Since Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, many films have tried to duplicate its incredible recipe for blending sincerity, horror and comedy. Many have resulted in great horror comedies; films like Fido, Warm Bodies, A Little Bit Zombie and other have really done a great job, but still not managed to quite capture that magic in a bottle. This week sees the release of a similar title with similar themes from the same country of origin. But how does it stack up?
Terry MacGuire (Rasmus Hardiker) and his younger brother Andy (Harry Treadaway) are not the brightest guys. They lead a life of crime regardless of how bad they are at it. Their grandfather’s (Alan Ford) retirement home is being bought out and torn down and Terry and Andy want to do something about it. But when their attempt to rob a bank is interrupted by a zombie apocalypse, there is suddenly more at stake than money. They must get to the old folk’s home and rescue their grandfather along with a feisty group of senior survivors holed up in the home before the entire city is swallowed alive.
I am happy to say that Cockney’s vs. Zombies is probably the closest yet that a film has come to capturing the magic of Shaun of the Dead. The cast are phenomenal and have excellent chemistry, especially the two brothers. Hardiker and Treadaway share a brotherly love and distaste for each other that really rings true. Likewise for retired hardass Grandpa Ray played by Alan Ford, who reminded me of Albert Finney throughout the whole film. The laughs are plenty and the horror and gore is amped up as well for a delicate balance that never wavers. You care very much for every character on screen and find yourself being endeared to them almost immediately, one of the key factors in the Shaun of the Dead formula. Cockneys vs. Zombies is a hell of a good time and a side achingly funny flick.
The Blu-ray from Shout Factory is excellent indeed. Great black levels, natural colors and great detail and clarity make for a memorable experience in the home theatre. Cockneys vs. Zombies is highly recommended.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.