Tuesday, 23 October 2012

COCKNEYS VS. ZOMBIES -Review By Greg Klymkiw - Toronto After Dark Film Festival (TADFF 2012)

Is that really Pussy Galore holding an automatic weapon? Indeed it is. Honor Blackman makes this  dull, derivative zombie comedy ALMOST watchable. 

Cockneys VS. Zombies (2012)
dir. Matthias Hoene
Starring: Alan Ford, Honor Blackman, Harry Treadaway, Rasmus Hardiker, Michelle Ryan

Review By Greg Klymkiw

God knows I love a good horror picture, but I'm getting so tired of zombie movies that when something like Cockneys VS. Zombies comes along, I almost never want to see a zombie movie ever again. The title was almost enough to tell me what I'd be in for, though, as a lover of genre fare, I filed away my preconceptions and prostrated myself before it, waiting to see if the picture's celluloid schwance would connect with my prostate gland in a pleasing manner.

Alas, the picture missed its target altogether. Sitting through the movie created nasty fissures requiring healthy applications of Anusol. So slight, so lacking in the laughs it promised (save for an overabundance of hoary gags and lines not even worthy of a "Carry On" picture) and finally, a horror-comedy so ludicrously replete with carnage, but nary a single decent scare, I scratched my noggin, gouging gaping holes in my scalp to ascertain why the audience I saw it with were guffawing and slapping their collective knees so heartily.

Cockneys VS. Zombies is little more than Shaun of the Dead, but dwelling in a sewer several notches below.

A handful of bumbling bank robbers (wanh-waaannnhhh) in the East End of London, score a humungous sum of cash to help their Grandfather relocate to a decent retirement home since mega-development will be swallowing up his beloved domicile. The old fart is to be placed in some squalid public digs out in the middle of nowhere - hardly suitable quarters for a crusty, curmudgeonly war veteran.

Of course, the bumblers are not hardened criminals. They're doing a good deed, so we're supposed to empathize with them. When some bonehead construction workers release a whole army of the living dead upon the east end of London (a symbol, no doubt, of what havoc gentrification can wreak), our heroes manage to get away sans police interference, but instead must kick zombie ass to keep the money and their otherwise worthless lives.

Eventually, they band together with the seniors who turn out to be amazing zombie whackers. The sight of a Geritol-imbibing Honor Blackman blasting the heads off zombies with an automatic assault rifle is not without merit. And yes, it is indeed THAT Honor Blackman - "Pussy Galore" from Goldfinger.

There was probably a good picture buried in here somewhere, but everything is played out so clumsily and at such a high pitch, that the whole experience is merely exhausting. The proceedings clod-hop about by rote with an annoyingly jaunty manner that nothing ever manages to surprise us at any turn.

It's great seeing Honor Blackman on a big screen again. She not only kills zombies, but turns on the old "Pussy Galore" charm to elevate her to maximum GMILF levels. Alan Ford as Grandad also delivers a solid piss and vinegar performance and there are moments of mild entertainment when he puts his war-mongering prowess to good use.

These are, however, meagre delights. They make one wish for a better movie to see both of these great actors strut their stuff in. For now, though, all those with crushes on Honor Blackman who possess a GMILF fetish, please lineup for Cockneys VS. Zombies at your earliest opportunity.

"Cockneys VS. Zombies" played at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival (TADFF 2012). For further info, please visit the festival website HERE.