Posted by: GregMo Roberts Source:Killer Reviews
A ‘Cockney’ traditionally refers to working-class Londoners – particularly those in the East End. A ‘Zombie’ is an animated corpse resurrected back to life by mystical means. Before now, there has never been a film dedicated to the meeting of these two cultures. Until now.
Cockneys vs. Zombies is brought to us by director Matthias Hoene who mixes over-the-top humor with even more over-the-top violence in a confrontation of Londoners vs. The Undead.
The story in Cockneys vs. Zombies is unimportant. But for the purpose of maintaining film review norms, we will digress. In short, a group of rather simple bank robbers soon find themselves fighting on the streets against a siege of reanimated dead people. This then changes the objective from escaping with their bounty to rescuing their grandfather and the occupants of his old age home.
The zombie genre has been done (pardon the pun) to death. From countless straight-to-DVD titles that litter our shelves and VOD inboxes each week to The Walking Dead television franchise running on AMC. It’s uncommon to find something new and inventive in the zombie genre and Cockneys vs. Zombies is not re-inventing the wheel. But I would suggest that this was not lost on director Hoene who seems to just love having his characters act inane while swearing profusely and blasting their way through a zombie horde.
Alan Ford might be the only recognizable face in the Cockney cast having brought his talents to films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000). He is definitely front and center for most of the film’s humor and he can still swear better than any Cockney I know (Note: I don’t know any).
When Cockney’s vs. Zombies is not trying desperately to tickle the funny bone with its flagrant British humor, it goes for the jugular in its blood splatter. Unfortunately, much of the red stuff comes courtesy of CGI (tsk tsk) – one of our biggest pet peeves in horror films today.
The soundtrack was playful (even if we didn’t recognize a tune or could name an artist) and the opening scene and a few other inventive filmmaking techniques attempted to separate Cockneys vs. Zombies from its peers.
As a crowd pleaser, the film delivered. But without a wide-distribution, we expect Cockney vs. Zombies will not have the luxury of a full house of genre hungry fans cheering and clapping with each head explosion. And watched in the privacy of one’s home, we don’t think the humor and the appreciation would be as rampant as we experienced when the film screened at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival this week.
Still, we were definitely one of the enthused rousing in our chair an orating approval with every graphically displayed zombie kill. It may not be perfect, but what Cockney is?