A U.S. flag on a turned over presidental limo. Behind it, the Capitol building is ablaze.
A secret service zombie jumps over the limo and attacks the cameraman. Earth's population has been decimated by a virus, related to the mad cow disease, that turns everyone into flesh-craving zombies.
Only a handful of humans remain, including Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a student at the University of Texas.
Columbus (v.o.): Oh, America. I wish I could tell you that this was still America. But I've come to realize that you can't have a country without people. And there are no people here. No my friends... this is now "The United States Of Zombieland." It's amazing how quickly thing can go from 'bad' to 'total shit-storm'. And why am I alive, when everyone around me had turned to meat? It's because of my list of rules.
Columbus (v.o.): Rule #1 for survival in Zombieland... is "Cardio". When the virus struck, for obvious reasons, the first one to go were the fatties.
Columbus (v.o.): Poor fat bastard! As the infection spread and chaos grew, it wasn't enough just being fast on your feet. You'd have to get a gun and learn how to use it.
Columbus (v.o.): Which leads me to my second rule, "The Double Tap." In those moments when you're not sure that the 'undead' are really dead-ed. Don't get all stingy with your bullets.
Columbus (v.o.): I mean one more clean shot to the head and this lady could have avoided becoming a human happy-meal. Woulda? Coulda? Shoulda?
Columbus (v.o.): It wasn't long before the zombies began to get clever. When you are at your most vulnerable, somehow they could just smell it.
Columbus (v.o.): Don't let them catch you with your pants down. Rule #3 "Beware of Bathrooms."
Columbus (v.o.): As zombie began to outnumber humans, that's when you have to cut all emotional ties. If the girls in your neigborhood are now fucked up little monsters, maybe it's time to stop driving car pools.
Columbus (v.o.): You have to focus, on your own survival, which leads to Rule #4. Pretty basic. "Fasten your seatbelts." It's gonna be a bumpy ride.
Columbus walks down a highway with hundreds of abandoned cars.
Columbus (v.o.): That guy down there, is me. I'm in Garland, Texas. That may look like zombies destroyed it, but that's actually Garland. Just two months and I might be the last non-cannibal freak in the country. I may seem like an unlikely survivor with all my phobias and irritable bowel syndrome. but I had the advantage of never having any friends or close family.
Columbus (v.o.): I survived because I played it safe and follow the rules. Another rule to surviving Zombieland: 'Travel light.' And I don't mean just luggage.
Columbus (v.o.): I've always been kind of a loner, I avoided other people like they were zombies; even before they were zombies. Now that they are all zombies, I kinda miss people. So I'm on my way from my college dorm in Austin, Texas to Columbus, Ohio where I'm hoping my parents are still alive. Even though we were never really close, just be nice to see a familiar face. Or any face that doesn't have blood dripping from it's lips and flesh between its teeth.
Columbus encounters a black Cadillac Escalade, happy to find a human. He hitches a ride and climbs in the Escalade.
Columbus: Thank you.
Columbus looks in the back seat.
Driver: What are you looking for?
Columbus: Nothing, I just uh... I have this list.
Driver: No one back there but my duffel bag.
Columbus asks the driver his name. The driver insists no names and they agree to call each other by their destination cities. Just call him Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson). He is trying to get to Florida and kill as many zombies as he can on the way.
Columbus: You know, Tallahassee and Columbus are, both uh...east.
Columbus: So, Tallahassee, you wanna stick together? At least for a while?
Tallahassee: Here's the deal, Columbus...uh, I'm not easy to get along with and I'm sensing you're a bit of a bitch. I'll give this relationship to about uh, Texarkana.
Columbus: Really? Yeah. You'll take me as far as Texarkana.
Tallahassee: You're a pappy little spit fuck aren't you?
Columbus: You might wanna buckle up, you know for safety.
Tallahassee: I can tell already, you are getting on my nerves.
Columbus (v.o.): Even though teaming up wasn't my style. I figure, I'll be safer with Tallahassee. You see, he was in the ass kicking business, and business is good. It became quickly apparent that he did have one weakness. . . .
They come across an abandoned Hostess truck.
Columbus: What are we doing here?
Tallahassee: Take a look. It's a goddamn 'Hostess' truck.
Columbus: Yeah, I see that, a Hostess truck. So what?
Tallahassee: I could use a Twinkie.
Before going down, Columbus starts to limber up, to get himself loose. Rule #18: "Limber Up." Tallahassee looks at him like he is a nut job.
They explore the truck, Tallahassee's upset when he finds it full of Snowballs instead of Twinkies. He's really got a thing for Twinkies.
Later, they stop at a public restroom. Tallahassee is irritated that Columbus has to go to the bathroom so often.
Columbus (v.o.): I have a case of cronic anxiety. I've always been kind of phobic. I find lots of things disturbing. Like undertoe, or department store centers, being alone with a baby. But the thing I fear more than anything, yes, even more than zombies. Fucking clowns. When you're afraid of everything that's out there, you quit going out there. Which is what happened to me before Zombieland.
Flashback: In his Austin, Texas apartment, Columbus plays World of Warcraft, surrounded by Mountain Dew and pizza boxes.
Columbus (v.o.): Pride? No where. Dignity? Long gone. Virginity? Totally justifyable to speculate on. My whole life, all I ever wanted was to find a girl and fall in love, bring her home to meet the folks. Then again, since my folks are a couple of paranoid shut ins like me, maybe this girl could bring me home to her folks. And then, I'll finally be a member of a cool functional family.
A frantic neighbor who happens to be insanely hot, pleads for Columbus to let her in. Once she's inside, she tells a story about a homeless man who chased her and tried to bite her. Exhausted, she rests her head on his shoulder. Columbus is thrilled.
Soon after, the girl turns into a zombie and attacks Columbus. He is forced to kill her.
Columbus (v.o.): You see, you just can't trust anyone. The first girl I let into my life and she tries to eat me.