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Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Cockneys Vs. Zombies'

Dennis King Published: September 2, 2013

This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:

“Cockneys Vs. Zombies”

Just when you thought every possible wrinkle of the overworked zombie sub-genre has been explored and exploited, now comes “Cockney’s Vs. Zombies” (due out on DVD Tuesday), which pits a raggedy, down-and-out band of London East End pensioners against hordes of rampaging flesh-eaters.

This 2012 horror spoof by director Matthias Hoene follows a familiar pattern of similar efforts with killer titles but only sporadic laughs (“Strippers Vs. Zombies,” “Lesbian Vampire Killers” and so on). The central joke here is the most vulnerable victims of the slow-moving undead would obviously be doddering old folks.

So when an ill-advised mineshaft excavation unleashes rampaging hordes of lumbering zombies, the first place they invade is the nearby Bow Bells Rest Home, which has previously been besieged by greedy profiteers.

But the oldsters prove to be no pushovers as the pensioners – led by crusty old soldier Ray (Alan Ford), snoozy old retiree Hamish (Richard Briers) and feisty old granny Peggy (Honor Blackman, a.k.a. Pussy Galore of “Goldfinger”) – arm themselves to the dentures and fight back. They aided by a couple of bumbling would-be bank robbers – Ray’s grandsons Andy and Terry (Harry Treadaway and Rasmus Hardiker) – who come to the geezers rescue when their heist plans go awry.

Coming close on the heels of Edgar “Shaun of the Dead” Wright’s latest spoofy comedy, “The World’s End,” this feels decidedly plodding and sitcom-ish by comparison. It’s a zombie comedy that’s largely toothless.

“Cockney’s Vs. Zombies” is not rated and runs 88 minutes. It’s being released by Shout! Factory.

- Dennis King