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Zombies take a big bite out of Pride and Prejudice

Updated on February 15, 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Putting the bite on an old classic
Putting the bite on an old classic | Source

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:PG-13“ (1 h. 48 min.)

Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth

Directed by: Burr Steers

Deep Background

OK, first a little bit of background. We all know that Pride and Prejudice is a Jane Austen novel that was originally published in published in 1813, and we also know that zombie movies are all the rage these days. So, on some level it should not be a surprise that someone decided this it was high time that someone mash up the two into one delightfully bizarre tale of prim and proper 19th Century protocol set in a world where there rages a flesh-eating hoard of the undead. Yeah, that’s what we thought too.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies The Book

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy.

 

From Book To Comic To Game to Film

Well, back in 2009 Seth Grahame-Smith was tasked with penning just such a parody novel which was initially published in April 2009 by Quirk Books. As if that wasn’t enough, it was then, in May 2010 adapted into a graphic novel was published by Del Rey / Random House with Tony Lee adapting the text and art by Cliff Richards. Next up, was a video game, issued in June 2010 for both the iPod Touch and iPhone from Freeverse, followed in October 2011 by an interactive ebook version produced by PadWorx Digital Media Inc. So yeah, we’ve officially now gone totally off the deep end, except for the inevitable...

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies the Graphic-Novel

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel

It is known as “the strange plague,” and its unfortunate victims are referred to only as “unmentionables” or “dreadfuls.” All over England, the dead are rising again, and now even the daughters of Britain’s best families must devote their lives to mastering the deadly arts. Elizabeth Bennet is a fearsome warrior whose ability with a sword is matched only by her quick wit and even sharper tongue.

 

From Print to the Silver Screen

Now we present to you the cinematic adaption of all of this (really well done) silliness. With the release of the cinematic adaption of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies we are finally treated to the story of five sisters living in 19th Century England who must cope with pressures to marry wealthy gentlemen, as well as being able to protect themselves (and those around them) from a growing population of savage zombies. Apparently the Black Plague that is ravaging Europe has given rise to the dead who walk, and want to sup on our tasty brains, and the fleshy parts of our anatomy.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Film Trailer

The Story

OK, so for the story. It is (essentially) the same as we remember it, Elizabeth Bennet (James) and her four sisters live on a countryside estate with their parents where their father (Charles Dance) encourages his daughters to learn martial arts and weapons training, as he attempts to mold them into a fearsome zombie-fighting army. Meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet (Sally Phillips) endeavors to marry them each off to wealthy suitors. When the wealthy and single Charles Bingley (Douglas Booth) purchases a nearby house, Mrs. Bennet sees an opportunity to score a wealthy husband for one of the girls, and sends them to the first ball where Bingley is expected. Unfortunately, once there, zombies appear, and the girls rise to defend the party goers from the attack.

The Bennet Sisters

You don't want to get these women angry.
You don't want to get these women angry. | Source

Marry Well, my Daughters

Well, as it turns out, Bingley is indeed attracted to the eldest daughter Jane (Bella Heathcote) while Elizabeth herself clashes with Bingley's friend, the haughty monster-hunter Fitzwilliam Darcy (Sam Riley). The rest of the novel proceeds apace with the milksop Parson Collins (Matt Smith) attempting to score one of the daughters as his own wife. Meanwhile there are zombie attacks as the walking undead attempt to eat anyone close at hand. So yeah this is fun and all, and just goes to show what you can do when you combine public domain literature with trending pop culture references.

Prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse

One should always be well armed (and well legged as well)
One should always be well armed (and well legged as well) | Source

Go see this film!

Needless to say, the film really should attract anyone who read the original novel in school, or anyone who finds zombie killing a worthwhile form of entertainment, so yeah, pretty much everyone is a potential fan of this thoroughly engaging, and delightfully, frighteningly silly film.

The Walking Dead

Zombies are everywhere, even in the past.
Zombies are everywhere, even in the past. | Source

Pride and Prejudice, the Original Book

Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice

In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet -- a country squire of no great means and his scatterbrained wife -- must marry off their five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are the headstrong second daughter Elizabeth and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy, two lovers in whom pride and prejudice must be overcome before love can bring the novel to its magnificent conclusion.

 

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