Warm Bodies is a kind of reverse zombie movie. The main characters are the zombies and, with an exception, the humans are secondary characters. Overall it is pretty cheesy with the main theme being about how love can change people. And some of the acting isn’t great but overall it makes for an amusing film.
I’m not aware of any other films with zombie protagonists (I haven’t looked) but I did once play the lead* in a short film adaptation of a comic strip about a man who survives a zombie outbreak by pretending to be a zombie.
Warm bodies is set in a future where most of the humans have become shambling zombies intent only on eating brains. The remaining humans have settled in a walled-off section of the city under the leadership of John Malkovich. Some of the zombies have become the somewhat alien looking “boneys” a kind of über zombie which looks a bit like a grey alien with a skull for a head. The still partly human zombies seem to retain a little of their previous personality and thoughts while the boneys are one track brain eating machines.
The plot revolves around “R” a still quite human zombie who narrates the story and Julie a human who ends up stranded with the zombies after a bungled raid to collect medicine for the human settlement. Aided by the fact that he has just eaten her boyfriend’s brain (and therefore inherited some of his memories), R starts to rediscover his humanity and to convince Julie that not all zombies are bad.
In the course of trying to get Julie safely home to civilisation, the two fall in love, although they are slow to realise it. R’s awakening humanity has a similar effect on the other human zombies which pisses off the boney zombies. Leading to the inevitable climax where the humans and zombies have to put aside their differences and work together to defeat the boney menace. All very heartwarming and predictable.
Much of the film is set in an airport where the majority of the zombies live and was filmed in an actual abandoned airport which gives a great feeling of realism to the scenes there. Much of the derelict/abandoned nature of the locations was real or proper set dressing rather than effects so it felt very natural rather than distracting from the story. The Blu-Ray disc I had has some interesting special features about the production as well as some really odd films of the lead actress, accompanied everywhere by her yappy little dog!
The story itself is a little basic being the standard love in the face of adversity type story and drawing heavily (and openly) on Romeo and Juliet, some of the scenes are funny and touching and while the acting isn’t great it also isn’t terrible. The effects on the evil boney zombies are a little disappointing. They look nicely scary but with the rest of the movie being as realistic as possible, they look pretty out of place and would have looked more real and scarier if they were played by humans with more gruesome makeup rather than CGI.
*I am in no way an actor and was only in the film at all because they couldn’t find anyone else to do it.