostly after the movie Troy) I decided that I would wait till any film with Brad Pitt as the star would have to wait until it either came out on DVD at the local Red Box or hit one of the movie channels on the cable I’m paying way too much for. I don’t know what it is but he seems to select really bad horrible films to be in or there’s always some kind of production issue that affects his films. I’m not a huge zombie fan but if you are going to do a zombie movie there has got to be some blood – when my friend and I saw the previews at the theatre (while watching Iron Man 3) – we both turned to each other and laughed because we just knew it was going to be bad. Sorry you wasted your money and time but I coulda warned you…

  2. Tim Meyer says :

    I don’t know if I can bring myself to watch this one… Huge fan of the book. Looks nothing like it.

  3. lexacain says :

    Like you, I loved DOTD (the original) — it had heart, it had social commentary, it scared the heck out of me! — and I haven’t been that impressed with what’s come out since, although I’m a Resident Evil fan and liked the first season of “The Walking Dead” (the end of that season is when it jumped the shark for me). But like vamps, I think the whole zombie thing has been way overdone. I’ll wait until this comes out on the satellite channels. Thanks for the review. 🙂

  4. Daphne says :

    I totally agree with you, went to my beloved drive-in and watched it. I wasn’t expecting too much, since I am a Romero devotee and I didn’t enjoy the book either. Brad Pitt doesn’t impress me and it was a race for the cure movie, not exactly a zombie movie. The zombies looked like rabid hamsters and were about as annoying. Sorry I like my flying gore, none found in this movie. I am sure the younger generation would enjoy it more, since they like zombie love movies also. Give me my Horror, I want to hold my breath while watching a zombie movie, then discovering that I had better breathe:)

  5. Craig says :

    I will definitely wait till it’s on free streaming; we have plenty of classic zombie films to keep us entertained for a long time. I actually enjoyed the book ( I viewed it more as a collection of shorts ) and when I saw the trailer for the film I questioned my memory and had to grab my copy from the shelf and peruse the pages. Yep, nothing like the book. Thanks for the warning.

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