Review by Matt Barone (@MBarone)

Director: Matthias Hoene
Stars: Harry Treadaway, Georgia King, Alan Ford, Lee Asquith-Coe, Michelle Ryan, Honor Blackman, Richard Briers
Running time: 87 minutes
Score: 5/10

One can't blame screenwriters James Moran and Lucas Roche for giving horror's zombie subgenre a comedic go. Thanks to AMC's The Walking Dead, flesh-devouring corpses are totally in vogue these days; frankly, it's rather puzzling to stop and wonder why there haven't been several more films of this nature. If other moviemakers are looking to step into the undead arena with as much ho-hum creativity as those involved in Cockneys vs. Zombies, though, the limited amount of living dead properties can't be considered a bad thing.

Wanting to be the next Shaun of the Dead but lacking too much of that triumphant horror-comedy's ingenuity and wit, director Matthias Hoene's briskly paced but altogether pedestrian exercise in man-against-cadaver carnage registers as a watchable though disappointing miscalculation. It's not as if Moran and Roche didn't set the story up for ample humor; posited as an action-packed deathmatch fought by a small crew of East London geezers (led by character actor Alan Ford, who spits out profanity better than most actors his age or younger), the few teenaged hoodlums willing to fight by there side, and a growing army of zombies unleashed by a couple of nosey construction workers who unintentionally opened the gates of Hell while on a lunch break.

It doesn't take long for geriatric men and women to grab the nearest automatic weapon, lace threats with defiant F-bombs, and turn all John Rambo on approaching walkers, which describes the majority of Cockneys vs. Zombies, but not positively so.

On occasion, the jokes land with giggly impact; the film's cleverest bit shows a foot race between an older gent using a walker and a hungry but not-so-fleet-footed undead enemy, and the image of two rival gangs of zombified soccer hooligans plays nicely on the English setting's inherent comic fodder. But most of the punch lines in Cockneys vs. Zombies take the silly way out, like when a pack of ghouls rips one character's chest open as he yells, "Get them off me, I have a heart condition!" Levity of that caliber happens when filmmakers settle for the transparent over the inventive.

Sullied by an abundance of C-level "funny" material that wastes solid makeup effects and memorable performances from the likes of Ford and fellow elder statesman Ashley Bashy Thomas, Cockneys vs. Zombies is middling horror-comedy strictly for zombie movie completists.

Review by Matt Barone (@MBarone)