I enjoyed "Zombie"land, although I'm not entirely convinced the "zombies" in the film were actually "zombies", no matter how many times the characters called them "zombies". See, they're infected by a rage virus. Oh wow. And that makes them mental, and cannibals. Oh wow. But there's no indication that the people infected are dead. Oh sure, they look a little manky, but not particularly so. But the most "zombie" thing these "zombies" do is RUN. Oh wow.
I hate fast zombies. I HATE THEM.
My main argument against fast zombies is: if they possess the dexterity to sprint without looking ungainly or simply falling over, why don't they also keep the motor skills needed to open doors and climb over small obstacles?
"Zombie"land ignores this quandry by letting the "zombies" act almost exactly as they used to when they were alive (or "uninfected"). They open doors. They climb over fences. They scramble up ladders. They can dance an Irish jig whilst juggling potatoes. They do it all! Saints perserve us!
There's also a lack of real/true conflict for the main characters, and you never really feel like they're actually in danger. They end up in dangerous situations, but that's not what I mean. Rule number one: make your protaganist(s) earn his/her/their place in the story. I'm not entirely convinced the chumps in "Zombie"land do. More like they coast through events. Hmmmm.
ANYWAY. The second part of the blog title refers to a friend of mine. He is a wonderful writer, with an arch sense of humour and extensive knowledge of olde worlde history. His first novel was recently picked up for publication. Unfortunately, the publishers want £3000 off him to "cover costs".
A reputable publisher would NEVER ask for money, especially not that much. I hope he doesn't get too excited about the prospect of getting published so soon after finishing his book, that it impairs his judgement. He's a smart chap though so I'm confident he susses them out.
Let that be a warning though - never trust a publisher who asks for money. Even small publishers (like Library of the Living Dead) cover all costs, with the caveat being "you will pimp the holy f**k out of your book". Which any writer would be happy/willing to do any way...
And so endth the lesson!