Well, I already covered the found footage sub-genre, so hey why not tackle the other sub-genre everyone says they are tired of – zombies. I remember as early as 2004 when the remake of Dawn of the Dead was released, people were saying they were completely done with zombie movies. Nearly a decade later I can’t even imagine how frustrated those people must be that these movies refuse to go away. I feel similar about zombie movies as I do about found footage movies in that so long as they continue to find unique spins on the formula, I will continue to watch. Zombie movies tend to bust out the creativity far less overall, which is why today’s movie is a breath of fresh air.
Let’s talk Cockneys vs. Zombies.
For the first time ever in one of my reviews, let me lay a dictionary definition on you since I’m guessing a few people have no clue what a cockney actually is. Dictionary.com defines a cockney as “a native or inhabitant of the East End district of London, England, traditionally.” So there you have it, it’s that vs. zombies.
The plot follows two different sets of characters. The first group is robbing a bank, with two of the characters intending to use the money to help save the retirement home where their Grandpa lives as it’s in danger of being closed down. When they first exit the bank with the money in hand, they are greeted with a ridiculous number of police officers. They duck back into the bank and grab themselves a couple of hostages. However when they leave again, all of the cops have been replaced with shambling zombies. From there they spend a great deal of the movie huddled inside of a warehouse, trying to sort out their next move.
The other story follows the Grandpa and the other residents of the retirement home as they deal with the zombie outbreak. The outbreak actually originates from the nearby construction site, where a pair of workers find a tomb labeled King Charles II. They see no issues here so they open it up where they are promptly attacked by skeletons. Thus the zombie outbreak is born. The idea of seniors dealing with zombies is promising, and the filmmakers find a lot of great ways to play with the idea, with the highlight being a slow chase between a zombie and a man in a walker. It’s incredibly silly, but damn it, it worked for me.
Comparisons to Shaun of the Dead are almost inevitable with this movie since you have a group of people in London dealing with the undead in a movie that is absolutely more of a comedy than it is a horror movie. Much of the humour comes from how the various characters deal with the fact they are facing off against zombies. Most of them are pretty nonchalant about the whole thing, going as far as to mock how slow the zombies are moving. One thing that worried me is that the characters would spend too much time referencing other zombie movies. However aside from an initial conversation about how all the movies say you’re supposed to shoot them in the head (something several characters STILL aren’t doing even later in the movie, something that seems to happen in a lot of zombie movies) they don’t play this card very often.
The characters are the definite highlight of this movie as the writing is very sharp and they are entertaining people to watch. It sort of reminds of what the movie Snatch may have been like if all of a sudden zombies showed up about halfway through. Plus holy shit do I ever love to hear people with a cockney accent swear. It might just be the best accent for swearing on the planet and I will never grow tired of it.
As mentioned, a lot of the humour is pretty silly but it works well here and there lot’s great lines and original bits, such as the aforementioned walker chase and another moment where a character with a metal head plate can’t be taken down when he turns into a zombie. Not everything lands, (old people wielding guns loses its luster quite quickly) but I got more than a few laughs out of this movie. It doesn’t come anywhere close to Shaun of the Dead levels, but it’s certainly amusing.
Of course it wouldn’t be a true zombie movie without a good heaping of gore and Cockneys vs. Zombies delivers on that front as well. A lot of it is unfortunately clearly CGI but I can let it slide since I imagine the budget must have been quite low and it’s usually not too distracting. But you do get plenty of head shots, zombie bites and gut removal so if you’re looking for a good dose of the red stuff, I can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed.
I seem to be having a pretty good run of movies that are just fun to watch. They aren’t anything mind-blowing or genre defining, just very entertaining movies to watch overall. This is another one you can add to the list. It’s not scary but it’s a very fun time and once again proves there may just be some life in the zombie genre yet. Was that a pun? I was going to say pun not intended but I wasn’t completely sure that even was a pun. Eh doesn’t really matter, time to eat this pumpkin spice muffin.