[RM contributor Patrick Dolan checks in from the Toronto After Dark Film Festival with a review of Cockneys vs. Zombies.]
With so many zombie scenarios outlined already (see Max Brook’s Zombie Survival Guide or The Walking Dead comic book series, TV show and video game), it’s easy to pick and choose your own “original” undead adventure. The challenge lies in making something that the hoards of zombie fanatics actually want to watch. Enter Cockneys vs Zombies, another entry in the long list of zombie flicks that pit the shambling hoards against England’s inner city rednecks. The setup might be familiar, but the film makes up for its lack of originality with plenty of zombie-killing carnage.
Taking its time to develop each character, the bleak but hopeful life of a cockney is exemplified in two brothers’ attempt to save their granddad’s retirement home by robbing a bank. The film initially plays out like a Guy Ritchie-style heist flick, but everyone’s afternoon is ruined by a sudden zombie infestation localized to the east end of London. The boys must now fight their way through a gargantuan number of ghouls to save their granddad and the other rest home residents.
Cleverly cutting the fat, this economical zomedy does away with explaining the zombie attack by making sure its characters (like the audience) are already familiar with the basics of the genre. This cut-to-the-zombie-chase approach makes more room for what you really came for: gratuitous ghoulicide.
You’ve seen it all before, but never so entrenched in the charming accents and speech patterns of London’s loveable rogues. If you want zombie mayhem, take a double-decker bus straight to Cockneys vs Zombies.