Twitter Plot Summary: Zombies get what’s coming to them when they take on London’s East End. Muppets!
Director: Matthias Hoene
Key Cast: Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, Michelle Ryan, Georgia King, Tony Gardner, Alan Ford, Honor Blackman, Richard Briers, Dudley Sutton, Ashley Thomas, Jack Doolan.
Five Point Summary:
1. That guy was in Saxondale! Brap Brap!
2. It’s Brick Top! I mean… Ray!
3. Run, Richard Briers! Run!
4. Classic – a red London bus.
5. And just to cap it all off – a boat on the Thames. And guns.
Just when you think the zombie genre couldn’t be boiled down any further, along comes the ultimate mash-up: cockneys and zombies. Yes, a zombie outbreak takes place in London and we see two groups of survivors trying to make it out alive. The first group include Terry (Hardiker) and Andy (Treadaway) – brothers – their cousin Katy (Ryan), and friends Davey (Doolan) and Mental Mickey (Thomas), who just happens to have a metal plate in his head after being injured in Iraw. They attempt to rob a bank because their grandad’s care home is due to be knocked down by greeeeedy developers, led by Phil Cornwell of all people.
Meanwhile nearby that very same care home, the developers find an old graveyard and unleash a zombie plague on the populace. Within that care home are a group of familiar faces, Honor Blackman, Richard Briers, Alan Ford, that chap who was in Lovejoy, but not playing themselves obviously. Alan Ford is Brick Top again (of Snatch fame), let’s not beat around the bush here, that’s who he’s playing, albeit slightly older and possibly more sweary. Possibly. Whilst the oldies barricade themselves inside their care home, Terry and Andy’s bank robbery goes slightly wrong and, after the police block the exits, they take two bank customers as hostages. Luckily for our intrepidly bad bank robbers zombies come along and take out the coppers, so they escape to their safe house and debate what to do next. A much needed element of strife is present in the form of Mental Mickey, so called because they cut out part of his brain when they put the metal plate in his skull, which subsequently made him go a little bit loopy.
Cue just about every cockney-related pun and stereotype you can imagine, from east-end gangsters sporting an impressive amount of guns, to London landmarks, to the hatred that exists between rival football teams, and to an overly-elaborate explanation as to why the living dead are referred to as “Trafalgars”. The zombies themselves are the slow, shuffling types, so for a change in this modern era of fitness-obsessed living dead they only really pose a threat when encountered in greater numbers. Ignoring the cockney element of the story, and that 50% of the cast are over the age of 60, it’s a basic traditional zombie tale. Which is fine, by the way – we don’t always need overly-elaborate origin stories or films that try desperately to do something drastically different to what’s come before. The only thing we need to know here is that there are zombies and all of our characters are from London. The gags and the story pretty much write themselves from that point forward.
Suffice to say it’s fun but vacuous. Nothing much really happens and there isn’t a huge amount of gore, but there’s just enough of both to keep the plot moving and to keep gore hounds occasionally happy. There’s a lot of laughs to be had too, without them it would be a sorry affair indeed. It’s no classic, but then very few zombie films are. What it is though, is entertaining, and you can’t really ask for more than that.
Favourite scene: Richard Briers, plus Zimmer frame, is chased very slowly by a group of zombies.
Quote: “Those things are vampires! We need crucifixes, garlic, silver, holy water, and Christopher Lee!” “No, you sloppy tart, those things are fucking zombies!”
Silly Moment: Brick Top… sorry – Ray – gets swarmed by the living dead. Will he survive? Of course he will, he’s Brick Top! Sorry – Ray.