What I'm Watching: Cockneys vs. Zombies
I've been following a zombie comedy movie for awhile now, the titular Cockneys vs. Zombies. It had that right look of fun and horror, and I'm a fan of Michelle Ryan, so it was on my radar.
I was a little afraid at it trying to be the next Shaun of the Dead though, but the trailers made me smile enough.
It finally came out on DVD, and first thing I'm gonna say is that it is not fair to compare it to Shaun of the Dead. Even though I'm going to, at times. The movies are very different, with different goals in mind, and even the creators of CvZ know they can't compare to such a masterpiece.
Shaun is such a well-crafted piece of work, with every single bit of dialogue feeding into the next, building up, and even the littlest detail leads to foreshadowing and the end. The craftsmanship in Edgar Wright's movies are mindboggling at times.
And CvZ just does not compare, on that level.
But that said, it is still REALLY solid, taken on its own merits. Even held up against Shaun, it still fares very well, even if it is proudly standing and staring up at its better.
The story centers around an old folks home in London, under threat of being demolished and the residents being located far FAR away from home, and into an area that the local cockneys just will not stand for. So the grandkids, and their cousin, along with a few friends, team up to pull a bank heist to pay the money needed to keep the home open.
Meanwhile, the same construction company looking to rebuild have uncovered an ancient tomb, and set free a zombie plague upon the city.
I love mixing up the heist genre with a zombie movie, because you would NEVER think of those two going together, and honestly? They don't. But it's a good diversion and set up for plot and characters, as the zombie movie crashes the party and stops the heist dead in its tracks.
Which is probably a good thing, because the entire team besides Michelle Ryan's Katy are either inept, bumbling fools, or raging psychopaths, leading to the heist going horribly wrong in literally every way they can think of.
From their, the mission is STILL to save their granddad and his friends, but now the threat has become the zombie hordes.
This movie does some truly, incrediblely inventive things with the genre that I don't think I've ever seen before. The humour is great, very well balanced with the more serious threat of zombies, and there are a ton of great, gory zombie kills.
Cockneys vs. Zombies had me laughing, yelping, cheering, and it even touched me emotionally a few times. It never quite reached the heights of Shaun of the Dead, but it made a damned good effort, and if it didn't unthrone the reigning king of British zombie comedies, it should feel no shame in being a very close second.
I definitely recommend checking out CvZ, and just judge it for what it is, not because it's not Shaun of the Dead. It was definitely surprising just how good it was, since I went into this without middling hopes for a fun time, and was not disappointed.