Movie review: 'Cockneys vs. Zombies' is a one-joke story

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The British horror comedy "Cockneys vs. Zombies" is a one-joke movie, and that joke's in the title — but even one joke can get some laughs if done well.

The Maguire brothers, Andy (Luke Treadaway) and Terry (Radmus Hardiker), are determined to save the retirement home that their granddad (Alan Ford) runs, so they enlist their smarter cousin Katy (Michelle Ryan) and some others to rob a bank. The robbery goes awry, but that's nothing compared to what's happening outside: a zombie infestation in London's East End. So the Maguires join forces with a pretty hostage (Georgia King) to rescue Granddad and the other pensioners.

Writers James Moran and Lucas Roche devise some decent gags, such as the slow-speed chase between a lumbering zombie and a retirement-home resident (Richard Briers, in the comic actor's final role).

Rookie director Matthias Horne delivers the gore and jokes efficiently and serves up some pleasant casting surprises, such as Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore from "Goldfinger") as one of the retirees. It's not as skillful a comedy as "Shaun of the Dead," but it has its moments.; —


'Cockneys vs. Zombies'

Opens Friday, Aug. 2, at Tower Theatre; not rated, but probably R for violence, gore and language; 88 minutes.