I am a huge Pride & Prejudice fan, yes also of Jane Austen in general but specifically Pride & Prejudice. I’ve read the book multiple times, seen most of the adaptations and own the seminal (for me) 6 hour BBC miniseries starring Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle.
People knew this so when Pride, Prejudice & Zombies was published I got it as a gift and read it cover to cover. My response was an underwhelming “Eh.” The zombie aspect didn’t really add anything to story itself and there were some really uncomfortable moments of orientalism. There also seemed to be this obsession with Darcy’s “most English parts” and for the life of me I couldn’t tell if the author was talking about Darcy’s ass or his crotch. The one really fascinating C-plot is *SPOILER ALERT FOR THE BOOK* that Charlotte Lucas is infected and begs Lizzie to spare her because she wants to experience married life before she fully turns. Lizzie acquiesces and later when she goes to visit her friend? Charlotte has made the full transition to zombie status and no one notices. Not her new husband, not the famous zombie killer Lady Catherine, no one but Lizzie. I thought this was a really great insight into how women’s health and well being is often ignored by others around them but it never really goes anywhere.
Now I’m the first to admit that some things work visually that just don’t work on the page. PPZ seemed likely to be one of those things. When I saw the initial full trailer:
I was excited and all in. I love a combination of period piece and warrior women, not a combination we get often. I saw the film and they added some things to the plot of the book that worked – the idea of zombies who can maintain their composure – and some things that didn’t – an oddly divided map of England/London that only added confusion. Overall my feeling of the film was…meh
– Some great fight scenes, especially when it’s all the Bennet sisters fighting together
– The sisters sparring beneath the house
– When the cinematography was on? It was great! Same with costumes.
– Matt Smith as Mr. Collins? Was utterly fantastic.
– Every time Mrs. Bennet was on screen I wanted to scream “Tilly!” Only Miranda fans will get that one.
– Lena Headley is entirely, ridiculously, unbelievably too young to play Lady Catherine. Like at least twenty years too young, it kept yanking me out.
– The actresses playing the Bennet sisters were so milquetoast & similar. It was like when Ryan Murphy casts male romantic leads. They all had to have different hair colors and glasses and such so the audience could tell them apart. Or at least so I could.(Surprisingly the actress who played Mary seemed to be putting the most into it.)
– They made Lizzie emotionally weak which she never really has been, like that initial scene where she overhears Darcy disparaging her and she fires right back? In the film she goes outside and cries. What the fuck? That’s not my Lizzie Bennet.
– It was entirely too long. I could have edited that down by thirty minutes and made a much tighter action film.
– Most of the performances were meh
Also I should say I saw both Deadpool and SW:The Force Awakens right after which were excellent so that might have tainted my opinion of PPZ.
In Pride & Prejudice related publishing news. Shipwreck, the erotic fan fiction competition I’ve participated in has an anthology coming out.
Some fantastic authors are included in this collection, including Seana McGuire, John Scalzi, Mara Wilson, Naomi Novik, Holly Black and many more including ME!
My story is a Pride & Prejudice entitled The Sisters Lucas which focuses on, you guessed it, the sisters Lucas. Though specifically the younger sister Maria. It’s an exploration of power and sex and gender and I hope everyone loves it.
P.S. – So much of my story can be blamed on K. Tempest Bradford. She was visiting and we re-watched the six hour miniseries and she kept pointing out the girl that turned out to be Maria Lucas. In all my previous viewings I thought she was just different bland girls brought in to fill in the background. It was Tempest who pointed out sad Maria, who just wanted to be friends and was ignored by everyone. After that the story just came out of me.