I hear the new Mad Max is pretty good. Next month, I’ll probably amble over to the theater to see Jurassic World. I may also distract myself with Ant-Man or that movie where Adam Sandler saves the world from evil Pac-Man. And even though it’s only May, it’s not too soon to declare that the movie of the summer—the one you’re going to talk about non-stop—is going to be JeruZalem.
In the interest of full disclosure, and in the name of journalistic integrity, I should say that I know nothing about this movie except for what I’ve seen in a trailer sent to me by a colleague who knows me a little too well. But what a trailer it is! American tourists visiting Jerusalem arrive just as the mouth of hell opens up and spits out agitated zombies, at which point said tourists take refuge in the world’s greatest hideout, the Old City. There’s no better place; the lime-stoned, walled-in labyrinth is so confusing, even the undead are likely to take a wrong turn somewhere en route to eating your brains.
Jerusalem, of course, is no newcomer to the zombie apocalypse, having already served as a central location in Max Brooks’s World War Z. This time around, however, the holy city is no mere backdrop; it’s the leading character, in part because the zombie uprising, the trailer informs us, is due not to some science experiment gone awry but to the wrath of God himself. The rising ghouls, then, are harbingers of the Yom Kippur to end all Yom Kippurs, although anyone who thinks flesh-eating monsters are the worst the Day of Atonement has to offer clearly never stood on line at Zabar’s on the holiday’s eve.
Fans of dystopian, religiously-inflected chaos, then, are likely to love JeruZalem just as much as they already love Jerusalem; thick, as it is, with the zealots of so many persuasions, would anyone in the capital really notice a few more incoherent souls walking around with their hands outstretched, mumbling about God?