Review: Cockneys versus Zombies (2012 movie)

Even more than vampires, zombies have been done to death. But there are two zombie movies I like, both British: Shaun of the Dead (which I really should get around to writing a review for) and this one.

An old folks home in London’s East End is about to be demolished by developers in order to make way for luxury flats. The residents are for unhappy but resigned, except for one tough-as-spikes life-long Londoner (Alan Ford of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels) who is quite vocal about his rage.

Meanwhile, his two seemingly useless twenty-something grandsons have a plan: Along with their slightly older, rather smarter, and far more attractive female cousin, they’re going to rob a bank to get enough money for Granddad to stay in London after all.

Unfortunately, construction workers have broken into a plague pit sealed since 1666 that proves to contain a zombie virus, and soon the real estate developers, the old folks, the bank robbers, and their hostages all find themselves facing a zombie apocalypse. Alan Ford rallies the other residents to defend their home, with Honor Blackman, best known for playing Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (and looking remarkably good given she must be pushing a hundred) at his side.

One minor annoyance: There are no subtitles or closed captions on the DVD, so a few lines — fortunately not many — might as well have been in Dutch of Glaswegian, and I’m reasonably used to listening to a Cockney accent.

Near the end, one of the grandsons assures a depressed young woman that despite the unspeakable horrors they’ve seen, it will get sorted out, because after all, “the East End has come through far worse.”

This is the red band trailer, meaning the F-word gets used a lot and the violence (almost as horrific as in a Roadrunner cartoon) isn’t censored.


I’m pretty sure the docks briefly seen in the trailer and a little longer in the film are in Canary Wharf, an area of London that where ships used to dock back when ships were smaller. It’s now heavily developed with clean and modern office buildings and features what I understand is the single busiest station on the London Underground. I had a client there not many years ago which is why I recognize the place (or at least I think I do).

The movie’s title theme was written and performed by Chas and Dave, also known as Rockney, a duo who ought to be better known in the U.S.


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