I’ll try to be PC for the sake of my alternative lifestyle and queer community friends by not saying I’m totally gay for this film. Instead I will declare that I have a complete “BroMo” hard on for this lively Horror spoof directed by Jordan Rubin, who is primarily known for his writing on The Man Show, The MTV Movie Awards and Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. Zombeavers is his first film behind the lens and it goes brilliantly retro to the Roger Corman/Stuart Grodon zone from the late seventies and early 80’s when horror comedies like Piranha and Reanimator were gracing the grindhouses and drive-ins across the nation, where playing up to tastelessness and exploitation were the norm. Despite some overtly sexist frat house humor, the writing is very clever and the finished product contains everything you might expect or want from an enticing piece of folderol titled Zombeavers. There is gore, nudity, action, slapstick, a few pokes at the genre in general, and oh yes, the “beaver” innuendos come flying fast and furry-ous (Sorry I couldn’t resist).
The movie starts out with comic gold from Bill Burr as a trucker musing about metrosexuality right before he starts to text while driving, which leads to him plowing into a deer and unknowingly knocking a barrel of toxic waste off the truck and into the river where it eventually comes to rest on a beaver dam. Cue spooky music and the funniest animated title sequence I have seen since maybe the Pink Panther.
The basic thread of the zombie and mother nature attacks type schlock fest spoof concerns a college student (Lexi Atkins), who is devastated when she finds a shot of her boyfriend Sam on social media drunkenly swapping spit with someone else whose face is obscured. With the intention of cheering her up and getting away from boys for the weekend, two of her best friends (Rachel Melvin, Cortney Palm) take her out to a lakeside cabin to chill out. But that plan gets aborted quickly when the guys track them down and turn reflective time into party time.
Fortunately, its not long before the mutated undead beaver begin to gnaw through rafts, doors and ankles. Try to imagine the gopher from Caddyshack gone terribly wrong, but still kind of cute. Some CGI exists in the film for reasons of budget and logistics, but thankfully the beavers are mostly animatronic and hand puppeted to hilarious effect. The makeup effects are deliciously over the top as well, especially when the humans get bit and begin to turn into zombie beaver/human hybrids with big yellow buck teeth, white bug eyes and a huge flat tails to slap on the ground in order to communicate with other fellow monsters. Most of the horror cliches are here and are parodied in a loving way, but my favorite parts are the added incongruities such as the last woman standing being someone you would never expect from the way most of the scenario develops.
Zombeavers is available now on demand, DVD and Netflix.. Chew on that.