Friday, September 23, 2016

In A West End Town an Undead World, or Thoughts on Cockneys vs. Zombies

Technically, Cockneys vs. Zombies (2012) takes place in the East End of London, but I really wanted to reference that Pet Shop Boys song for this light-hearted (well, as light-hearted as a zombie movie can be) zombie caper movie about some hapless Cockney bank robbers who find themselves in the middle of a London zombie outbreak.  The movie wastes no time in releasing the living dead as it opens with some construction workers investigating a plague-contaminated 17th Century crypt.  After they inadvertently release an old zombie virus strain which when you think about it, puts this movie in the same alternate universe of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016), the audience is treated to the opening credits along with the rockin’ theme song Monster (2006) by the Welsh band The Automatic.
The bank robbers in question are Harry Treadaway from Penny Dreadful as Andy with Rasmus Hardiker as older brother Terry and Michelle Ryan, Jamie Summer from the failed 2007 Bionic Woman reboot and Lady Christina de Souza as their cousin Katy.  The only reason the lads are robbing that bank is raise the dosh to save their grand-dad’s nursing home from the evil real estate developers, so they have the audience’s sympathy and they’re not technically bad guys.  Besides, there are plenty of zombies to fight.
Scottish actress Georgia King from HBO’s Vice Principals appears as Doreen, a hostage but the real star is Alan Ford, Brick Top from Snatch (2000) as Ray, the hard man granddad who fought in the War and is not impressed or afraid of a zombie.  It’s also a treat to see Honor Blackman, Pussy Galore from Goldfinger (1964) and Cathy Gale in The Avengers (1962) as Peggy, Dudley Sutton, Tinker from Lovejoy as Eric and Richard Briers, Tom Good from The Good Life (1975) as Hamish, all residents of Ray’s retirement home.  Regrettably this was Richard Briers’ final film, but he steals the scenes while balancing an Uzi on his walker.
You can’t write about a British zom-com without comparing it to the gold standard, Shaun of the Dead (2004) and to be fair it's not as deft or witty as the first flavour of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy.  But the film makes clever use of the mythos surrounding Cockneys with their rhyming slang, Jack the Ripper, The Kray Twins, and classic TV shows like Eastenders and Only Fools and Horses, and the movie is entertaining for zombie fans and anglophiles alike.




my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).