Horror Comedies

REVIEW: Cockneys Vs. Zombies (2006): Rebecca Sayce Reviews This Diamond Geezer of a Zom-Com

There have been many iconic fights during my lifetime – Floyd Mayweather vs Oscar De La Hoya, Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis, Colin vs Cuthbert – but this horror comedy brings two mortal enemies to blows in one legendary battle like never before…

I talk, of course, about Cockneys vs Zombies.

Two peoples born to fight each other and avenge their fallen in battles on blood and brains. And no, that isn’t some rhyming slang you’ve not heard before.

I’m not sure what exactly attracted me to this film. Was it the ludicrous title? The even more ludicrous DVD cover? Or the ultimate level of ludicrousy that was achieved by the premise.

Picture the scene: A group of criminals, each as inept as the last, decide that the only way to save their grandfather’s retirement home from being demolished by developers is to rob a bank.

Meanwhile on another building site some workers dig up an old graveyard and they get bitten by the undead which sets off a chain reaction leading to the apocalypse, of course, while landing our protagonists in a heap of barney rubble as they rush to save their grandfather before the zombies turn him into lunch.

Is it the best zombie film I’ve ever seen? No. Is it the best comedy film I’ve ever seen? Also no. Though what it lacks in Oscar nominations it makes up for in fun and buckets of blood.

The dialogue and character portrayals are what really make this film for me. There’s something quite incongruous about cockney criminals and shambling zombies sharing a universe, but something strangely makes it work.

Rasmus Hardiker and Harry Treadaway give fantastic performances as the film’s two lead characters, while Alan Ford had me in stitches as the pair’s foul-mouthed grandfather Ray. His reaction to zombies dawning on his home is much what I would expect from my own grandparents – lots of f-bombs and annoyance at those trying to solve the situation.

It would be hard to enjoy this if you judged it alongside heavyweights such as Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, Evil Dead, or fellow horror comedy Shaun of the Dead, but it’s a bloody good old laugh if you can look past some of the questionable special effects.

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