Cockneys vs. Abercrombies…
You know when you get a film title that pretty much sums up the film you’ve just watched? Well this is such a movie title, as we have Cockneys by the busload, and hordes of Zombies (or to use the Cockney rhyming slang term, “Abercrombies”), all doing battle in Londons East End, famed for its cheeky Cockney locals and lyrical swearing, of which you’ll find here in abundance. This is only the second outing for director Matthias Hoene, who has impressed me with this low-budget zombie movie, and in such an oversaturated genre, has at least given us enough originality and style, to have Cockneys vs. Zombies taken as a serious entrant to the fold. The casting was key to the movies success because the story itself is far from original, but what drew me to this film in the first place was the lovely Michelle Ryan (A Girl Walks Into a Bar), who some may remember starring as Jaime Summer, in the failed reboot of The Bionic Woman.
Alongside Ryan (Katie) is Harry Treadaway (Andy), who has an identical twin brother Luke (Get Lucky, Wasteland), and both have similar styles. Andy’s brother Terry, who is also Katie’s cousin, is played brilliantly by Rasmus Hardiker, who acted alongside Natalie Portman and James Franco in Your Highness. His character was particularly fun to watch, as we saw him being reluctantly dragged into bar-fights, time and again when forced to defend Andy, after his younger sibling gets into trouble, then warns his attackers that his big brother will “sort them out.”
Ashley Thomas’ Mental Mickey was easily my favourite character, with his steel plate he headbutts zombies and non-zombies alike. Mickey was injured in Iraq, where he fought in the army, but now he collects all manner of firearms, and goes about terrorizing people with his over-the-top antics. Andy, Terry and Katies grandfather, Ray (Alan Ford) is now living in an old peoples home, which is about to be closed down, so it can be demolished and cleared away for new construction work to commence. Ray has made friends in the home and doesn’t want to be moved elsewhere, so the trio decide to rob a bank to get the money needed to prevent the demolition.
The construction workers accidently open a crypt that has been sealed by King Charles in 1699. They end up releasing zombies into the East End of London. A while later, during the robbery, our group of useless bank robbers get a lot more than they bargained for, because the bank is holding £2.5 million belonging to the troublesome construction company, and with two hostages on tow, they must escape with the loot, and try to rescue grandpa, then make their way to safety. With the help of gun toting octogenarians, a serious amount of firepower and a bright red London bus, they must try to shoot their way to freedom.
During the first act, where we get to know who each of the characters are, we get shown a lot of backstory in quick and intense flashbacks, which are very funny and very violent. Like seeing Mental Mickey taking care of business with his forehead, or watching Andy get Terry dragged into another bar-fight. The cinematography and direction were both very good and a bit better than you would normally find in the usual zombie horror fare, which I found to be a decent change. If you want something a bit different in your zombie movie, then this horror comedy delivers the good, with loads of realistic gore,and some very funny Cockney humor, you don’t want to miss this.
by Nav Qateel