Starring Harry Treadaway, Rasmus Hardiker, Georgina King, Alan Ford, Honor Blackman, Michelle Ryan and Richard Briers
Written by James Moran and Lucas Roche
Directed by Matthias Hoene
Another entry from the UK, Toronto After Dark presented us with the FrightFest hit Cockneys vs Zombies for its Canadian premiere. The horror comedy set in London’s infamous east end aims to take off from where Shaun of the Dead left off also uses the insular setting of an elderly age care home to stage most of the action. The combination of the care home residents and young protagonists out to save their granddad is unique, but does it work?
Brothers Andy (Treadaway) and Terry (Hardiker), in an effort to save their grandfather Ray’s (Ford) quiet retirement home from being sold to condo developers, grab a few friends, including their cousin Katy (Ryan), and attempt to rob a bank. Just as they’re about to escape with the loot, they find their way blocked by hordes of the undead. Meanwhile, Ray and his fellow retirees must fight off another zombie horde, hip replacements and all. After escaping with hostages Emma (King) and Clive (Tony Gardiner) in tow, the group barely escapes to their hideout to regroup. They hatch a haphazard plan to save Grandpa Ray and his friends and take off into the zombie horde guns blazing to do so.
Cockneys vs Zombies is the comedy romp that I hoped I would get out of Inbred. The setup, execution and gags work fantastically well. The script from James Moran, the writer of another brilliant horror comedy “Severance”, and Lucas Roche is tight, smart and packs some inventive set pieces that I haven’t seen before. The performances also work very well here. The brother’s squabbling is completely believable, and mirrored by the goings on of the care home residents. Alan Ford is brilliant. His performance is brash and bombastic. He literally rips your attention away from everyone else onscreen every time he shows up. His counter point is Richard Brier’s Hamish, the dopey, less mobile senior that barely escapes the initial attack due to his mid afternoon nap. Another standout from the supporting characters is Ashley Bashy Thomas as Mental Mickey. His easily angered Mickey is a hoot to watch, complete with a zipper like set of stitches across the top of his head. The effects work here is also crisp. The zombies look great and the over the top feel to them works great in this case for comedic effect. Director Hoene has a great eye and sense of timing that keeps the film on track and the pacing on point.
One of the funnier films I have seen all year, Cockneys vs Zombies delivers for comedy fans and gore hounds alike. Cockneys vs Zombies is a strong recommend.
Till Next Time,
Movie Junkie TO
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