Thursday, October 23, 2014


#9: Bethany Ruthven
The poster
Good evening, darlings, and thank you for reading.  The season is upon us once again, and may I welcome you to today's installment ofThe MonsterGrrls' Thir13en For Halloween.  Today we shall have a look at an interesting little slice of horror filmmaking that comes to us all the way from London's East End: the pleasantly surprising Cockneys Vs. Zombies.  As has been mentioned before in previous posts, we here at MonsterGrrls HQ do not care much for zombies, but the round of zombie films in recent years has given way from the standard unpleasant gore-laden retreading of Night Of The Living Dead to some surprisingly well-executed takes on the zombie film, and Cockneys Vs. Zombies is one of these.

Brains, beauty, and big guns
Opening in an East End construction site, the discovery of a 17th-century boneyard that has been sealed on orders of Charles II releases zombies into modern-day London.  Meanwhile, local lads and ne'er-do-wells Terry McGuire (Rasmus Hardiker) and his younger brother Andy (Harry Treadaway) are set to pull off a bank heist to rescue their grandfather Ray (Alan Ford) from a retirement home that is about to be razed to make way for new construction (of course, it's being done by the same construction company that released the zombies).  Joining their compatriots in crime are the smart and sharp-tongued Katy (Michelle Ryan, who rather reminded me of me), near-useless Davey (Jack Doolan) and total nutter Mickey (Ashley Thomas).  Upon reaching the bank, the group finds that their simple heist has landed them in the middle of a massive embezzlement scheme by (yet again) the same construction company that released the zombies (which ties things rather neatly together).  Things go completely spare at this point (courtesy of Mickey), and the group is forced by Mickey to take hostages to get out of the bank, where they discover that the police are all dead and that zombies are feasting on their remains.  After some harrowing dodges of zombies and the dispatch of Mickey by zombies and a handy grenade (which is another interesting idea since it's usually the complete bastard who survives to the end in this sort of thing), Terry decides to save the retirement home, which is already under siege by zombies, who are being held off (not without difficulty) by the tough-minded Ray and his friends.

Not your grandfather's zombie hunters... or maybe they are
While American horror films seem determined to showcase only the young, Cockneys Vs. Zombies has no qualms whatsoever about showcasing some of the brightest and best of its older generation, featuring not only Alan Ford (who has starred in Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels) but also Honor Blackman (alumnus of the James Bond oveure and a former star of the much-loved The Avengers) in strong character roles that give them quite a bit to do.  It's rather refreshing to see a group of pensioners involved in a cracking bullet-strewn standoff with zombies, and the themes of family commitment and responsibility (even under duress) make Cockneys Vs. Zombies a unique entry in the zombie-film crop.  If you'd like to skip the usual zom-nom this season, stick this one in your DVD rotation for a pleasant Halloween evening.

So with that, it's felicitations of the season from me.  Do join us for the next installment of our little holiday party tomorrow, as we'd be delighted to have you along.


Bethany Ruthven

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