Directed By: Eli Craig
Written By: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Starring: Kirk Ward, Tyler Ross, Maiara Walsh and Izabela Vidovic
Synopsis:Four survivors are killin’ zombies and searching for a place to call home. At least they have each other in this TV version of the 2009 feature film. (Source)
The opening with the two office workers having a totally vapid conversation while the zombie apocalypse was kicking off behind them was genuinely funny. The high mortality rate of potential new recruits to the groups was hilarious. And I think having an On-Star operator serving as an “eye in the sky” was a smart move too.
I started off the episode not felling all that great about Kirk Ward taking over the Tallahassee character that Woody Harrelson played to perfection in the movie but by the end of the pilot I became a convert. Ward plays the role a tad bit goofier than I would have liked but he has a manic charm to him and his was the best performance and best character of the show.
I also was very pleased to see that the show retained the Zombie Survival Rules graphical representation and the Zombie Kill of the Week vignette from the movies. Those are nice touches that add a cool bit of creativity to the proceedings.
While Kirk Ward worked for me the rest of the cast did not. Maiara Walsh plays Wichita as being far too acerbic and bitchy while Tyler Ross’ Columbus is just whiny instead of being a neurotic awkwardly likable doofus. And Izabela Vidovic was just there and really made no impression at all.
I know that the budget for this is not all that major but I really do hope that they funnel a few extra bucks into the effects budget so that it rises above SyFy channel feature level.
Final Verdict: Some movies are perfect for the TV series treatment and I have always felt that ZOMBIELAND was one of them so the fact that a TV show even exists is a good thing in my estimation. Hopefully the momentum from this fun pilot episode extends to the rest of the series and the rest of the cast can rise to Kirk ward’s level as worthy successors to their big screen counterparts.