Synopsis: The Bow Bells Care Home is under threat and the McGuire’s – Andy, Terry, and Katy – need to find some way to keep their grandfather and his friends in the East End, where they belong. But, when you’re robbing a bank, zombie invasions makes things a lot harder. And let’s face it, they need all the help they can get when their bank-robbing experts turn out to be Mental Mickey and Davey Tuppance. As contractors to an East London building site unlock a 350-year old vault full of seriously hungry zombies, the East End has suddenly gone to hell and the Cockney way of life is under threat. Equipped with all the guns and ammo they can carry, it’s up to the gang to save the hostages, their grandfather, and East London from zombie Armageddon.
Release Date: August 2, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Horror, Comedy
Zombie movies are so in style right now that two of the year’s most hyped-up releases – World War Z and Warm Bodies â have belonged to the subgenre. “The Walking Dead” is one of the most loyally watched shows on television, and zombies have their own section in many book stores. Every week it seems that there is a new zombie movie, and this week’s is Cockneys vs. Zombies.
The cockneys in Cockneys vs. Zombies are Terry MacGuire (Rasmus Hardiker from Your Highness) and his brother Andy (The Lone Ranger‘s Harry Treadaway), a pair of Brits who need money fast in order to stop the closure of the retirement home in which their grandfather, Ray (Alan Ford from Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), resides. With the help of their cousin, Katy (Michelle Ryan from “The Bionic Woman”), and their friends Davey (Cemetery Junction‘s Jack Doolan) and Mental Mickey (My Brother the Devil‘s Ashley Bashy Thomas), they come up with a plan to rob a bank for the funds. The bank robbery goes badly and the police are summoned. The group takes a couple of hostages, a woman named Emma (Georgia King from “The New Normal”) and a man named Clive (Tony Gardner from “My Parents are Aliens”), in order to escape but, when they get outside, they find that the police have been overrun by a horde of zombies. The cockneys have to find a way to rescue their grandfather and his friends from the retirement home, and then deal with the ever-growing mass of zombies.
The big challenge that comes with making a zombie movie is being original with it; how do you give the public something that they haven’t seen before? With Cockneys vs. Zombies, writer/director Matthias Hoene (Beyond the Rave) tries to infuse zombies into the gangster crime genre, with questionable results. The film ends up being a typical entry into both genres instead of breaking any new ground in either of them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as zombie movies have a built-in audience and Cockneys vs. Zombies doesn’t take itself seriously enough to look pretentious. It ends up being a fun movie that will feel like it’s been seen before…except, it shows the audience how to kill a zombie who happens to have a steel plate in his head and, therefore, is impervious to a head shot. That’s a new concept.
In a way, Cockneys vs. Zombies is a victim of the popularity of Shaun of the Dead. The two movies are so similar that comparisons are inevitable. Unfortunately for Cockneys vs. Zombies, Shaun of the Dead is better. However, that does not mean that Cockneys vs. Zombies should be avoided. The film may not break a whole lot of new ground, but fans of zombie films in general and Shaun of the Dead in particular will have a blast…for other viewers, the reactions may be more mixed.
Cockneys vs. Zombies can be taken much more seriously as a comedy than as a horror film. The laughs are the type of dry humor that is expected in British comedy, nothing riotous or outrageous but not exactly civilized, either. Most of the comedy is provided by the zombies themselves, and emphasized by the movie’s ability to poke fun at itself. For example, one of the funniest bits involves an elderly man with a walker having a snails-paced but suspenseful foot race with one of the slow-moving, shuffling zombies. It’s a hilarious visualization of what audiences always think to themselves in these movies, mainly “why don’t they just outrun those slowpokes?” In another scene, the group encounters two factions of zombies, each supporters of a different football club, and a zombie soccer riot ensues. One of the characters makes the observation that, even dead, the two fan bases hate each other. Cockneys vs. Zombies is packed with silly moments like these; the zombies are more funny than scary, and the laughs make the film worth the price of admission.
Due to oversaturation, zombies have not been scary since about 2002. Because of that fact, Cockneys vs. Zombies can’t really be faulted for not being scary. Nevertheless, there’s not a whole lot to be afraid of in the film. The zombies are from the Romero school of the undead, meaning that they are sluggish, foot-dragging specimens who, frankly, are not frightening. Cockneys vs. Zombies has no jump scares, no impending sense of doom, not even a whole lot of tension built up. There’s plenty of action, so it’s got that going for it, and there’s a bit of fun practical gore effects, which are always appreciated, but as far as being scary, Cockneys vs. Zombies is not.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Matthias Hoene
- Screenwriter(s): James MoranLucas Roche
- Cast: Harry Treadway (Andy)Michelle Ryan (Katy)Jack Doolan (Davey) Rasmus Hardiker (Terry)Georgia King (Emma)Tony Gardner (Clive)
- Editor(s): Neil Farrell
- Cinematographer: Daviel Bronks
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Jody Jenkins
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA