Sunday, October 20, 2013

REVIEW: Cockneys vs Zombies

Cockneys vs Zombies
Director: Matthias Hoene
Year 2012

Cockneys vs Zombies is an outstandingly off the wall zombie comedy, which features an eclectic cast of characters as they try to survive a zombie apocalypse. Infused with a hyper witty style and brimming with imaginable kills and zombie slayers, this under the radar slice of horror heaven is energetic, brash, and a whole hell of a lot of fun. Played out in a slapstick manner, Cockneys vs Zombies is what you would get if Guy Ritchie and Edgar Wright had a cinematic love-child. Instant zombie comedy classic!

The film follows two brothers Terry and Andy, as they come up with a plan to save their grandfather Ray and his friends from being evicted from their old folks home. Foolishly, they decide to rob a bank and they gather a crew of miscreants and slackers to pull off the heist. The only hitch, other than they don't have a single clue on what they are doing, is that today is the day the dead rise. Caught with a bag full of money but surrounded by the walking dead, the crew of survivors attempt to make their way across town and back to the retirement home, while the elderly residents deal with the zombie outbreak in their own unique way.

The brothers Terry and Andy are played by Rasmus Hardiker and Harry Treadaway, two intrepid young actors who do a great deal with the underdog roles. Both actors are likeable and each bring their own individual approach to their character, making for a pair of tremendously sympathetic would-be criminals. Along for the ride is Michelle Ryan who plays the role of their cousin Katy. Tough as nails and cool as shit, this firecracker knows how to handle herself and she looks damn good in the process. Ryan does wonders with the role, and I found myself drawn to her performance, more so than the already interesting central brother characters.

Delightfully bringing a sense of weight to the film is Alan Ford and Honor Blackman as the central elderly inhabitants at the old folks home. Blackman of course is a living legend of cinema, famously portraying the tantalizing Pussy Galore in the James Bond iconic flick Goldfinger, and in Cockneys vs Zombies she is just as tenacious. The same can be said for Ford, who is as ornery as ever just like in his classic performances in Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The two are delightfully entertaining in their roles and each of them gets a chance to perform some thrilling zombie kills. Aside from these handful of play-makers, the rest of the cast does an equally enjoyable job in making the world of this silly zombie comedy feel fresh and above all fun.

Like any good zombie comedy, the makers of Cockneys vs Zombies steered clear of parody and stuck to an original story with unique characters. Much like how the filmmakers of Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland approached their own material, director Matthias Hoene and company honed in on a personal story, filled with wacky antics, unusual characters, and equally diverse locations. This individualist angle allows the film to claim its own turf amongst the zombie comedy staples, while giving us a highly memorable set of circumstances which to cheer and praise. The retirement home especially is a genuinely unique setting for a zombie film, allowing us to tread through a locale that is never really touched upon within the genre.

There is also a great feeling of reckless abandon in this production, like they just released the film from a leash and let it run amok, wondering where it might lead. I loved the unrestrained situations and unexpected results that come about once the zombies are let loose and the zombie hordes go on a rampage, and the fact that you care about these characters is an added bonus that really helps pull you through every trial and tribulation that they encounter. Another added bonus is the fact that this film provides an abundance of blood and gore, which is essential to any good zombie flick. Heads explode, flesh is ripped and intestines are exposed, all done by the combination of practical and computer generated effects. Combine all of this with the over the top attitude that the film constantly throws in your face and you have yourself one exceptionally memorable zombie apocalyptic good time.

Cockneys vs Zombies is an absurd, yet highly infectious, zombie comedy film, that never holds back in delivering gore, endearing characters, and undead insanity. Consisting of a spectacular cast of iconic legends and fresh faced up in comers, the energy that this ensemble cast is able to generate is palpable. I especially enjoyed the performances of veteran actors Alan Ford and Honor Blackman, with Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, and Michelle Ryan giving some memorable performances as well.

Focused in telling an unorthodox story amidst a zombie outbreak, the filmmakers of Cockneys vs Zombies allow themselves to proceed unbridled into the zombie apocalypse, spinning a tale that truly takes us to some uncharted waters in the genre. The decision to showcase the elderly point of view of a zombie uprising was a great one and I enjoyed all of the scenes that took place inside of the retirement home. Toppled with its persistence to show off the gore and zombie goodness, I'd have to say that Cockneys vs Zombies is a solid zombie comedy effort. One that takes its own path and shows us a different side of the apocalypse. Perhaps lost in a sea of zombie overload, this underrated flick has been sorely overlooked, but I strongly believe if you give it a chance, you're going to love it. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, because of its over the top approach and wild nature, but for me Cockneys vs Zombies is.....

Lesson 1: Don't kiss a zombie!

Pull my finger bro.

Looks like someone is getting ready to eat.

Say cheese moron!

I can't believe we all wore the same outfit to the costume party!

Money, Money, Money, Money....... MONEY!

How about a little off the top?

This is what happened to the last person that called her Pussy.

It's just a flesh wound! Come on you pansy!

Well there goes the neighborhood.

You stupid bastard... your heads on backwards!

I think I just pooped my grandma panties.

It's the chase scene of the decade! So intense!

He's got a heart condition you bastards!

Looks like the footballers are out in spirit.

Now that is one badass chick!

Shit! The Scanners are here!

What a lovely family picture.

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