One corollary of Sturgeon’s Law is that viewers have to consume a ton of entertainment in order to find gems hidden in the sea of toxic waste. Unless they take precautions, this could produce harmful mental side effects. We at Tempest in a Teardrop are doing our best to highlight excellence by occasionally reviewing books, movies, and video games.
We recently had the chance to watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Codex has not only read the original Jane Austen novel, but has watched nearly every film version of the classic love story. Zombies appeal to my sense of humor and provide a comforting illusion of normalcy in our crazy modern world. By combining these two ideas, the film provides the formula for a win-win date night.
PP&Z is set in the Regency period (around 1805), but England has imported a nasty case of zombie flu from France. Most of the populace has been wiped out like shrimp cocktail at a political convention. Once bitten, people retain their knowledge, memory, and personalities until they get their first taste of juicy human brains, at which point they devolve into the mindless undead featured in more conventional zombie movies. The only thing worse than being devoured by a zombie is being verbally abused by one during the process.
The love story of the film is standard Regency romance fare. Mr. Bennet has no male heirs, and his five supermodel daughters will die penniless spinsters unless they find husbands. Mrs. Bennet makes it her mission to see them all wed, so they are always attending lavish parties among the gentry. Zombie outbreaks occur frequently because everyone is dancing instead of remaining vigilant for their shuffling and gangrenous servants.
This is no problem for the Bennet sisters, who are all trained in the martial arts, and wield daggers, swords, and firearms, in addition to their feminine charms.
When it comes to the Regency period, Codex and I are both sticklers for authentic costuming. Early in the movie the daughters are preparing for a country dance. The women have their hair down, but any woman old enough to get married would always put her hair up. “Higher, higher!” Codex exclaimed.
They also hid weaponry in their outfits, what with all the zombies around. My concern with the boot daggers was that they could not be easily drawn in the event of a zombie attack. “Higher, higher!” I exclaimed.
There was no reason for concern. Aside from the boots, which were not period authentic, everything looked great.
The film doesn’t hold the hand of audience members. For example, early in the picture Mr. Bennet explains that studying the exotic martial arts of the far east is in high fashion. The wealthy study the arts of Japan, while the wise study the techniques from China. Little details like this become important later in the film, and the director doesn’t dumb it down by providing a flashback.
This is, I believe, the reason the film (with a budget of $28 million) bombed at the box office. The film does not explain the differences between life in the early 19th century and life in the early 21st century. On the off chance you are willing to spend $2 to rent this movie, we’ll compare and contrast the two eras in an attempt to bridge the knowledge gap. Consider it our bonus gift to you for reading us.
According to YouTube, there have already been a number of zombie outbreaks in the 21st century. Every last one was covered up by the (((Mossad))) with assistance from the Obama administration. Frankly, they were a minimal threat. The zombies promptly starved to death because the only brains they could find had been mal-educated in the American “safe space” university system.. For more information, Google Chipotle. When you see “restaurant closed for health code violation” you know the intelligence agencies covered up a zombie attack.
As a result, most viewers can’t understand how a zombie apocalypse could wipe out most of the population of England. In the early nineteenth century an 8th grade education was equivalent to a Master’s degree today. They studied subjects like English, Arithmetic, Philosophy, and the hard Sciences. Zombies would find a bounty of healthy, juicy brains, and left unchecked would continue to feed until the living were extinguished.
To combat the zombie infestation, the Crown built a massive wall that surrounded London. This largely stopped the zombie infestation and kept the uninfected relatively safe. Walls were a credible defensive measure up until the early twenty-teens, when they lost their effectiveness. This was mostly because colleges stopped teaching engineering and mathematics in favor of modern gender theory. It is hard for the average 21st century person to overcome their disbelief that such a measure would work, and thus the film is that much harder to understand.
In PP&Z a great deal is made of every living person being heavily armed and practiced in self defense techniques. Those that weren’t met sticky ends as the biters consumed them. Such self-defense measures are frowned upon today. Nowadays, people know there is always a nearby SWAT team to send a hail of bullets in the general direction of any zombies, and of course, every federal agency has it’s own police team to carefully record you as you’re eaten. Having all those private citizens responsible for their own defense is just broken.
In the film, the zombies were perceived to be foreign invaders whose “people consuming” cultural imperative put them at odds with the native inhabitants who preferred not to be eaten alive. This is downright confuzzling for 21st century viewers.
In the 1950s the military tested nuclear weapons all over the United States. Over the next 60 years, particles from these explosions settled in the soil. Scientists haven’t been able to explain the mechanism, but they have catalogued the effects. Any foreigner stepping foot into the country instantly becomes a valuable, Democrat-voting asset. Their native culture, ideas, and practices are rendered irrelevant. Especially those fundamentally incompatible with basic American constitutional ideas. For lack of a proper scientific term, we call this the “magic dirt theory of immigration.” The eggheads will come up with something better after spending a few hundred million more dollars studying the phenomena.
Should an outbreak of zombies take hold, our magic dirt would protect us. The differently-mortal citizenry would still eat people, but we could take comfort in knowing that the privileged “Alive First” crowd would not only be socially unacceptable but could even be added to government watch lists. Of course, it might be hard to track, since the various media pressitutes wouldn’t report any of it, lest Donald Trump be elected.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is rated PG-13 and is probably not a movie you should show to the younger crowd sight-unseen. If you like Regency-era romance stories, zombie stories, or martial art techniques mixed with a bit of period firearm play, you’ll probably find something to like here. Codex and I got more than our $2 worth, and we rate it 4 disembodied heads out of 5.
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