Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)

Strike a light, it’s a fucking zombie!

Cockneys vs Zombies has probably got a short shrift from a lot of potential movie-goers, who might consider this to be another trite cash-in horror fare in the vein of Strippers vs Werewolves or Alien vs Ninja or Zombies vs Strippers or Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus.

But they’d be wrong. Very wrong.

Cockneys vs Zombies is a riotous, violent, bloody, brutal zombie flick that is lovingly wrapped in some sharp comedy and some brilliant old people. Old people? Yes, old people. Most notably Alan Ford, Honor Blackman and Richard Briers. So it’s Bricktop, Pussy Galore and Tom Good vs Zombies. How can you NOT want to see that?

The plot? Well it’s not as simple as “zombies turn up in Stepney and some geezers batter ‘em with pool cues”. This actually has story. And character. And a Zimmer-frame pimped out with machine guns.

The Macquire kids (Michelle Ryan, Harry Treadaway & Rasmus Hardiker) want to rob a bank. Scummers, right? Not quite. Their intention is to steal just enough money to save their granddad (Alan Ford) Ray’s retirement home from being knocked down. Because if that happens, then Ray “don’t call me Grandad” Macquire will have to fuck off up North, and that’d be a bleedin’ tragedy.

Unfortunately the Macquire youngsters hire local idiot Davey Tuppence (Jack Doolan) and PTSD-suffering Mental Mickey (Ashley Bashy Thomas) to help them… and the bank robbery goes horribly wrong.

Grabbing two posh hostages, then exit the bank and find… the zombie apocalypse! As the armed police are inexplicably overrun by the undead, the robbers decide to rescue their Grandad and get the fuck out of London town.

You’re ‘aving a tin bath, right? Nope. That’s the plot. Not your average ‘run away from zombies until everyone is basically dead’ story, is it?

Cockneys vs Zombies has no right to be as much fun as it is. It is testament to the quality of talent on display here, from Matthias Hoene’s sharp direction, Lucas Roche and James ‘Severance’ Moran’s brilliant script and the awesome cast. Alan Ford is naturally fantastic – as our romantic lead (yes, you heard that right) – and the likes of Treadaway, Hardiker and Ryan prove themselves worthy of more screen time in the future.

It’s not 100% perfect, mind. As Cockneys vs Zombies is lightly comic, there is an unfortunate lack of focus on the zombie deaths front, with everything being very quick-snap and with an overuse of obvious CGI (with CGI gunshot wounds, head explosions and sword slices). In fact, the ropey CGI is slightly distracting, especially where the ‘London’s burning’ landscapes are considered. This doesn’t hugely impact the story, but it leaves you wanting more.

Saying that, there are some spectacularly memorable zombie-moments; this includes a very persistent biter, a metal-plate problem and one hilarious football riot. It’s a shame there weren’t more of these moments.

Cockneys vs Zombies is a sweary, violent, hilarious little horror-comedy that proves not all “versus films” are cheap cash-cows. It’s not dark, it’s not moody, it’s not fantastically clever, but it is a lot better than most people will expect. Tremendous fun.

Watch it, you soppy tarts.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

One Comment on “Cockneys vs Zombies”

  1. Matt Blythe says:

    How can I not see this? Script by James Moran (I do like his work), Michelle Ryan (I do like her… work) and Scullion being shot in the face? Three times? Sounds like a complete win to me.

    ; )

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