movie reviews

Cockneys vs Zombies (2013)

Cockneys vs Zombies (2013)

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 Goldfinger Bond Girl and The Avengers Mrs. Peel before there was a Mrs. Peel), not to mention Harry Treadaway as the only young’un with half a brain. Treadaway went on to distinguish himself as Dr. Frankenstein in Penny Dreadful, as Brady Hartsfield in Mr. 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.

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The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

The Autopsy of Jane Doe:
Dark, Disturbing, Claustrophobic ... But Is She a Zombie?

Movie / One-on-One 

Look, we can all meet for drinks after work and have a good, long, well-lubricated debate about whether the body on the slab in The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a zombie or a witch or a ghost or what. But whatever that thing is, it keeps crossing the line between living and dead and back again, always with ill intent. If that ain’t a zombie, we don’t know what-all is.

The father-and-son team of Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch, operating of that bizarre underground morgue, go through one awful and awesome postmortem as the mystery of this creature on the table grows wider, deeper, and more dangerous.

This is essentially a two-person drama (the zombie doesn’t count), and the tight but terrifying script produces two of the best performances Cox and Hirsch have ever given – which is saying something. Even better: the ending actually justifies the gettin’ there – another rarity in “locked room” stories.

Come for the zombie, stay for the mystery and the reveal, and try to forget what you see. We dare you.

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