Magazine article Screen International

Cockneys vs Zombies

Magazine article Screen International

Cockneys vs Zombies

Article excerpt

Dir: Matthias Hoene. UK. 2012. 88mins

Subtlety may not be the key thing in British horror film Cockneys vs Zombies, but as far as genre mash-ups go - cheeky London cockney types up against the bloodthirsty undead - it pretty much delivers the gory goods.

It is a delight to see Honor Blackman (star of the original The Avengers TV series and Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger) gun in hand blazing away.

Like any high-concept movie of this variety - from Strippers vs Werewolves to Cowboys & Aliens - the title tends to give away pretty much the entire movie, but at least Cockneys vs Zombies is blessed with enough self-aware humour and some smart cameo performances to set it apart from the usual pack of low-budget British horror fare.

The occasionally smart blend of humour and horror works well (this is no Shaun Of The Dead, but equally pretty enjoyable at times) and the strong cast could well help sales. Genre festival profile will high and sales should follow, though home entertainment may be the most lucrative route for non-English-speaking territories.

It would have been one thing if the film was simply packed with East End types slugging it out with the walking dead, but the film's clever twist is that much of the zombie attack is on an East End old folks home, leading to gun-toting OAPs (and including solid performers such as Honor Blackman, Dudley Sutton, Tony Gardner and Richard Briers) having to fight off the zombie hordes.

The old folks live at the Bow Bells Care Home, overseen by grumpy 80 year-old granddad Ray Maguire (Alan Ford, a veteran of British crime films). His chancer grandsons Terry and Andy Maguire (Rasmus Hardiker and Harry Treadaway) want to raise money to save the Home, but the only plan they come up with is bank robbery

Teaming up with their cousin Katy Maguire (Michelle Ryan, once of EastEnders on UK television, but who also starred but who also starred in the Bionic Woman remake series) along with gun-wielding headcase Mental Mickey *Ashley 'Bashy' Thomas and bumbling no-hoper Davey Tuppance (Jack Doolan).

While they set off for their robbery there are other problems in the East End - a team on contractors on a building site have accidentally unlocked a 350 year-old vault full of peckish zombies. The gang emerge from their bumbling bank raid to find zombies roaming the streets, and - eventually - equipping themselves with all the guns and ammo they can carry, the Maguire threesome aim to try and save the OAPs from zombie Armageddon. …

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