Saturday, February 16, 2013

Warm Bodies

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in Warm Bodies Feb 2013
Why I thought zombies made rotten lovers . . .

Lao Tzu said character is destiny and it holds true in fiction as well as ‘real’ life. How characters think, what informed their past, what hopes excite them, as well as their physicality, combine to create the next twist or turn in the story. So how can a mindless, flesh eating zombie EVER be a love interest? Paranomal hero can, but zombies NO!

That's what I used to think. I said in interviews that it was impossible to write a ‘zombie romance’. I even stated something along the lines of  You’ll never see a zombie romance! It could never work.

Why?

No matter how brilliant the plot or true the love, characters have to have a potency of their own, and it's got to be driving, charismatic. They must grow, change, exhibit emotions (or repress them), have likes and dislikes, flaws and attributes. Basically, they have to be ‘real’ people that the reader, or the viewer, can relate to. If they don’t feel alive they might as well be, you guessed it, zombies, and that’s not going to make anyone’s’ heart throb, or so I thought.

Then I picked up Warm Bodies.

How in the world does one bring a zombie to life?
Isaac Marion has the answer. You give them heart, or at least, a vestige of one. Once that awakens, a whole new world unfolds, where even a zombie can fall in love. Warm Bodies, a paranormal romance/horror/thriller, is the living proof. zombies don’t always make rotten lovers.

Warm Bodies by
Isaac Marion
It might also be proof of a shift in our collective unconscious. I've talked before about vampires and other paranormal ‘monsters’ as 'expression of the collective shadow', and how our shifting relationship to these ‘demons’ in film and literature reflects a shift in our consciousness as we form a new relationship to that ‘shadow.’  (see Evolution of the Vampire Revisited) Falling for a zombie is definitely taking up a lot of new file space in my research. This thesis just keeps expanding! Bottom line, as a species, we are opening up, connecting with our dark side and transforming it through love.

Whether this book and film are new trend in paranormal romance, (is that possible?) or a statement about evolving human consciousness, Warm Bodies is a fun read! It’s a story about R, a young man in a state of existential crisis because he’s not alive, and not really dead. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic USA where R has no memories, until he eats someone's. His growth arc is huge!

When the memories in one of his victim’s brains affect him, he finds himself attracted to, rescuing, befriending and eventually falling in love with the dead boy’s still living-girlfriend. Julie (Australia’s own Teresa Palmer) is a blast of colour in the dreary and grey landscape that is the “life” of the un-living. Their tense, awkward and strangely sweet relationship develops into something that will not only transform R, but his fellow zombies . . .  Warm Bodies the film 2013



It appears love is infectious after all!


Has anyone seen the film? Read the book? Let’s compare notes!


Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA and epic science fantasy novels.

You can find out more about Kim at kimfalconer.com or on The 11th House Blog. She posts here at the SuperntrlUnderg on the 16th of every month. Her latest release is Supernatural Underground: Vampires Gone Wild.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Bonnie said...

Hi Kim,
I watched the movie last week. I thought it was a cute movie. It was believable. Not that I believe in zombies but it worked in the movie. I enjoyed it and the funny parts made me laugh.

Patricia Lynne said...

I've read the book and seen the movie multiple times. I love both to death. When I first picked up the book, I wasn't sure what to expect, but R is very deep for a zombie and the book shows it beautifully. During the movie it was great to see him shuffle around, but hear his inner monologue prove that he is more than a mindless zombie.

Marlene Relja said...

I read the book but haven't seen the movie yet. Like you, I never expected it to be so philosophical, relatable, heart warming and charming. Everything about zombies is always gross and bad and makes everyone want to run in the other direction (aka. The Walking Dead). But by the middle of this book, my heart was aching for this misunderstood, actually intelligent zombie. I found myself hoping and biting my knuckles for a happy ending for sweet/sometimes scary R.

Lori M. Lee said...

I watched the film. It was sweet, and I quite liked it :) I want to read the book, but the author's attitude toward young adult has turned me off. We'll see though.

Michelle Dobbins said...

I want to read the book and then see the movie. I've never been a fan of zombies, but this story seems to be different. There is growth of the character. It looks like a fun story.

Cylver said...

I agree, I never would have thought that a zombie/live person romance could be possible, but after seeing Warm Bodies and reading the book, I'm a believer!

Kim Falconer said...

I know! Who would have thought Zombies?

BONNIE! There you are! Please send me your email addy so I can gift you your copy of Vampires Gone Wild. I couldn't fine your email. I'm enchantmentATkimfalconerDOTcom

I love all these comments! Lori, I'm interesting in Isaac Marion's attitude on YA. He's 31 now, I think. What did you feel the tone was?

Jaime Rush said...

I haven't seen the film/read the book, but you definitely make me want to. A big thing, because I also never thought a zombie romance would work.

Kim Falconer said...

I know, Jamie! It's a breakthrough, for sure :)

Chelsea B. said...

I've just finished the book, and thought it was amazing and lovely. I adroed the relationship between R and Julie. It was so sweet. The way he would sing songs to her when he couldn't get his own words to come out right... sigh. I hope they put that in the movie-- which I haven't seen, but can't wait to! I love the actors they picked for the parts-- perfect, in my opinion. I can't wait!

Merrie Destefano said...

I absolutely loved this movie, Kim! And I'm so glad you posted about it. =)

jed said...

want to read the book AND see the movie lol