By – Sean Mowle – Matthias Hoene’s new British horror comedy
By – Sean Mowle
Hoene’s new British horror comedy Cockneys Vs. Zombies is a scathing political satire
on the dissipation of social norms brought on by the disintegration of the
class system in the UK over the last few decades.
Actually, that was a necessary lie to keep you reading
past British AND horror comedy somehow. In reality, Cockneys Vs. Zombies is
about, well, a gang of elderly Cockneys fighting off, yep, hordes of zombies.
But it’s also very funny.
A team of building contractors uncover an ancient tomb
under a building site in the heart of East London and, upon entering it, they
end up being hors ‘doeuvres for the imprisoned undead who escape and rampage
through London’s East End, infecting all they meet. Meanwhile two
brothers, Terry and Andy Maguire (Rasmus
Hardiker and Harry Treadaway)
together with their cousin Emma (former EastEnder & Bionic Woman Michelle Ryan bringing some sex and
sass to the film) embark on a half-baked bank robbery to raise the money to
save their grandfather’s old peoples’ home from being turned into luxury
apartments. With them on the raid is volatile local psycho Mental Mickey (Ashley Bashy Thomas) who steals scenes
as well as money, getting some of the best lines and some classic visual gags
along the way.
After a series of mishaps, they emerge from the bank only
to find the city overrun by zombies. They head for the old peoples’
home, intent on saving their infirm relatives, but this old peoples’ home is
inhabited by some of the most recognisable faces in British TV and film of the
last 50 years including Honor Blackman
(The Avengers), Richard Briers (The
Good Life) and Alan Ford (Lock,
Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch) as Ray Maguire, the grumpy,
foul-mouthed, aforementioned grandfather and leader of the trapped
octogenarians. Finding themselves
overrun by zombies with hilarious results, including what has got to be the
slowest chase sequence of all time, it’s up to Ray to lead the fight back against
the undead horde…
With a cast of great young and well-established talent
armed with some classic one-liners and some serious shooters, Cockneys Vs.
Zombies manages to maintain a good balance between the humour and the
splatter. The two brothers, and especially their grandfather, do get the
best lines but there are plenty to go around in this well-written script and
the segment detailing Grandad Ray’s exploits fighting the Nazi’s in World War
Two will have you on the floor laughing. The swearing and Cockney gags
do tend to lose their appeal slightly towards the end but the inventive
violence and plentiful gore will keep you entertained throughout.
While Cockneys Vs. Zombies does run out of steam and the
ending is a bit of a letdown, this is a film that’s more about the fun being
had on the journey itself rather than the destination. And there is a lot of fun to be had.
Imagine an East End Last Of The Summer Wine with foul language, an army
of the undead, some ultra-violence and a healthy chunk of Lock, Stock and Two
Hundred Smoking Corpses thrown in. Only
Ghouls And Horses, if you will.
It may not be the smartest, most sophisticated film you’ll
see this year but it’s bloody, violent fun. And how can you fail to love a film that has Richard Briers
machine-gunning zombies with an Uzi strapped to his Zimmer frame?