'Zombieland' hits theaters today, but I was lucky enough to see a pre-release screening earlier this week. Here's how I ended up watching 'Zombieland' with a teenager, a bunch of zombies ... and Woody Harrelson -- in other words, this is the story of how I found myself in the most awesome screening ever.

Now, in my line of work, early film screenings are pretty commonplace (I know -- poor me, right?), but the 'Zombieland' showing that I attended was anything but common. 'Zombieland' hits theaters today, but I was lucky enough to see a pre-release screening earlier this week. Here's how I ended up watching 'Zombieland' with a teenager, a bunch of zombies ... and Woody Harrelson -- in other words, this is the story of how I found myself in the most awesome screening ever.

Now, in my line of work, early film screenings are pretty commonplace (I know -- poor me, right?), but the 'Zombieland' showing that I attended was anything but common.

I brought my 15-year-old son as my guest -- he's a big fan of horror-gore, and this seemed like a great mother-son bonding opportunity (and that either makes me a really good mom ... or a horrible, horrible one). He made it to the theatre before me, and when we checked in via cell phone, he reported that he was having fun just watching all the people going into the show; apparently, we would be viewing this movie with a bunch of zombies. OK, color me officially intrigued. Couldn't wait to get to there.

We walked into the theater just as the lights were going down; the movie was starting (great opening, by the way -- sets just the right tone for the film) and we found two prime seats, not too close, just a few spots from dead-center. Movie's rolling, we're already laughing our heads off; I look around at our seatmates to see if they're enjoying themselves as much as we are. To my left are a couple of zombies, natch (I'd estimate, conservatively, that two-thirds of the crowd showed up in costume), and to my son's right was ... wha ...? Woody Harrelson?!?! Where did he come from?

Before Harrelson's first appearance in the film, the audience started shouting, "We want Woody" -- to which that guy sitting beside my son (you know, Woody Harrelson) sorta stood up a little, tipped his hat to his adoring undead fans and exhibited a pleased little grin. And he smiled even bigger when his first appearance on screen elicited huge whoops of appreciation from the zombie crowd.

I did my best to train my eyes on the screen, though I'll admit I kept Woody in my peripheral vision. He seemed to be enjoying the film -- and especially the theatergoers' reactions to the film. He slipped out about halfway through, while my son and I were left to enjoy ... the most awesome screening ever. (You knew that was coming, didn't you?)


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