Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Cockneys vs Zombies (2013) UK

Well, faithful readers you've gotten through two of the three zombie movies that I recently viewed. We've had our teen flick, we've had our so-called adult movie. Now it's time for the senior set. Now I had to do a little looking before I started this review because I am the first one to admit that I am geographically ignorant and I never have even considered what the word 'Cockney' meant before.

So to be fair, I looked it up. I knew from watching this movie that it had something to do with living in the East End of London. But I didn't know the whats and whys. And I didn't know why there was a distinction. Now here in the States, I know different sections of the Country are known for their different dialects such as Southern accents, New York accents, etc. 

But as for England, my main frame of reference (and you may laugh if you want to) is the proper British accent of Stewie Griffin and Sir Patrick Stewart (yes, that's right, I'm putting together a cartoon baby with a distinguished actor), and the Cockney accents are the ones I've heard from watching sitcoms on BBC.

That sounds terrible. I know, which is why I looked it up. Basically, the word Cockney can be associated with geographical location, social interactions, and linguistic associations. As far as the area of London goes, it is the East end and while it covers many districts, it is traditionally a residential area which has experienced a growth of industry. In other words, the East Enders are known as a hard-working people.

As far as dialect goes, I think we've all heard both the so-called proper British accents, as opposed to Cockney accents. Those who speak with Cockney accents are more likely to use a particular type of slang. It is said that some of that slang originates from Yiddish words, others can be combinations of words. 

I did learn one word of slang I'd never heard used before, because it's peppered all through this movie, and that is the word Muppet. Were not talking Kermit the Frog or Cookie Monster, but apparently in Cockney slang a Muppet is a person who consistently does stupid things.

Okay, enough lessons for today. Our movie is another British zombie film comedy, which centers on a group of young Cockneys who work to rescue a group of elderly people from danger as a zombie apocalypse overtakes Eastern London. They give a quick back story to their ZA: a 17th-century graveyard is discovered, ordered sealed by King Charles II. As workers break it open, they are greeted by ravenous zombies who bite them, and off we go.

We have brothers Terry and Andy who are desperate because their grandfather is about to lose his retirement home. Apparently the whole area is being demolished in order to develop expensive properties. The only way the brothers can figure to raise enough money quickly is to do what their grandfather used to do when he was young and a gangster - rob a bank. Unfortunately, Terry and Andy don't have it all together. They do gather a team which includes their cousin Katy, friend  Davey, and Mickey who is their source of weaponry.

Even if you're a zombie you're on one team...
They have a sub subplot going on which gets things a little complicated and confusing. The developers who are planning to demolish the center to make their new buildings have a boss who is planning to embezzle all the money and take off running. He apparently has a partner on the inside; a woman who works at the bank.

Okay, this is a little too much to try to stuff into a zombie comedy. We have the seniors story, the development's embezzlement story, and the brothers story. It makes things hard to follow; not because it is too difficult, but because there is simply too much going on at once to keep track of the story progression.

...or the other.
Terry and Andy and their gang go to rob the bank expecting a modest payoff. But when they grab the money and run, taking the woman that was part of the embezzlement plan with them, and who thinks that this is the boss' way of cleaning out the bank, the would-be robbers are shocked to find that they are staring at $2.5 million.

The movie, then cuts away and goes back to the retirement home. Interestingly, when the zombies attack, it's the employees that end up getting eaten, since the senior citizens seem to have much better survival skills.

Of course, it helps that these are 'Romero' zombies which means that even the most feeble among them can use their walkers and get away clean since even THEY move faster than these zombies do. The senior citizens are not going to go down without a fight. They grab anything they can find whether it be a lamp a cane or just anything heavy and they swing away. It's interesting that the staff, who were much younger, were the first to die, and hardly put up any kind of fight, and yet here we have senior citizens who are beating the crap out of the zombies.

So the zombie apocalypse, at least for East London, is in full swing. Already things are crashed, smashed, wrecked, dead, chewed on, etc. The boys in their van are now trying to get back to their grandfather but have to go through all these obstacles. At the same time, the senior citizens seem to be doing all right for themselves. I don't believe they've lost a single person yet.

Since I'm always such a picky person when it comes to accuracy, continuity, etc. I have to point out one little boo-boo: Everything and everyone is in ruins, on fire, or dead. But, the light rail is still running. You think they would at least have halted filming until it went by instead of having it go through their shot. I just thought that was kind of funny. 

They did have one scene that was a little daring. Very few zombie movies will approach the subject of what to do in the case of a zombie baby. Off the top of my head right now. I can only think about three movies and one of those I can't remember the title of but the two that did was George Romero's Day of the Dead, and Peter Jackson's Braindead a.k.a. Dead Alive. 

The third movie was throw away and I can't remember the title, but I know the mother had the baby before she died so they thought it would be fine until… If I remember right, they drop-kicked that sucker. Here we have a zombie mother pushing a pram as they call them in England. I believe. The treatment of this zombie baby, because of course it is one, was the same; it's drop-kicked into oblivion.

I also found it interesting that the difference between the group of young bank robbers and the group of senior citizens in the senior center is that the young ones could not stop bickering among themselves and so several were killed because they weren't paying attention. The senior citizens worked well together and as I said, I don't believe a single one of them has been killed as of yet.

The most violent one of the young ones which would be Mickey (they give his excuse as he was a veteran who was wounded in the head and now has a steel plate), the one with a huge arsenal. After he is bitten (like I said, among the young ones several die because they do not pay attention) and has died, the remaining ones of the group raid his arsenal and arm themselves to the teeth.

One of the major problems I had with this movie besides having too much going on in a simple, or what was supposed to be simple, zombie comedy, was the CGI work. When are they going to learn that if something explodes and a spray of blood, but none of it hits the ground or the people standing right there that it is faker than any cartoon? 

In the rare cases of gore in this movie, that was a major problem. In other instances where they could have shown better gore, they actually performed the deeds (for example, cutting off the head), off camera. That is some major cheating. It's not the only movie to do this. In fact, the first zombie movie of the three I've reviewed today, Dead Before Dawn, when a zemon was run over repeatedly, that was not shown. At most, what we got to see was a severed leg. Major cheating.

Since most of London is pretty much gone, and obviously the money is no longer an issue, survival becomes the main topic of the movie. The grandfather in the senior center is still the smartest guy in the movie. If any of them live. It will be because of him.

As has happened in several zombie movies, the main objective when the old people get together with the failed bank robbers is to get to a boat, assuming that they can find an island or somewhere else where zombies will not be. As these movies usually step into the land of incredible coincidences, they find a boat ready to go right away. All board the boat and they prepared to move away from the dock, when they discover that no one has bothered to unchain the boat. 

Now someone must sacrifice themselves by going back on land and releasing the chain. The grandfather of the failed bank robbers, the most useful person in the movie, volunteers. He brings an automatic weapon with him because he is not stupid, and one of his grandsons decides to join him. They spray the oncoming zombies with countless rounds as they release the chain and somehow, because this movie is going to have a happy ending even if it kills us, they both somehow manage to get back on the boat.

Our final scene is the remaining young ones and all the seniors from the retirement home. Now where they go, and if they are safe is left open. However, the grandfather makes his final statement, which is that they will take back East London for themselves. I believe him.