Book for the Highgate Vampire Symposium
Films

REVIEW: Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)

REVIEW: Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)
Darren Chadwick-Hussein

Cockneys vs Zombies


Title: Cockneys vs Zombies
Year Released: 2012
Director: Matthias Hoene
Cast: Georgia King, Michelle Ryan and Lee Asquith-Coe


REVIEW BY DARREN CHADWICK-HUSSEIN


Hilarious schlocky horror starring Michelle Ryan, Alan Ford, Harry Treadaway, Honor Blackman and the East End.

Two inept cockney brothers (Harry Treadaway and Rasmus Hardiker) and their cousin (Michelle Ryan) rob a bank in order to save their Grandad’s retirement home (The Bow Bells – it’s that Cockney) from developers. It all goes pearshaped but luckily a plague of zombies is unleashed at the same time. Now all they have to do is rescue Grandad (Alan Ford) and his fellow OAPs (including Honor Blackman and Richard Briers) from the shambolic hordes!

The trouble with the recent spate of British horror comedy is that the majority of them are just plain awful, neither delivering on the belly laughs nor developing enough menace to be frightening. I’m looking at you, Lesbian Vampire Killers. With this is mind I wasn’t expecting anything other than a bit of mindless gory trash to distract me from my popcorn when the lights went down and I wasn’t disappointed. However, this mashup of cockney heist and flesh-eaters is immensely satisying. The script, co-written by James Moran of Severance and Doctor Who fame, doesn’t waste a line. It is sharp and clever and peppered with inventive callbacks, the majority of which I can’t reveal for fear of spoiling it. And there’s enough bad language to make a navvy with Tourette’s blush, so granny may want to give this a miss.

Both the young and old cast play with conviction and you are genuinely concerned for their fates. There’s some great cameos and the rest of the cast are made up of familiar enough faces that’ll make you go ‘oh, it’s him from that show’ and ‘wasn’t she in…?’ Richard Briers is particularly memorable as a doddering old fogey with a zimmer frame, who in one hilarious sequence gets chased by a shuffling zombie. Alan Ford is probably the weakest link but he’s forgivable as he has to deliver purposely hammy Guy Ritchie-esque clichés. Honor Blackman with a rifle is a revelation.

The special effects and art direction are particularly effective in creating a decimated London where danger lurks around each corner but you can’t win them all as a few of the zombie deaths are a bit too CGI. Not enough to spoil your enjoyment but enough to merit a quick ‘oh pur-lease.’ And all in bright sunlight – no ‘darkness to hide the shoddiness’ here.

It will be forever compared to Shaun of the Dead, which is unfair. SOTD was a North London love song to George Romero, this is pure East End music hall dedicated to the schlocky fun of early Peter Jackson. Severe gorehounds may be disappointed as the camera tends to shy away from some of the nastier moments and there’s a few seconds of schmaltz but they don’t slow things down for long. There’s also a distinct lack of ‘Boo!’ moments but you’re too busy having fun to notice.

The zombies themselves are also fun and play on Eastender stereotypes; the pramface mum with her baby buggy is a highlight and the Millwall zombies battling the West Ham zombies is the best football hooligan fight ever committed to celluloid. The film also contains better use of a London bus than Cliff Richard could ever come up with.

Unless the distributors reconsider their frankly bizarre decision and give the film a general release, chances are you’ll have to wait for the DVD. And when it does come out, gather some friends around, open a few beers and have a good old-fashioned ‘Cor Blimey Guvnor’ night in.

And before you ask, Chas N Dave feature in the soundtrack.


DARREN CHADWICK-HUSSEIN is the writer/producer of The Bloody Mary Show, a British online horror comedy. Check out the website: http://www.bloodymaryshow.co.uk and you can follow on Facebook and Twitter



View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. Simon Ball

    30th August 2014 at 11:35 am

    I quite enjoyed this despite being fed up to the back teeth with zombies. There are some good gags and the potty mouthed Honor Blackman was worth the price of admission on its own.

  2. Pingback: Dark Morte takes on FrightFest 2014 | The Spooky Isles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Films
Darren Chadwick-Hussein
@bloodymaryshow

British horror fanatic Darren is a writer, script editor and producer whose work has been seen worldwide. His first web series, The Bloody Mary Show, has had over two million views and has won numerous awards. A former programmer for The Philadelphia Film Society’s biannual film festivals, he frequently judges Raindance’s Live Ammunition events and is a regular contributor to numerous websites. Bloody Mary Show won Best Comedy Web Series at the Indie Soap Awards 2013.

More in Films

Vincent-Price-The-Last-Man-on-Earth

15 things you didn’t know about The Last Man on Earth (1964)

Peter Fuller19th June 2015
Christopher Lee in Sleepy Hollow

Sir Chris Lee’s death means the loss of a childhood friend, says Tressa Yeomans

Guest Writer14th June 2015
Christopher Lee

Sleep well Sir Christopher Lee, says Katie Doherty

Katie Doherty14th June 2015
Terence Fisher directs Christopher Lee as Dracula

Andrew Garvey on Christopher Lee: I’ll miss him

Andrew Garvey14th June 2015
Christopher-Lee-as-Saruman

11 amazing but true facts about Christopher Lee

MJ Steel Collins11th June 2015
Christopher-Lee

Goodnight, Dark Prince: Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015) OBITUARY

Richard Phillips-Jones11th June 2015
The-Cutting-Room

The Cutting Room (2015) REVIEW

Staff Writer7th June 2015
Roddy McDowall in Legend of Hell House

The Legend Of Hell House (1973) REVIEW

Richard Phillips-Jones1st June 2015
The-Evil-Beneath-Loch-Ness

The Evil Beneath Loch Ness (2001) REVIEW

Simon Ball28th May 2015
Vincent Price in Witchfinder General

Vincent Price festival announced for London

Staff Writer27th May 2015
The-Sleeping-Room-image

The Sleeping Room where horror fills your dreams

Kayleigh Marie Edwards15th May 2015
Olivia Williams in The Haunting of Radcliffe House

Director reveals creepy goings-on shooting The Haunting of Radcliffe House

Matt Wingett6th May 2015