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Celebrity zombie apocalypse survival guide

Warm Bodies

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Okay, granted, a zombie apocalypse is probably not going to happen anytime soon, but when it does, will you be ready? The stars of “Warm Bodies” and their celebrity friends who attended last week’s premiere hosted by the Cinema Society say yes, and shared their top survival strategies with IFC.

1. Denial. David Cross says you can survive “just by remembering that there’s no such thing as a zombie. It’s not a real thing. It’s physically impossible.” In other words, make yourself wake up — which only works if it’s a bad dream.

2. Hide. Find a safe place, and fortify it with rations. “My boyfriend, he built a zombie-proof apartment somewhere in Soho,” says Lily Kwong. “He has the skills.” But not everyone has a place ready. Scott Michael Foster has land in Texas he could use, he said, but he doesn’t have the rations yet. “I’ve got to start now,” he says. “I’m going to invest in SPAM stock, too.” (“SPAM? Is that an option?” asked “Warm Bodies” star Analeigh Tipton, who plays Nora. “I’ll do that, too. SPAM is very useful for everything. There’s something in that that keeps things forever.”)

Cross thinks it best to go on a permanent vacation. “I would probably fly to the Fiji islands, live in one of those huts, and then just really secure it,” he says. “I’d spend all my money on that, before money is worthless. Fortify the fuck out of it. And then go fishing. I mean, it’s Fiji! How many zombies are there going to be in Fiji?” (We hate to remind you that zombies can cross bodies of water because of the whole not-needing-to-breathe thing…)

3. Play dead. “I’ve already thought about my zombie apocalypse tactics,” says “Warm Bodies” star Teresa Palmer, who plays Julie. “I’d become very good at zombie makeup, and I could pretend I was one of them, like I’ve already been killed. Fit in.” Helena Christensen says camouflage is easier than it used to be, and we all know from watching zombie movies how to act. “Practice grunting, practice the moves,” she says. “I do that every morning when I wake up anyway!”

4. Run. If you plan to use this method, get in shape, says Carlos Leon. “Cardio is very important,” he says. “Start practicing now.” This method isn’t for everyone, Tipton cautions. “I would trip,” she admits.

5. Fight. No matter what strategy you had planned to use, there might come a time when you’re face to face with a member of the living dead — so defend yourself!

5A. Use a weapon. “I learned how to turn myself into a warrior on ‘I Am Number Four,’ with real weapons,” Palmer says. I know how to shoot a gun, and a shotgun.” Guns, however, can make noise, so Leon recommends “long swords.” What if nothing’s handy? Get creative, Palmer says. “I’ve got some pretty crazy stilettos on, so I could stab them in the eyeball,” she theorizes. “Put all my force into it, stab right through to whatever brain they’ve got left.”

5B. Become a weapon. “I have a black belt in karate,” says former “Smash” villain Jaime Cepero. “I could take out a zombie with one chop. You go for the head, right? And if they’re already dead, it’s probably easier, decomposing, right? I think I can handle it.” Leon recommends a front flip and coming down on the zombie’s neck to “break his head off.” Palmer says she would “bust out my one martial arts move, which is a double side kick, get them in knee so they buckle, and then you go for the head.” Tony Danza says good ol’ boxing would work just as well: “Even a zombie, when he gets hit on the chin, goes to sleep. Remember that.”

6. Get creative. “I would not use guns. I would probably not use hand combat. I would not run,” says Tipton. “I would use puns and wordplay. The zombies would be like, ‘What are you saying?’ And they would be so baffled that they would turn on themselves and start going at each other, eating each other.” Use this method at your own risk. “Best of luck to you in that situation,” she laughs.

7. Cry. When all else fails, accept your impending doom. “Warm Bodies” director Jonathan Levine told us that when the zombie apocalypse comes — and perhaps even before it comes — we can find him in the corner in a fetal position, weeping. “I’d be fucked. Totally fucked,” he laughs.

How would you survive the zombie apocalypse? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Underworld

Under Your Spell

10 Otherworldly Romances That’ll Melt Your Heart

Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.

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Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection

Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all.  Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.

1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series

The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes!  Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?


2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.

Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.


3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series

The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.


4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man

After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.


5. Molly/Sam, Ghost

When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.

When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.


6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black

It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.

Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.


7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings

On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.

Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?


8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood

True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).

In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.


9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series

There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.

Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!


10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who

Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.

But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.

