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rochefort [Celluloid 09.26.12] post apocalyptic zombies horror comedy

Ray (Alan Ford) is an blunt, elderly Londoner who resides in a retirement home slated for demolition. His bumbling but loyal grandkids Andy (Harry Treadaway) and Terry (Rasmus Hardiker) are so desperate to help out their granddad that they decide to rob a bank, aided by Katy (a smokin' hot Michelle Ryan) and an unstable wannabe gangster named Mental Mickey (Ashley Bashy Thomas). And wouldn't you know it, but a zombie outbreak kicks into gear right in the middle of the heist. While Ray does his best to mobilize his fellow geriatrics into a wheelchair-pushing, cane-wielding commando squad, Andy and Terry's crew, along with some unwilling hostages, brave the zombie horde to get across town and save Ray and his pals.

You might as well call this one "Guy Ritchie's Shaun of the Dead", because director Matthias Hoene clearly believes that what "Shaun" was missing was a ludicrous amount of firepower. And knives, and samurai swords, and any blunt or sharp object its characters can get their hands on. Which is fine, really; if you're gonna play in this backyard, then I say by all means up the blood and carnage. Neither riotously funny nor particularly groundbreaking, "Cockneys" nevertheless manages to be an entertaining enough addition to the subgenre, and will probably make a good double feature along with "Shaun" (as long as you watch this one first). It does distinguish itself in one key way from a lot of the better horror comedies of late: it never takes the horror elements seriously. There's zero suspense, zero scares, and characters keep on quipping even while they're being torn apart. Since none of the jokes ever reach the heights of, say, "Shaun" or "Zombieland", this means that it all gets a bit silly by the end.

It's odd to think of describing a movie with this many exploding heads as "light", but I guess that's what happens in a field with as much staying power as the zombie subgenre. We don't need every new zombie flick to stick to the same script and It's definitely fun to watch Michele Ryan kick ass without breaking a sweat, so I can recommend this one as a decent way to spend an hour and a half.

But unless you've always wanted to see a roomful of old folks shoot down hordes of the undead while high-fiving each other, this one probably won't make your favorites list. Now that I think about it, let me revise my double-feature suggestion above. Watch "Cockneys vs. Zombies", then the original "Return of the Living Dead". That should make for a fairly complementary mix.

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