It would be easy to label Warm Bodies as just another Twilight knockoff and far be it from me to avoid the path of least resistance. But that’s where this tale of star-crossed lovers from different worlds ends in comparison to the Twilight Saga (other than the fact that the films were all distributed by Summit Entertainment). Warm Bodies has a sense of humor and charm that Twilight never aspired to have.
After an unexplained zombie apocalypse, we meet a young zombie named “R” (Hoult) who narrates the film. He shuffles through airport with hundreds of other of the undead, meandering their way through security check points and baggage claims. The last remnants of humans live in a heavily fortified part of the city surrounded by towering walls. Leading this last vestige of humanity is Colonel Grigio(Malkovich). The humans make forays into zombie territory to look for food and supplies includingGrigio’s own daughter Julie (Palmer). The group that Julie is in is overrun by zombies and her boyfriend is killed by “R” who eats his brains and gains his memories…causing him to feel emotions for her.
R rescues Julie and hides her aboard an airplane. Aboard the aircraft the two begin to bond causing R to come back to life and be able to speak more clearly. R helps Julie return to the fortification but when she learns he killed her boyfriend she abandons him in the middle of the night and returns without him. Dejected, R returns to the airport where his experiences begin to affect the other zombies, returning them to life as well. The only zombies not affected are the Boneys, who are little more than mindless, ravaging skeletons. When R goes to find Julie, the Boneys follow, intending to attack the last human settlement leading to a strange alliance between human and zombie.
Warm Bodies is the ultimate forbidden love film. I suppose you can’t get too much more forbidden than human and zombie. There’s wonderful chemistry between Hoult and Palmer. Julie goes from terrified, to confused, to curious with R’s attempts to communicate with her through words and his collection of LPs, although why a relatively young man has old vinyl as opposed to CDs is a little curious but you have to appreciate the old school nod.
There are a lot of fun moments as the pair grows closer. At one point as they take up shelter in an abandoned home Julie tells R he can sleep in the bedroom with her…but on the floor. While it doesn’t have enough horror, romance, or comedy to work individually as a great film in any of those genres, its combination of the three together works extremely well. Nicholas Hoult (X-men: First Class, Jack the Giant Slayer) combines his boyish good looks and innocence to make for the perfect romantic hero zombie. Palmer bears a bit of a resemblance to Twilight star Kristen Stewart, but isn’t nearly as mopey and sullen in her performance.
Boy Meets, Er, Doesn’t Eat Girl (10:00) – Looks at the development of Isaac Marion's novel of the same name from book to film.
R and J (16:30) – Featurette about the relationship between R and Julie
A Little Less Dead (16:30) – interviews with the actors about their roles in the films
Extreme Zombie Makeover (10:00) – A look at the zombie makeup effects
Bustin Caps (10:00) – Covers the weapons used in the film and stunt work
A Work in Progress (15:00) – Looks at the various shooting locations including the airport which utilized and actual abandoned airport.
Beware the Boneys (7:00) – The visual effects used to bring the gruesome Boneys to life.
Whimsical Sweetness (12:30) – Teresa Palmer’s own home movies from the set of the film
Zombie Acting Tips (5:00)
Deleted Scenes (11:00)
Gag Reel (5:00)