‘Zombieland’ Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know

We'll let you know what to expect as the zombies burst into theaters.

Welcome to [movie id="407353"]Zombieland[/movie], where your hot next-door neighbor can turn in an instant from object of desire to flesh-eating freak show, where amber waves of grain have been replaced by burned-out cars and broken glass, where the wind carries the plaintive cries of unlucky folks fleeing insatiable people-eaters.

Welcome to Zombieland and laugh! Honestly. Starring [movieperson id="275681"]Jesse Eisenberg[/movieperson] as a hyper-expressive, anxiety-ridden college kid who survives the plague with the help of a trusty list of dos and don’ts (Cardio! Beware of Bathrooms!), “Zombieland” might be the first ever emo zombie flick. Joining Eisenberg’s Columbus (everyone’s known by their city of origin in this post-apocalyptic jungle) are [movieperson id="26961"]Woody Harrelson[/movieperson] as joyful zombie killer Tallahassee and the sister con-artist team of [movieperson id="459272"]Emma Stone’s[/movieperson] Wichita and [movieperson id="292904"]Abigail Breslin’s[/movieperson] Little Rock. These four band together in search of safety and community, almost always maintaining a steadfast determination to enjoy the small pleasures of life in a world of flesh-munching monsters.

So a zombie comedy, huh? Maybe you don’t know if you should laugh or cry. Fortunately, MTV News has its own version of a “Zombieland” survival guide. Have a look at our trusty cheat sheet and you’ll live to see another sunrise after the movie arrives on Friday (October 2).

The Resurgence of Zombies
The ghoulish undead have been stumbling across the big screen for decades, but “Zombieland” screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick told MTV News that they credit small-budget hit “28 Days Later” and zombie comedy “Shaun of the Dead” with inspiring them to write the script.

“I think it might be the funniest movie that has ever been made ,” suggested director Ruben Fleischer with a deadpan grin. “These are the survivors in a zombie-filled, barren landscape. And now they have to kill zombies, get Twinkies, meet some girls and travel across the country.”

The Stars and the Visions
With Harrelson signing onto the pic in August of 2008, Eisenberg joined up in October, followed by Stone and Breslin in January.

The faux-epic trailer dropped this past June, featuring zombie brides, zombie schoolgirls and, well, yeah, a whole lot of zombies wreaking laugh-inducing havoc on the population. As expected, we threw a bunch of clips your way, including Harrelson and Eisenberg taking a zombie-killing trip to the supermarket and a solo Eisenberg getting cozy with a pretty lady in the moments before and after the zombie outbreak begins.

We also had a chance to chat with the cast at this year’s Comic-Con , where Stone bragged about her skills with a pump-action shotgun and Eisenberg dutifully recited his “comically boring” survival guide. More recently, Stone declared that zombies are well positioned to overtake the vampire trend in the pop-culture future.

“The thing about zombies is they’re conceivable,” the actress said. “It could be a plague or an outbreak and it’s conceivable that people could turn into crazy flesh-eating monsters at any given moment. So it’s almost a little scarier and vampires are a little more fantastical and fun to think about, but [couldn't] actually happen, and zombies could.”

The Secrets
We don’t want to say too much, but “Zombieland” delivers a seriously satisfying cameo . Go ahead and give that link a click, if you don’t mind a severe zombie spoiler, to find out who makes an appearance and why the whole thing kicks so much butt.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Zombieland.”

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