We began Part 2 of ZMN anniversary month with a fresher release I was eager to see. If I were to make a list of my Top 10 hobbies and interests, two things that would definitely make the cut are “zombies” and “British culture.” Cockneys vs. Zombies, by title alone, promised to be right up my alley. And it is, paying tribute to both the undead genre and the fighting spirit of the English working class.
Two brothers, in a last ditch effort to save the grandfather who raised them from having his nursing home torn down for an upscale construction project, form a small gang and a plan to rob a bank. Little do they know, that very construction crew has accidentally unleashed the living dead upon London. The film then tracks two groups amid the zombie melee: the likeable bank robbers with their impromptu hostages and the grandfather and his merry band of fellow pensioners. Will the brothers be able to step up and save the day, and can grandpa survive long enough for their efforts to pay off?
CvZ is solid from start to finish. I’m almost positive I’ve said this before, but at this point, there is nothing groundbreaking that can be done with a zombie film. The best you can hope for is to make a really well done movie and throw in a couple of moments that might not have been tried before. In the case of the latter, there’s a great gag where one of the more disabled of the old guys has to use his walker to “outrun” a lumbering zombie in hot…er…lukewarm pursuit. The film is a comedy all the way, but the characters are well developed enough to make the viewer care what happens to them, even when things start to look bleak. Grade: B+
(I’d also recommend taking 5-10 minutes to look up Cockney Rhyming Slang. It’s hilariously convoluted and the movie does poke fun at that a couple of times)
Our fourth and final film was the wretched Dorm of the Dead. This definitely falls into the category of “welp, we said we wanted to watch all of them.’ It’s not often that I long for the high production values of Motocross Zombies From Hell, but at least that turd had all of its actors in the same room. That’s right, the most annoying and distracting part of Dorm is that almost every scene is punctured with close-ups of the character who is speaking, and then a cut to the other character speaking. As one can tell by the framing, varying sound quality and background, no one is in the same place at the same time, even if they are supposed to be having a conversation. It was clearly borne of necessity but it’s still awful and the most jarring, poor choice in filmmaking I have ever seen. The budget of this film was the cost of the camera. The actors are all atrociously amateur and the running time is padded by things like “pointless Lesbian sex scene” and “walking around the convenience store that let us film there” and finally, a head-scratching and unfunny ten minute post-credit sequence of “man making crude sexual come-ons to girl who is just not getting it.” I’m not going to recount the plot or anything because that would require more effort than this affront to filmmaking deserves. Grade: EFFFFFF!