dir Jake West
scr Dan Schaffer
with Danny Dyer, Stephen Graham, Noel Clarke, Emil Marwa, Lee Ingleby, Keith-Lee Castle, Neil Maskell, Terry Stone, Christina Cole, Adele Silva, Emily Booth, Mary Tamm
release UK 12.Jun.09
09/UK 1h30
Who you gonna call? Ingleby and Graham

dyer clarke marwa
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Doghouse To reference another recent film, this British comedy-horror is essentially Lesbian Zombie Killers, with a similar premise pitching chucklehead guys against amusing supernatural mayhem. But at least there are a few good jokes this time.

To cheer up their divorcing friend Vince (Graham), a group of friends (Dyer, Clarke, Marwa, Ingleby, Castle and Banksy) travel to an isolated country village for a drunken weekend. All of the men are having relationship problems, so they're a bit stunned to find that this village is under siege by the female population, who have gone murderously vicious and killed all the menfolk. Now our heroes and a lone soldier (Stone) are all that's left to stop them.

Director West and writer Schaffer have a lot of fun with this film, stirring in increasingly grisly comedy-style violence and loads of red herrings while making sure that each character--both living and undead--is a pastiche of a stereotype. This kind of reduces the comical potential to the most obvious gags, as the zombie army includes a nurse, bride, hairdresser and butcher, while our heroes include a slob, womaniser, henpecked husband and fanboy. At least the premise flips the tables on the men for a change.

All of the cast members overact shamelessly, which is to be expected with a movie like this. Funniest is Dyer's swaggering womaniser, who gets his comeuppance in some very nasty ways. Actually, all of the men have their worst fears realised, which kind of makes the whole film feel like an extended comedy sketch. And while the women are too clumsy to be truly menacing, the men are too stupid to defend themselves. So it's a pretty even match.

As a whole, it's far too cheesy to be either scary or funny. The plot itself is packed with hysterical lapses in logic. Not to mention the number of times the guys do outrageously boneheaded things that further put them in jeopardy. At least there are a couple of memorable punchlines ("What kind of virus only infects women?"*), silly running gags and a general atmosphere of mass chaos as these murderous zombettes do bad Thriller choreography down the streets. It's not good, but we've seen worse.

cert 15 themes, themes, language, violence, gore 12.May.09

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* Bird flu

© 2009 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall