Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cockneys vs Zombies (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

Zombies are real in. The market is real saturated, and the last thing you're probably thinking about is spending a few bucks on another zombie flick that may or may not live up to the hype it has been receiving. This is where some hipster comes along and trashes Cockneys vs. Zombies. That's the fate that has come of many zombie flicks as of late especially those that dare to do something different like combined genres or play the zombie in a new role or from a different perspective. Same thing happened in the 80's with the slasher boom. Everyone was sick to death of slasher films, but we all watched and loved them in spite of an in direct contradiction to their detractors. The 90's?... we all loved vampire films, and the market was quickly overdrawn with a feeding frenzy of movies that were half watchable, half forgettable. We watched and found the goodies, the baddies and the shitties. The thing to remember is that these cycles can bring about some amazing films.

 Zombie  movies are clearly not dead (undead... whatever).  Just this year we had World War Z and Warm Bodies and both of them, though flawed, were enjoyable. Not perfect films and no match for films like Dawn of the Dead but entertaining and, at times, heartwarming.  In 2012 Cockneys vs. Zombies came straight out the coffin to let you know that the world of zombies can still be funny and fresh with traditional  tropes in tact to please the common fan boy or girl and make a lasting impression on the genre. I've been anticipating the Scream Factory release with baited breath. The festival circuit buzz has grown to a cacophony,and the movie is hitting VOD, but you're going to want to own this one. 

Synopsis from Scream Factory:

When some down-on-their-luck old timers are at risk of losing their home to developers, a group of young, inept criminals decide to take matters into their own hands. The only thing standing in their way? A zombie outbreak in London! Now, it’s up to a bunch of east-enders to fight their way out of the zombie-infested city, lead by an unlikely gang of amateur bank robbers and foul-mouthed, plucky pensioners.

Trailer (not from the release):

The first things you have to ask yourself before you watch Cockneys vs. Zombies will be whether you're ready to laugh? Do you like Britsh comedies? Do you like gore? Are you a fan of the term hi-jinx? Can you stop yourself from rewatching one of the best opening sequences in a zombie film in recent memory? Are you openminded enough to enjoy it? That's quite a few questions, but there all valid and will heavily play on your feelings toward this film. I won't say it's perfect. I'm going to drop the big one here... Shaun of the Dead was a near perfect zombie pic, and this is no Shaun of the Dead. This approaches Shaun of the Dead with teeth and laughs but with characters that are somewhat less likable than in SOTD. I'd say that fan of Shaun of the Dead will enjoy Cockneys vs. Zombies save a few people who can't get over multiple films operating within the same zom-comedy subgenre.

Director and Writer, Mathias Hoene has created some very physical comedy with clever play on what it is to be Cockney. The natives of East London have a champion film in their midst that can appreciate a good laugh and poke fun stereotypes associated with all things Cockney. So the title isn't a mis-nomer.  That's the novelty part. That's what separates this from other zombie films. The zombies are great too. These are worthy adversaries of the representative Cockneys, and are more traditional, Romero zombies. Slow movers. No brainers. Bitey. Gory. The effects, especially in the opening sequence, are on par with any mid-grade zombie flick. That means that CvZ has enough gore to feed the hounds, but it won't give them a stomach ache. This is a movie of shock and substance, but actually more substance, subplot and action than most serious zed films.

The Scream Factory release has quite a few extras. These will play to people who enjoy the film including deleted scenes and making of specials. Quite a few making of specials. It really shows what Scream Factory can put together when a movie isn't so old that their tracking down every ounce of footage and feature. When they get carte blanche, you will be a happy fan. The packaging is good with poster art, and the quality of picture and sound is solid. Nothing to worry about, however it can be noted that this is a newer film as opposed to a restoration. That brings up a slightly less important point that this really should have received a wider theatrical release.

If you are debating whether to simply watch this VOD or pick up the Blu-ray the answer is simple. You buy the Blu-ray. You will rewatch it, and, just like Shaun of the Dead, when you friends get wind of it they are going to want you to show it to them. You'll want to watch it stoned. Drunk. You'll probably want to start quoting it the first time you watch the movie, so you can get the lines down before your friends do. Zombie reference with Cockney accents; try not to quote it! I dare you. Alan Ford fans need apply. I haven't enjoyed him this much since Snatch.

You can pick up Cockneys vs. Zombies from Scream Factory. While you're there check out all their titles. While this is a new release, they have many classic horror films restored with the utmost care and ready for your shelf.

Available 9/3.


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