Horror movies such as ‘Lesbian Vampire Killers’ or ‘Strippers vs Werewolves’ seldom live up (or down?) to their killer titles. But from the moment a pair of workmen crack open a seventeenth-century plague pit and unleash the undead, Matthias Hoene’s lairy, gory zombie comedy delivers:?the tasty geezers and feisty girls fighting back against the flesh-eaters are funny and likeable, while the pacy action is awash with claret.
The pensioners at the Bow Bells Rest Home are under threat, initially from council jobsworths determined to shut down their retirement gaff, and subsequently from the zombie hordes who’d like to devour their wrinkly flesh. When 80-year-old Ray Macguire’s grandsons Andy and Terry (Harry Treadaway and Rasmus Hardiker) and their cousin Katy (Michelle Ryan) get wind of the Bow Bells zombie siege they shift their attention from a botched Robin Hood-style bank robbery to a rescue mission. Things get really messy as the youngsters team up with the oldies – who are now armed to the dentures with improvised weaponry and illegal fire power.
‘Severance’ scribe James Moran’s character-driven script slips in some side-swipes at the predatory gentrification of the old folks’ East End manor, while director Hoene skilfully blends gruesome horror and deliriously silly humour. As cantankerous old soldier Ray, ‘Lock Stock’ veteran Alan Ford delivers his sweary dialogue with feeling, and the scene in which Richard Briers’s dozy, doddery Hamish is pursued by shuffling, slow-motion zombies is an instant classic. This Zimmer-zomcom is as subtle as a brick in the gob, but it’s also a laugh riot.