“Warm Bodies” review: A zombie story with heart… and a lot of brains

warm bodies

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Just when you thought the zombie genre had shambled off into the sunset bereft of any fresh ideas, a movie like “Warm Bodies” comes along and makes the undead seem, well… very much alive.

Written and directed by Jonathan Levine (“50/50”) and based on Isaac Marion’s novel of the same name, “Warm Bodies” unfolds in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse that has made humans the food of choice for hungry zombies and the savage, skeletal “bonies” that some of the undead turn into after a certain point in time. However, unlike the zombies portrayed in most media, some of the undead in this story still show signs of life, stringing together thoughts and even communicating with the occasional grunt or single-syllable word. “R” is one such zombie, and when he falls in love with a human girl that he saves from some of his fellow zombies, their relationship ignites a spark that not only changes him, but also has a cascading effect on both zombies and humans alike.

While it’s easy to dismiss the concept of “Warm Bodies” as just another young-adult supernatural romance that exchanges vampires and werewolves for flesh-hungry zombies, Levine’s film shares more in common with the modern, clever takes on the genre like “Shaun of the Dead” than it shares with the “Twilight” franchise.

British actor Nicholas Hoult (“X-Men: First Class”) carries much of the film on his slumped shoulders as R, complementing a smart, funny inner monologue with physical acting that just might make him the funniest zombie since Tarman in “Return of the Living Dead.” Emoting shouldn’t be easy when your character is a trudging, near-mindless corpse, but Hoult certainly makes it seem so, adding just the right inclination of an eyebrow or tilt of his chin to give R some genuine depth. The subtle exaggeration of these small movements as the story progresses makes R’s evolution even more believable, and provides a nice showcase for Hoult’s talents.

Playing opposite Hoult, Teresa Palmer (“I Am Number Four”) puts in a good, safe performance as Julie, the object of R’s affections and the daughter of General Grigio (John Malkovich), the leader of a nearby, militarized human sanctuary. Although her character never manages to steal the spotlight away from R, this says more about Hoult’s performance and the focus of the film than anything she brings to the role. The same goes for Malkovich, who plays more of a cameo than anything even remotely as memorable as the characters he’s played in the past.

Still, “Hot Tub Time Machine” actor Rob Corddry does manage to stand out as R’s zombie pal “M,” and the pair have a nice chemistry that translates into some of the film’s funniest moments. Like Hoult, Corddry does a lot with every scene he’s in, right down to the smallest twitch of a shoulder or well-timed grunt, and makes a strong case for M as the character most deserving of his own spin-off film.

In fact, that may be the most impressive achievement in Levine’s adaptation of Marion’s novel: the most interesting, compelling characters in the story are zombies.

Even with all of the story’s allusions to “Romeo & Juliet” (from star-crossed lovers R and Julie, to R’s best friend M serving as the Mercutio to R’s Romeo), “Warm Bodies” never feels like a traditional romance dressed up in a post-apocalyptic theme. The reverse feels more appropriate, with the costume of a classic romance disguising a very smart mash-up of horror and comedy that somehow manages to bridge the divide between two very different audiences and — maybe even more importantly — stand out in an increasingly overcrowded genre.

“Warm Bodies” hits theaters Friday, February 1.

“Warm Bodies”: first four minutes of zombie romantic comedy online now

WARM BODIES

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Have you still not been convinced by the zombie love story “Warm Bodies”? Well, allow us to convince you. Summit Entertainment has released the first four minutes of the upcoming film, and they look absolutely fantastic.

Since “Jack the Giant Slayer” got bumped back until March 1, “Warm Bodies” will be the first time audiences are really introduced to Nicholas Hoult as a leading man. The jury is still way, way out on “Jack,” but it’s easy to see from these four minutes of the film how Hoult can carry “Warm Bodies.” Add that to the fact it also stars John Malkovich, Teresa Palmer and Rob Cordrry, and you’ve got some magic on your hands.

The best part about “Warm Bodies” is that it’s a twist on the zombie apocalypse we haven’t seen before. Yes, there has been the whole fast-versus-slow zombies debate that’s gone on for years, but we haven’t seen a zombie love story quite like this. The tongue-in-cheek nature of the film will be what saves it, because if “Warm Bodies” were to be entirely earnest, it probably wouldn’t work.

Based on the Isaac Marion novel of the same name, “Warm Bodies” is about “about a zombie who rediscovers his soul through a relationship with a human girl. It’s due out in theaters on February 1.

Are you as excited by these first four minutes of “Warm Bodies” as we are? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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