Friday 22 August 2014

[Fright Fest - Review] Zombeavers

Stars; Chad Anderson, Lexi Atkins, Brent Briscoe
Director; Jordan Rubin
Writers; Jordan Rubin, Jon Kaplin, Al Kaplin
Running Time; 85 Mins

Zombie fever gives way to beaver fever as a metal drum containing toxic waste turns a secluded forest's beaver population into bloodthirsty ravenous zombies. A group of fraternity students holidaying in the log cabin fight for survival against the raging Zombeavers.

The secret to enjoying Zombeavers (which received its UK premier at Film 4 Frightfest this year) is to not take it seriously. The absurd plot, cheap rubbery effects and acting more wooden than a beaver dam might at first seem like all the hallmarks of a badly made z-movie but nothing could be further from the truth. Zombeavers' charm is in its blatant silliness that puts it firmly in the so bad it's good category. If nothing else credit should go to the writers for coming up with an original idea.

It is hard to fathom that a film with no bankable names (unless you count C.S.I Miami's Rex Linn), a laughable synopsis, no story and a budget less than the average production of The Asylum, holds any redeemable qualities. As well as its blatant silliness the film is awash with monster movie horror cliches which it extensively lampoons, and features a plethora of nods to well known films including Jaws and Die Hard to name a few. All staples of monster and slasher movies are parodically featured; overly skinny sorority girls, sex mad frat boys, secluded forests and log cabins are all thrown into the mix. The Zombeavers themselves are a blend of the over-sized creatures from Food of The Gods with the comical mischievousness of Gremlins. 

Zombeavers is a switch off the brain and suspend disbelief to unimaginable heights instruction for the audience, leaving them open for a steady stream of fun pokery and laughs. The script is awash with airhead angst and of course the inevitable beaver double entendres some blatant ("I've never seen a real beaver up close"; "maybe you should try going down on me once in a while") and others subtle (Don't you know the purpose of beavers is to chomp down on wood?") The actors play it straight but with tongues firmly in their cheeks, delivering the intentionally terrible dialogue with convincing seriousness. Whilst none of the cast will win an Oscar for their performances, what they lack in thespian ability they make up for with comic timing and delivery which  should keep them off the Razzie's radar for a time. The addition of outtakes and bloopers at the end with a title song so catchy it deserves the monocle of ear-worm all combined make Zombeavers an entertaining cinematic experience that deserved a big screen viewing. 

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