Cockneys vs Zombies review

(2012, UK)

The East End of London has been overrun by the undead, all thanks to two dimwitted construction workers who unearth and break into a burial vault that was sealed by the order of King Charles II, believing that they may have found a trove of buried gold. What they find are rotting corpses of the living dead and a quick end.

Meanwhile, as the outbreak begins to spread, two hapless brothers (Harry Treadaway, Terry Macquire) are attempting to rob a bank with the aid of their cousin Katy (Michelle Ryan), an inept convenience store robber (Jack Doolen) and Mental Mickey, a psychopathic career criminal played by Ashley Bashy Thomas. They intend to use the money—at least the two brothers and cousin—to help out the residents at their grandfather’s retirement home that is about to come under the control of land developers, outing all the residents.

As one would expect the daring and ill-planned robbery goes awry, and they quickly find themselves surrounded by the police with no means of escape, until Mental Mickey decides to use hostages as shields and shoot his way out. Exiting into the ruined street, the group quickly realizes the undead have overrun the East End of London. They make their escape to an abandoned warehouse where things get further complicated when Mental Mickey is bitten.

Eventually commandeering an old-style London double-decker bus, the lads, aided by their cousin and a spunky hostage played by Georgia King, head off to rescue their grandfather and the spirited pensioners.

Much more interesting are the older cast members who are hunkered down in their besieged retirement home. The group is led by veteran actor Alan Ford (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch.), along with Richard Briers, Honor Blackman and Georgina Hale, which give the film some genuinely humorous dialog and much-needed originality, a highpoint being Richard Briers’s first encounter with the undead, as his doddery octogenarian character Hamish clings to a mobility walker and outpaces a pack of the undead.

Although most of the performances aren’t bad, there is not a character that you connect with, the dialog suffers from trying to be anecdotally witty, the ending is predictable and the film does not provide anything new. However, the film is nonetheless likeable and quirky with some good bits of humor in the mix, which is supported by solid acting, especially from the older cast.

Now for the ratings…

Zombie Content: 6 – Plenty of slow moving zombies with decent makeup, but they don’t seem like a threat.

Entertainment Value: 5 – Gore is kept at a safe level, you don’t truly connect with the characters; nevertheless you still want to root for them, and some witty dialog and humor, though it suffers from trying to be too amusing.

Defense and Tactics: 6 – Evasion, shotguns, machine guns, pistols, katana, fire extinguisher, kitchen knife, bus, club hammer, and a box of Corn Flakes.

Overall Rating: 17 out of 30 – A likeable film with some good bits of humor, but don’t expect too much. Still well worth the watch.

Cockneys vs Zombies
Directed by Matthias Hoene
Writer: Matthias Hoene (original idea), James Moran (screenplay) and Lucas Roche (screenplay)
Cast: Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, Michelle Ryan, Jack Doolan, Georgia King, Ashley Thomas, Tony Gardner, Alan Ford and Honor Blackman
Run Time: 88 minutes
DVD Release Date: Blu-ray & DVD, September 3, 2013