OG Tough Guys andDumb But Cute Would-Be Thugs Fight the Undead
Movie / Outrbrea / Underrated
Cockneys vs. Zombies offers a truly ridiculous premise: a group of young Cockney toughs are simply trying to rob a bank, no big deal, when, bam, here comes the zombie apocalypse. They fight off the walkers with some understandable difficulty – I mean, there are not the sharpest bulbs in the basket -- but eventually, they get the job done – or they survive at least -- and somehow end up at an old folks’ home that’s populated by aging Cockney toughs from two generations back… and damn, can those old folks kick ass. It’s only a matter of minutes before the oldsters – the literal OG’s – are taking charge and beating back the horde of the hungry dead.
There’s absolutely no reason this should be as funny, engaging, and even exciting as it is. But it is. There’s a mad exuberance about old folks blasting away at the shamblers while the hapless younger generation barely keeps up. Much of it has to do with the performances of some great tough-type character actors from long ago – Alan Ford (who you will recognize immediately as playing the Cockney Tough guy since the 1960’s about 200 times -- Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, etc.) and Honor Blackman (yes, the GoldfingerBond Girl and The Avengers‘ Mrs. Peel before there was a Mrs. Peel), not to mention Harry Treadawayas the only young’un with half a brain. Treadaway went on to distinguish himself as Dr. Frankenstein inPenny Dreadful, as Brady Hartsfield inMr. Mercedes, and most recently as Narek in Picard.
You might have skipped this as another one of the Stripper vs. Zombies or Bigfoot vs Zombies low-budget throwaways, but in fact, this is a surprisingly well-made and just plain fun addition to your zombie collection. Or another great surprise for the zomfan who’s missed it for years.
28 Weeks Later: A Good But Not Great Sequel To The Classic
Sequels are an iffy business. For every Alienor Evil Dead 2 there are half a dozen lame, tired, and uninteresting sequels to pretty great movies, even in the world of the undead. By our estimation, 28 WeeksLater falls somewhere in the middle… but then it’s got a lot to live up to when it comes to its ground-breaking predecessor.
Of course, we all want to know what happened with Rage and all of the UK after the initial outbreak. The solution to move a few months downstream seemed promising; the main plot of trying to establish a “safe zone” in the middle of deserted, infected London seemed less so. And the fact that Danny Boyle, who remained as executive producer, stepped away to direct the hugely underrated Sunshinedidn’t help.
The action is great, the jump scares are well-earned. And like the first film, it’s got a great cast, including Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner (hey, remember him?) and some guy named “Idris Elba“ (Look him up. He has promise.). The notion of following two impulsive and dumb-ass kids was a fairly unpopular decision, and the lack of shock and detail of the first film made most zomfans go, “Yeah, it was okay, BUT…”
Still: You could do way worse when it comes to a sequel, and there are plenty of packages where you can buy both movies together. The makings of a great movie night!A