The Freestyle Digital Media and Epic Pictures Group film “Zombeavers”, is an absolutely ridiculously fun film, which you already knew from the title itself. If you were expecting something else, you weren’t paying enough attention.
This horror comedy stars Rachel Melvin (“Dumb and Dumber To”, “My Funny Valentine”), Courtney Palm (It’s Not a Date”, “The Purge: Anarchy”), Lexi Atkins (“The Boy Next Door”, “White Dwarf”), Hutch Dano (“Feels So Good”, “Zeke and Luther”), Peter Gilroy (“The Wedding Ringer”, “Interns”), Jake Weary (“It Follows”, “Stalker”), Brent Briscoe (“Justified”, “Parks and Recreation”), Phillis Katz (“We’ve Got Balls”, “Reno 911!”), and Rex Linn (“State of Affairs”, “The Lottery”).
The film was directed by Jordan Rubin (“Tubbin’ with Trash”) and written by Al Kaplan (“The Jogger (Short 2005)”, “Elijah (Short 2005)”), Rubin (“Miss Universe 2014”, “Tubbin’ with Trash”), and Jon Kaplan (“The Jogger (Short 2005)”, “Elijah (Short 2005)”).
The film finally hit theaters and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms on March 20, 2015. Previously it had debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19, 2014 and had several other releases in other countries and film festivals.
Lets start by saying that this is looking like the first of many films that will be getting a shift in title. I meant to get to this, but life and it’s many needs got in the way. Such is life. The only upside was the fact that I didn’t have to wait too long to see it again! My favorite streaming platform, Netflix, had gotten the rights to it and I knew I needed to watch it as soon as possible! So I did, which is also great as I seem to seldom get the opportunity to waste time with Netflix.
First, as seems the most appropriate, lets talk about that opening. No, not the one with the easy to miss cameo by John Mayer (he’s unrecognizable), but the animated title sequence. I’m not simply speaking about how the titles looked and names, but the fact that the opening actually featured animated people and beavers! Mischief ensued and people ran! It was awesome! To make it even more interesting, the animated bits played out with actual nature in in the background. Definitely got me even more excited for what was going to happen in the rest of the film.
As this is a film called zombeavers, you’d better believe I had high hopes for what they’d look like and how they’d interact with the actors. Fortunately, the filmmakers didn’t go the route of what you’d see on SyFy, which is bad special effects. They chose to go with animatronics or puppet zombeavers. Yes, at every opportunity I will be typing out zombeavers. Zombeavers. Not sure what the technical or preferred word is for these, but they were tangible and that made a big difference in the final film. I would even venture, whether intentional or not, that these puppet zombeavers actually made the film funnier too. Maybe not in the same way as with the “Sharknado” films, but funny enough. Interestingly it’s not funny because they looked bad, but because of how they moved and attacked the characters. There’s also the fact that they make little noises. They’re not cute sounding like the spiders in “Eight Legged Freaks”, but certainly enjoyable enough to some extent.
Adding to the positive, it’s funny!! I knew it was supposed to be a comedy as well as a loose horror film (more like the other way around), and it definitely lived up to that! I actually think, with the second viewing, that it was even funnier than the first time. Yes this is funny because of the level of camp it begins with, and delves into, but it’s also funny because of the way it was written and, at times, acted. Some beautiful bad acting came through and I was over the moon because of it.
The were so many brilliant lines of dialogue, that I felt like I missed, that just cracked me up! One, is as follows:
[runs over person] “I never liked that bitch anyway.”
More funny! It could be that it’s just childish enough, or can at least get to the level of silly that I like, but it made me laugh a lot! For a film that is trying to deliberately incorporate comedy, I must say it did a decent job at this. How else could you get this little gem in he film too?
“Can we please stop with the beaver jokes?” Of course there’d be some, but what makes this all the more exciting is that they referenced that they had too many.
However, as with all good things, there must be some bad. This bad is more just annoying when looked at with the rest of the film. There’s the boring character set up, which was informative, but not all that exciting. You got to know the characters, like or dislike them, in the most basic of ways, and just understand the reason they were there. Not unusual, but a tad boring. Sure there were some funny moments in this first 30 minutes, but nothing that has you really jumping with excitement. That comes after.
All in all, these characters are fine, except for when they should be more supportive of their friends and not say things like, “They’re not going to make it. There’s so many of them.” It helps too that you’re not really required to invest in them deeply. Although, I guess you could say for a moment I did care about these characters. When they first really encounter the zombeavers, they’re trying to figure out how to get off the raft in the lake. As any sane person would do, sacrifice the little irritating dog. But, unlike most people, they don’t do the next logical thing. After throwing the dog in as a diversion, they wait and watch as the zombeavers go after and eat the dog. It’s only after this point that they decide to jump in the water and make a break for the shore. This kind of defeats the purpose of sacrificing the dog. I’m surprised they made it to shore.
After all that I must say, I smell a sequel! Okay, even I have no idea if there will be one, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want one! Sign me up! And, like any modern film, there’s a post credits scene involving bees! Zombees!!! Hahaha… [continues laughing] So, if you hadn’t figured it out, I truly loved this film. I think I need to watch it again. Three times isn’t too many, right?
The trailer, for those of you not yet in the know: