Saturday, 3 November 2012

Cockneys Vs Zombies (2012)

I'm sure that there are many people who heard the title of this movie and rolled their eyes in disbelief and/or disapproval. I, as some people might have guessed, grinned and rubbed my hands in anticipation. I knew exactly what to expect and I only hoped that the film could deliver. Well, it certainly comes close.

Cockneys Vs Zombies is a horror comedy that sees a zombie epidemic happening in London, as you could have probably inferred from the title. While the undead are rising and biting people who are then going on to bite other people and so on and so forth, a couple of young lads (Harry Treadaway and Rasmus Hardiker) are embarking on a foolhardy bank robbery to save the nursing home that provides a permanent residence for their dear old granddad (Alan Ford) and his friends (including Richard Briers, Honor Blackman and a few other familiar faces). The old folk are soon struggling to keep their nursing home zombie-free while, slowly but surely, the bank robbers grasp the horror of the situation and come up with a plan to rescue granddad.

Directed by Matthias Hoene, and written by James Moran and Lucas Roche, Cockneys Vs Zombies sets out to be bloody good fun from start to finish. It's full of energy, there are a number of fun lines and references to other movies and many of the characters are people that you don't mind spending some time with. Sadly, there are so many ways in which everything could have been tweaked just a little bit to make it even better.

One major tweak would have seen Michelle Ryan replaced. She plays a lock-picking cousin of the bank robbers and she goes along with them on the job, as well as Jack Doolan and Ashley Basy Thomas - the former being a bit dopey but with information that should help the robbery go smoothly while the latter is absolutely mental but has access to lots and lots of weaponry. Now, I don't hate Michelle Ryan and I think she's alright. I've nothing REALLY against the girl except for the fact that there are many better actresses out there and if she was picked just to bring some glamour to the film there are many prettier actresses out there. I have an idea that she was just picked for the role because she matched the required criteria AND had appeared in Eastenders and that just makes me a bit sad. If you think I'm wrong in picking her as a weak link in the movie then just watch for her delivery of a punchline that references a well-known Indiana Jones line and then see how you feel. The rest of the cast do very well. Harry Treadaway (who, along with his twin brother Luke, is trying to appear in every half-decent Britflick ever) and Rasmus Hardiker are a likeable duo while Tony Gardner and Georgia King play two very different hostages from the bank robbery now caught up in the middle of the zombie epidemic. Alan Ford is great, as is Richard Briers, and Honor Blackman does well with her limited screentime.

The other suggested tweaks involve a bit more time to polish every line in the script, more opportunities to create enjoyable moments such as the two standouts featuring Richard Briers (who is involved in one of the slowest zombie chase sequences that you will ever see and then later gets to show what he can do with an Uzi attached to his walking frame) and the removal of a subplot about a crooked developer shifting his money. Yes, that allows for the bank robbery to give the lads a bigger payoff but in the world of the movies it's easy enough to believe that all banks hold millions of pounds in their safes anyway so that felt like an added story strand with very little, or no, relevance.

There are quite a few good gore gags throughout and horror fans should enjoy most of the FX work but there are also some weaker gags that are given more attention than they deserve (I'm thinking of one scene, in particular, accompanied by the song "I Predict A Riot") so it's a shame that the movie couldn't have contained even more of the former while removing the latter.

Hmmm, I feel that I've spent most of this review criticising Cockneys Vs Zombies too harshly, which was never my intention. It's a good, fun, film. In fact, it's perfect post-pub entertainment and provides enough laughs to make repeat viewings likely. I'm going to buy it for myself and I encourage others to give it a go, despite the criticisms that I've just listed. You may just be surprised and find yourself having a good time.



  1. I just finished watching this and couldn't agree more, chum. I'd heard so much good buzz about this one, but I still was going in with an open mind. Just felt like it could have been so much better; in the way that all the Guy Ritchie knockoffs never feel like the real thing, this so desperately wants to be SHAUN OF THE DEAD and isn't funny enough to get there. Gore gags and Alan Ford are far and away the best things about it. 6/10 is absolutely right. Too bad everyone else seems to be praising it to the tune of 8s, 9s and 10s.

    1. Cheers, good sir. Yeah, it's been getting a few too many rave reviews but . . . . . . . . . I MAY have been that way about one or two films myself ;-)