Oh the things that you happen upon on Netflix. I stumbled across this gem last night while surfing through the endless list of movies found on Netflix instant stream. I gave it a watch… And oh my… Where has Cockneys vs. Zombies been all my life? Not since Shaun of the Dead have I seen a zombie movie that I can watch over and over again and still feel the sweet zombie killing satisfaction. Is it a coincidence that they are both British movies? Probably; Either that or the UK knows its zombie movies, but I digress. Cockneys vs. Zombies is one of the best popcorn movies I have seen in recent history.
Set in the East End Side of London two construction workers unwittingly dig up a 17th century graveyard ordered sealed by King Charles II and unleash a zombie infestation onto the town. The story is told at first in two different locations, one between a set of brothers named Terry and Andy MacGuire (Rasmus Hardliker and Harry Treadaway) planning a bank robbery so they can save their ex-gangster Grandfather Ray (Alan Ford) retirement home from being demolished along with their cousin Katy (Michelle Ryan), and their friends Davey (Jack Doolan) and ‘Mental’ Mickey (Ashley Bashy Thomas) The second story is of Ray and his life in the retirement home along with his fellow retirees and friends.
The zombies hit London and tears the town a new asshole, leaving the protagonists to fend for themselves. After the robbers steal 2.5 million pounds from the bank, they take Clive (Tony Gardner) and Emma (Georgia King) hostage and hide in an old warehouse to wait out the attack while the retirees take refuge in the kitchen that involves several hijinks including saving a slow walking old man named Hamish from being devoured by zombies. The story then follows these two groups as they fight their way through zombies and try to escape the city of London.
What more can you say? I have not laughed that hard at a movie that is so self-aware of how outlandish it is in a long time. The comedic timing is perfect, the actors all have a great comedic presence, and let’s be honest… The mere concept of a handful of retirees with automatic weaponry fighting zombies alongside their delinquent grandchildren is just to amazing of a concept that there was not way that this film would fail.
Watching an octogenarian tape a Mac 10 to his walker than gun down a handful of zombies while the leather jacket bound cousin slices her way through a couple of more, and a man removes his prosthetic foot to beat a zombie over the head with it makes for a scene that will go down in history as one of my favorite sequences to ever watch. Right up there with the Shaun of the Dead Killer Queen pub scene.
Does Not Worry Itself with Death Count
This should not be something that needs to be said, but when a horror movie does it, it is a great thing. Unlike other horror/comedy/zombie movies, this movie does not concern itself with the ‘death count’. Actually; unlike other movies, over 50% of the characters in this movie survive. In the hands of people who do not give a rats ass about story telling or character development, they would just have a handful of one-off characters who just get butchered as the movie progresses (look at the remake of Dawn of the Dead for that.)
All of the characters in this movie feel like real people and you do hope that they all pull through. There are a couple of deaths in the movie and they all feel like they fit. There is even a heartfelt moment when Davey is killed in the warehouse, you do feel sympathy for the character and his friends who are still alive. The deaths that happen in the movie feel justified and that they need to occur to progress the story. The movie creates enjoyable people and does not yank them from you just to create a shock scene. A pleasant rarity from the norm.
I guess it cannot all be great. The film still has a couple of classic and overused horror movie tropes. We can talk about the gore for the simple sake of gore for starters. The fact that there are several characters that you can write off from the beginning. If a gun were to ever accidentally misfires then naturally it has to hit someone no matter how unlikely the probability of the gun actually facing them at that moment.
I guess it can be excused. After all it is in the horror comedy genre so a couple of tropes will need to occur. But it still can get a tad irksome. But luckily this is just a small nitpick on what is already an amazing movie.
You have to see this movie to truly understand just how great it is. It is an unapologetic gore ridden laugh riot as you watch these Cockneys gun down zombies en masse with their gigantic collection of guns, senior citizens, and all around badassery. If you have Netflix and have 90 minutes to kill, then watch this movie! You go to it right now and watch it immediately. It will be the best decision of your day.
Final Score 4.5/5
Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoy this review then please like and subscribe for more. Please return Sunday for a new review from me and please visit, like, and subscribe to our new parent site The Nerd Realm.