You may be aware that recently an inconsequential number of sporting events took place in East London, events that required years and years of building work in deserted industrial land. In short, a place that you might find some juicy old zombies hanging out, waiting to nibble on some unsuspecting building site worker’s earlobes or maybe even a bit of intestine. Cockneys vs Zombies begins in such a fashion.
Matthias Hoene’s ode to zombies doesn’t appear to have mass appeal on first impressions: the story primarily featuring two brothers named Terry and Andy Macguire who decide to rob a bank to keep their granddad Ray (Alan Ford) nearby in Bow Bells care home, which had been earmarked for demolition. The brothers, along with their gang, suddenly find themselves dealing with some unexpected Zombies alongside the ones working at the bank. Terry (Rasmus Hardiker), Andy (Harry Treadaway) and their cousin Katy (Michelle Ryan) then burst across the East End in a Routemaster [natch] to rescue their grandad and mates Peggy (Honor Blackman) and Hamish (Richard Briers) before the zombies overrun the care home.
The result is a funny zombie film which doesn’t stray too much into the Shaun of the Dead zone. You might want to watch it even if you don’t normally go in for all that zombie lark. Alan Ford and Honor Blackman make a very cool zombie-slaying double act alongside each of the care home residents and many of the funniest moments occur here. The accents are not too over the top (cor blimey guv!) and the scriptwriters make use of the odd bit of rhyming slang, again not too self-consciously.
Bionic woman Michelle Ryan is passable as the Macguire brothers’ ‘locksmith’ cousin, the two actors playing the brothers have a rapport of sorts and hostage Emma (Georgia King) provides good value for money. It’s more of a comedy than a zombie film but a certain amount of gore does remain to appease the zombie faithful. There’s also a good score featuring an original Chas and Dave number that will have you singing along – “zombies, zombies, zombies!”
The DVD extras contain some pretty standard behind the scenes stuff alongside an excellent ‘Zombie School’ video: if you’re not stumbling and moaning like a professional after watching it then there’s no hope for you as an undead flesheater.
Maryann has awarded Cockneys vs Zombies three Torches of Truth.