I’m not perfect. Okay? I consider myself a decent human being, but I’m no saint, and I certainly don’t pretend to think I always know what’s best (even though, let’s be real, I do). I can’t recall a time in my life when I did some great wrong, but apparently I have, because I am currently in the middle of a full-blown, Princess-Mia-Thermopolis-stuck-in-the-rain meltdown.
The reason? Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
For those of you poor unfortunate souls who don’t know Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet is a bold and confident, yet admittedly judgmental, heroine who meets, hates, and then falls in love with Mr. Darcy, defies aristocratic snobbery and ultimately triumphs with the use of her good heart and wit. Seth Grahame-Smith’s zombie-fied version of this story involves Elizabeth and her sisters being raised to wage war against zombie armies, and details the harrowing adventures of Elizabeth and her butting of heads with Darcy, a fellow monster-hunter and her eventual true love. The zombie apocalypse meets nineteenth-century misadventures in dating. What could possibly be wrong with that? Oh, right: everything.
The first time I laid my eyes on the cover of PPZ I was probably sixteen. I was young and impressionable, but still self-aware enough to turn my nose up in the fashion of a true book purist. Was this uncalled-for mashup of genres really worth the time of day? Nope. Absurd. Borderline offensive. This was not part of God’s plan. How dare you, Seth Grahame-Smith? How dare you?
Fast forward to early 2015, when an older, infinitely wiser college student version of myself heard the latest book-to-movie endeavor: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I despaired. Where had I gone wrong in life? Why, after so long, was this offensive and strange figure from my past returning now? I’d sworn to hate it and yet here it was, annoying its way into my life.
And then I saw the trailer. And in true Elizabeth Bennet fashion, I realized that all this time, I’d had it entirely wrong. And I’m not sure which made me angrier—the fact that, as it turns out, this book was meant to be a movie all along, or the fact that I’m totally jazzed about it.
I would like to make a blanket apology to Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith for every insult, intentional or not, that I have given to their work over the years. Who am I to say that Elizabeth Bennet can’t strap a few muskets under her petticoats before heading to Bingley’s party? The featured quote of the trailer is basically a giant “fuck you” to people who think femininity and strength can’t coexist. How can it be that I, a self-proclaimed feminist who credits Jane Austen for a heavy dose of girl power, have been so utterly blind?
So you know what? Fine. FINE. I GET IT! Regency-era England going up in flames Walking Dead style? I’m here for it. Darcy and Elizabeth being thrown together as disagreeable partners in zombie-slaying, only to find love? I’m here for it. The Bennet sisters wielding swords and guns like the ultimate squad? I’M HERE FOR IT. Take my money, movie makers.
God has abandoned us and chaos reigns. Might as well embrace it.