DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Darkmatters Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

As a young boy I suffered terribly at the hands of my Jane Austen crazed mother. Before I started school I had read Pride and Prejudice and could recite every line uttered by the infamous Mr Darcy – owning to having had to ‘act’ out various scenes for the viewing pleasure of my dear Ma… As a teenager and beyond this enforced Austen ‘experience’ is what I blame for my rebellion and subsequent love of zombie movies. The brain dead, mumbled trash dialogue being a soothing antidote to the years of freakish upper class female swooning and love of balls (the kind where you dance)…

Imagine then my conflicting emotion when I stumbled upon this oddity: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (P&P&Z).

Bewitched and confused in equal measure I could not resist reading this tome which takes 85% of the Austen original text and infuses it with bone-crunching zombie gore and ninja action. The author Seth Grahame-Smith claimed to have created something a bit special i.e. “a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read

Surely this was just a stupid, shameless cash in… but then I heard that film studios were queuing up for the film rights? Maybe, just maybe this was actually the book that would redeem by childhood, put everything into context and allow me to take off my Darcy breeches that I had worn for the last 20 years?

Here’s what you need to know:

Britain is in the grip of a zombie like plague where the dead ‘unfortunates’ come back to life and terrorise the living (and eat their brains when they can). In this alternative age we see the feisty Elizabeth Bennet as a Chinese trained warrior who delights in tackling zombies with katana swords and her trusty Brown Bess musket. So far, so much just like the original…Then of course the dashing Mr Darcy enters her life along with the bad boy Mr Wickham, the arrogant Lady Catherine and all the others from the book. Emotions are wrought, pride and prejudice are exhibited and love eventually wins through – just with copious beheadings, intestine ripping, brain munching interludes…

P&P&Z is a fun idea and it almost works, I can see the film being a smash hit if handled in a Shaun of the Dead / Zombieland style. Jane Austen purists will no doubt hate it… I’m getting a copy for my mother for Christmas!

Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööö (7 – Enjoyable for what it is – bring on the film!!)

"Emily Browning would make a good Zombie slaying Elizabeth Bennet!"

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