There are movies whose title just sells itself. Yes, this is true so true for director Matthias Hoene’s British zombie flick “Cockneys Vs. Zombies”. The title says it all, and really I can probably just do a quick tip instead of a full review right now. But nah, I like to talk a lot when it comes to movies about the zombie-comedy genre.
Well, the plot of the film is real simple. A construction crew stumbles on a hidden tomb that, well, unleashes an ancient zombie plague. This same construction project threatens the existence of a nursing home where old man Ray (Alan Ford) is staying. His grandsons Terry and Andy (Rasmus Hardiker and Harry Treadaway) has hatched up a scheme to save the nursing home by robbing a bank. Along with some friends (smarty-pants Jack Doolan and gun-happy psychopath Ashley Thomas) and their cousin Katie (sexy Michelle Ryan), they kind of succeed, taking two hostages (Georgia King and Tony Gardner) but then, they come right in the middle of the zombie plague. This really complicates things as the group seems to have nowhere to go, and they must now rescue the senior citizens from the zombie siege.
Yeah, the film is pretty straight-forward and behaves more like a video game rather than a film. The film is all about forward momentum as the group vies for survival. But, the screenplay does not really go for the cheap way out here. It does have a credible story and even has something small to say about progress and how British citizens treasure their homeland and their family. Between the bank robbery, the senior home and the way the group interacted had a lot of areas for development. The script may have leaned towards the title’s selling point, but it keeps things moving forward with a strong forward momentum. The film can be ridiculous but the comedy did not feel cheap. It was funny and outrageous enough to keep me entertained.
What I liked about the movie was its ability to maintain that silliness and yet, it was able to expand on its horror elements. Most zombie horror is all about survival horror and having strong chase elements to generate suspense. Here, the chase and the survival horror is driven to create comedic set pieces and the laughs come from the way those horror elements were executed. It also remembers to change each scenery just so the sequences don’t feel redundant. I’ve always wondered how someone would have to deal with a zombie baby and a zombie who was a war veteran, and this film has the answers. Ever wonder who’s faster, an elderly man with a walker or a shambling slow-moving zombie? The script knew the answers to those ridiculous questions.
The film also had a good dose of blood and gore for good measure. The special effects had that mild use of CGI on occasion, but the use of practical effects were more in play with the film’s tempo. Oh yeah, the prosthetic effects were pretty good and they did rival the best ones the zombie genre had to offer. It was all about a lot of guns and bullets as our cast plows through this zombie plague. The film also makes fun of itself as really, “you have to shoot them in the head….everyone knows that.”
I guess you may be wondering how the characters were, but honestly, with a title such as “Cockneys Vs. Zombies”, what else is there to expect? The characters really have such shallow depth but I did not care at all. It is a blast to watch and it was surprisingly involving for a movie driven by silliness. This was a zombie-comedy film that was driven by its ridiculousness, and is made to be viewed by a group of friends with a lot of beer and pizza to reach maximum effect. This is a film that really lives up to its title and is a light-hearted zombie-comedy-action-adventure. Alan Ford does steal the show as the ass-kicking grandpa and Michelle Ryan was great eye-candy. Recommended. [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]