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Dam Zombies


Even after arguing about it with Efrit, I just can't decide if Zombeavers is too stupid or just the right amount of stupid. It certainly isn't on the level of Millennium Bug stupid, but it's not on par with the pinnacle of satire at Tucker and Dale vs. Evil stupid. Thankfully, the movie poster did take advantage of the dam pun with "They'll dam you to Hell" and "You'll all be dammed". No mention of "Dam zombies" though, so I stole it. Couldn't let it go to waste.

The film lacks much of an edge that sets it aside from an ever-growing genre of horror satire. The first few instances of these films were original and in their own way entertaining, but now the model followed is exactly that...a model...and the latest satire films don't give us anything new. It's like following a stand up comedian on his tour and being unimpressed with every consecutive show because he brings no new material to the table. If the joke has been done, it won't be a lot funnier with killer undead beavers.

Yet, surprisingly, the film does manage to find a way to be entertaining beyond its satire cliches. As it turns out, zombie beavers are hilarious, and their interspecies abominations that turn up throughout the film are the lone bright spot of awkward horror humor that finds an original niche. Our cast and their lines show nothing blatantly wrong, but nothing apparently new. The actors hold their own throughout, and even for a satire, the eye-rolling at the script is kept to a minimum. All-in-all, it is a successful addition to the model, but again, it spends more time spurring your memory of "been there, done that" than stirring the pot.

No matter how cheesy the effects, limited CGI and genuine attempts at practical effects are always appreciated. If this film delivered anything satirically well, it was a homage to 80's B-movie creature features. The hand puppets, like Sesame Street on bad 'shrooms, were a delight, as the cinematography of their attacks go back and forth from vaguely realistic to in-your-face fake. I enjoyed those moments.

By the end, I didn't feel my time was completely wasted, as the film achieved what it set out to do. I was entertained, and often enough that I would recommend it if you are looking for a mindless laugh with a bowl of popcorn and some friends. I'm stuck with Efrit, so imagine my desperation for the film to deliver something. And "something" it did deliver. Also, Bill Burr was an excellent touch. You'd think you were watching a Tarantino protege direct the beginning of this film.

© 2020 Sickle and Efrit | Dalton Vanhooser & Kyle Hagan