Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Movie Review: Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)

Cockneys vs Zombies (2012) written and directed by Matthias Hoene

MPAA rating

None (presumably because it wasn't released in the States), though the UK's rating board rated it 15

ZPAA rating

Late teens and up

Gore level

9 out of 10--Lots of bloody and gory zombies, along with zombie kills and being killed a la Romero's films. Some organs hang out and blood spurts all over. Some of this is played for comic effect, but not always.

Other offensive content

Lots of bad language; a bank robbery; one zombie infant is punted like a football (not cool or funny to me); one shirtless woman; blaming the zombie plague on the medieval world.

How much zombie mythology/content

These are standard zombies--they die, they come back as slow, awkward walkers trying to eat the living. The outbreak moves remarkably fast through London but that is more for plot convenience than logic.

How much fun

While this is a comedy, I'm not sure I hit the Mark Kermode six laugh quota. Some of the bits were pretty funny (like the guy and his walker in a low-speed chase with zombies), some fell a little flat, some went over my head.

Synopsis & Review

Cockneys vs. Zombies is a great title, right? It evokes this vague image of funny-accented (at least to American ears) salt-of-the-earth tough guys taking on unspeaking and unspeakable horrors fresh out of the earth. This movie delivers, but not a whole truckload of fun like you'd imagine.

The story follows two brothers, Terry and Andy, as they get ready to rob a bank. Money isn't their motivation. No, they want to save their granddad's old age home from evil developers who want to put up condos. They put together a band of misfits to do the job but things get cocked up when the zombie apocalypse starts in the middle of their standoff with the police outside the bank.

Meanwhile, we follow the story of the granddad, who is a war vet. He lives in an old-age home with a few (surprisingly few, actually) characters who could have been more colorful. They become his band of brothers when the zombies show up. The humor on this side of the story is better. One guy is sleeping in the back garden when the zombies come. They ignore him. The people inside realize he's still out there. They wake him by shouting which also draws the zombies' attention. He grabs his walker and has the slowest chase scene as the zombies stagger after him, almost within reach.

 The set up is interesting but the rest of the movie doesn't pay off in a satisfying way, as either a horror film or a comedy. Everyone seems to be casually skillful at killing zombies, regardless of whether they've held a gun before or not. None of the surprises or twists are unpredictable, which could be okay if they were more enjoyable (the walker/zombie chase being an exception). I found the film dragging at the end, which is surprising when the movie is only 87 minutes long.

Movie Trailer

Warning--this is the "red band" trailer which means basically the trailer itself is rated R for language and violence.

Warning: This Blu-ray is region 2, which means it won't play on typical Blu-ray players sold in the USA and Canada.

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