Pride, Prejudice and Zombies opened up on February 5th, 2016 to mixed reviews that veered ever so slightly to the negative side. The film also disappointed at the box office, making about half of what it was projected to make. I haven’t seen the movie yet (perhaps when it gets to the cheap theater) nor have I read either the novel the film was based on or the novel that the novel was based on. Yes, it’s true, I’ve never read a Jane Austen book. You may commence the tomato throwing.
All done? Good. Let’s continue.
There’s something inherently fascinating about taking popular figures and adding monsters, outside of the Halloween special. On an anecdotal note, I know lots of writers who heard of the premise of PPZ and immediately became sort of offended, and raved against the very idea. I hate to disappoint (no I don’t, this post is a day late), but taking popular figures plus monsters has been around for a long time. But what makes these absurd premises work?
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
- Abbott and Costello met a lot of monsters, crossing paths with The Mummy, Frankenstein(‘s creature), the invisible man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
- The best reviewed film is Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
- It’s also the first in the series of Abbott and Costello’s monster misadventures
- Preserved by the US Library of Congress
- Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein’s creature, the wolf man and Dracula, all in one fun-filled film
- These films worked because they were silly and didn’t take themselves seriously
2. Marvel Zombies
- At the height of the zombie craze Marvel unveiled a new series: Marvel Zombies
- In this series, an unidentified being crash lands on a parallel Marvel Universe (one of many) and infects the Avengers, leading to the Avengers becoming ravenous zombies while still retaining their intellect and personality
- The zombies have many adventures, mostly involving eating, and eventually gain the power cosmic and eat literally everyone in the universe
- Critics agree that the plot makes no sense, and that the story is silly, but, like Abbott and Costello, that’s what makes the story work
3. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was inspired by Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, so I thought it was only fair that I include it in my list
- In this tale, young Abraham Lincoln’s parents are killed by vampires, who are revealed to be behind slavery in America
- It is up to Abraham and his friends to stop the evil scourge of vampires
- This movie makes no fricking sense
- According to critics, The film has a very serious tone for a whacky premise, and the historical drama side and the vampire movie side never quite meet in the middle
- Similar things were said about Pride, Prejudice and Zombies
So what can we learn from these mash-ups? Is it possible to create a serious work of art from a silly premise? Let me know in the comments!