DATELINE: Pride Before the Fall
Jane Austen likely would feel violated by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. When you’re dead, they stomp all over you.
Just exactly who is the audience of this trifle? Austen’s deft comedy of manners has been lightly dusted with the walking dead. It is not an idea to warm the cockles of Austen fans, and it is far too genteel for a zombie aficionado.
So, what’s the point? Is it to enhance Austen to introduce her to a new audience of readers? We suspect zombie fans don’t read anything but graphic novels.
The changes are odd too. It seems the lovely sisters of Austen’s book have been sent to China to learn how to be Ninjas. Oh, really? China in early 19th century was a haven for women’s lib? Perhaps once they unbound their feet, young girls might take charge.
The movie is high gloss and well-produced. Period films are not easy to create, and much effort was put into the manners, mores, and cultural artifacts of England in 1810.
When a comedy of manners becomes a farce of horror, you may want to call on Mary Shelley. We believe firmly that Jane Austen never felt the need to compete with the gothic horrors of Shelley, or even those other sisters, the Brontes.
It’s doubtful we’ll soon see a spate of films on the lines of Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter or Sherlock Holmes and the Sign of the Four Zombies, but we shall not bet against it.