Tag Archives: Pride and Prejudice

Pride+Prejudice+Zombies: A Review

Jane Austen and I have always had a tumultuous relationship. I’ve never liked Pride and Prejudice (not the first time I read it, not the second). Actually, I prefer Sense and Sensibility, but in general, my feelings about Jane Austen’s work reflect her feelings about the Bronte sisters’ work: she didn’t dig it.

I wasn’t too keen on the idea of throwing zombies into the mix either, but what can you do? I didn’t read that version, either, but I did take my little sister to see the movie over Valentine’s Day Weekend. If there’s one thing I can get behind, it’s celebrating a holiday I don’t care about with a movie about killing the undead.

Pride+Prejudice+Zombies was as hilariously horrible as I expected it to be. Men and women are sent to China (for the poor) or Japan (for the elite) to learn to the art of fighting and combat. The costumes were lovely, the scenery perfect. Point: at least Jane, Lizzie, and the other girls wore respectable (if not entirely historically accurate) clothing. There was a shade too much decolletage, but what did I expect? At least they stuck to full-length dresses and not skimpy “battle attire.”Plus, the knife holsters were an excellent addition.

The storyline was not what I expected. It’s vaguely like Austen’s novel, and Lizzie still gets to be the snarky delight she is, but they didn’t really develop the other characters. I’m not sure if they were relying on viewers having read the original zombie-free version. There was also a glaring lack of transition. The narrative bounced back and forth like a loose brain. The casting was hit-and-miss: Matt Smith was an excellent and thoroughly annoying Mr. Collins, Lily James was a great Lizzie Bennett. I wanted Lady Catherine (Lena Headey) to be a villain, but she was not. I had been convinced she had a legion of zombies set to keep Lizzie and Darcy apart.

Jack Huston was the BEST Wickham I’ve seen. Well, the best version of Wickham.

And I know this is going to be shallow, but I felt that Darcy could have been… more handsome. Bingely was super pretty. Darcy… meh. Maybe it was the styling. I liked him way more as the crow-man in Maleficent.

I do feel like they gave us an homage to the BBC version, starring Collin Firth, as this Darcy also has a dramatic swan-dive into a pond, from which he rises in a dripping puffy shirt. I might have cackled in the middle of the theater. Okay, I did.

Darcy confessing his “inappropriate” and “horrifying” feelings for Elizabeth was definitely improved matching verbal sparring with a literal knife fight. It was probably my favorite moment in the whole thing.

The highlight of the film was how well they maintained Lizzie’s character. I might not like Pride and Prejudice, but I’ve always appreciated Elizabeth’s steadfastness and confidence in herself. The addition of zombies only allowed her to be stronger. Counterbalancing Darcy’s earlier… demand that Lizzie marry him, at the end, he asks not for her to be his wife, but if she’d allow him to be her husband.

Alright, maybe that was my favorite part of the movie.

I’m a bit upset I paid so much to see it in theaters, but my sister enjoyed it, so it was worth the cost. If you missed it on the big screen, well, you didn’t miss much. I’d wait to rent it. A dollar feels like a more reasonable price.

What did you think? More over, what do you think Jane Austen would think


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Fifty Shades Further: How “Mommy Porn” is Screwing with Literature

My friend and top-Beta, Laura, posted this link on her Facebook tonight:

Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Sherlock Holmes to be Republished with ‘Explosive Sex Scenes’

Part of me, a large part, really hopes this is some horrible, horrible prank. The article itself induces feelings from extreme rage, the desire to cry in a corner and rage-quitting life. I am undecided, so I blog.

I know why this happening: Fifty Shades was such an unprecedented success that the pub world wants in on the cash cow, and what better means than to take public domain Classics and add ‘missing’ scenes.

Here’s the real kicker for me:

Some original fans of Jane Eyre might be unhappy to discover that the female protagonist has “explosive sex with Mr Rochester” in the publisher’s erotic edition.

In Wuthering Heights, heroine Catherine Earnshaw “enjoys bondage sessions” with Heathcliff while sleuth Sherlock Holmes has a sexual relationship with his sidekick Dr Watson in the new e-book.

I’m angry about a number of points regarding all statements:

1) These books don’t NEED sex; it’s already there.

If you read them, really read them, you’ll see that Jane Austen using the dancing as metaphors for sex. Where else do you see characters interacting, touching, conversing freely? How about Wuthering Heights, where there’s practically necrophilia in addition to an emotionally and physically abusive relationship? How’s that to satisfy your twisted desires?

In Jane Eyre‘s case, THE ENTIRE POINT is that she wants Rochester, but STILL SAYS NO because she’s unwilling to take part in an immoral union. He offers her mere companionship and she still says no. Honestly, I can’t believe there would be any raunchy sex after what happens to him at the novel’s end.

2) “Erotic” sex scenes are historically inaccurate.

Theses scenes aren’t “missing” because there were never originally there. In Regency England, that sort of thing wasn’t discussed. Why do you think there were two endings to the Kyra Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice?  Even in England, in 2005, the film ended with Darcy asking for Elizabeth’s hand. They added the ending where they kiss on the roof of Pemberly in America to appeal to this demographic. Sex happens. It’s just not widely publicized. See point #1. Also, there wouldn’t be bondage on the moors. Though depicted in paintings as early as the 1630s, bondage didn’t become a widely-known sexual thing until 1930, at least as far as research has shown me. If wrong, please enlighten.

3) It’s basically bastardizing these novels, especially for the Brontes.

The Sisters B originally had their manuscripts published under the names Currer Bell, Ellis Bell and Acton Bell. Why? Because the books they wrote were too “dark, erotic and unseemly” for women to have penned. They then had a hell of time proving three women, in fact, wrote those books.

Bronte Sisters Power Dolls, anyone?

Sure, if the Brontes were alive today, I’m sure they’d be all over the erotic fiction. For the 19th century, they were. They were some truly badass bitches.

4) It’s a cheap way to promote Classics people already read.

It’s basically fan fiction. Again. And it’s not even the whole story. They claim they won’t alter the author’s voice or the text, but that’s exactly what they’re doing! The original author never wrote these scenes. Adding them in changes the text. You honestly expect me to belive you can write 19th century bondage? Does that mean you’ll be painstakingly researching the lexicon of that era? Guess what, words you think are 19th century probably aren’t. I’d be interested to see exactly how one describes auto-erotic asphyxiation like a proper lady.

“But I’d like to see some naked Mr. Darcy!” Wouldn’t we all? You know that’s why there’s that Colin-Firth-swimming-in-lake-and-emerging-soaking-wet scene in the BBC film.

 And guess what. You can! Darcy Takes a Wife, by Linda Berdoll, is  basically nonstop Darcy/Liz sexcapades. There are plenty of “erotic” novels. How about The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber? It’s a daunting 900-page read, but the story centers around a 19-year-old prostitute named Sugar, and let me tell you, it’s not shy.

If there’s anything that should be fic’ed and reproduced, I’m going Jane Austen’s Fight Club.

“We were no longer good society.”

EDIT: Oh god, it gets worse. The Sun released this article, naming other books to be fucked up fuckedwith… ruined.

Northanger Abbey and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea have also been given a racy rewrite with Dracula, Treasure Island, Wuthering Heights, The Three Musketeers and the Phantom Of The Opera set to be released too.

I’m going to die now. Don’t even get me started on Phantom of the Opera and the endless burning of buildings that will ensue if there is Erik/Christine. There sure as hell better not be Erik/Raoul. A disaster beyond your imagination will, undoubtedly, occur.


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