Arnold and Natalie continue their Halloween shopping at Halloween City, Home Depot, and Target, then talk about Arnold’s upcoming appearance and book launch at Monster-Mania 41, as well as his recent interview with KPBS. Next up, Natalie shares her thoughts on A QUIET PLACE in connection to the upcoming film adaptation of Tim Lebbon’s novel, THE SILENCE, and then Arnold and Natalie tackle THREE zombie films: RAVENOUS or LES AFFAMÉS (2017), THE CRAZIES remake (2010), and ZOMBEAVERS (2014)! It’s a packed episode of undead rodents and singing barbarians in this all-new DOCTOR OF THE DEAD podcast!
For starters, I love comedic horror with a passion. My favorite kind is the particular brand of meta horror perfected by the late great Wes Craven (I’m watching SCREAM right now as I write this). My second favorite kind is comedic horror that is more self-aware than meta, and ZOMBEAVERS definitely falls squarely in this category. They know they’re campy, they’re proud they’re campy, and they’re just going to keep dialing up that camp-o-meter until they break off the knob.
The premise of the movie is fairly classic as far as zombie plots go: Toxic waste accidentally falls off a truck, resulting in the creation of zombies that terrorize hormone-driven coeds in a remote cabin…except the truck accident is a totally deadpan chuckle-fest, the zombies are beavers, the coeds are comically sex-crazed, and the remote cabin is adjacent to a second remote cabin where a charmingly foul-mouthed, totally hip-to-the-kids older couple lives.
Yes, there is gratuitous nudity, and yes, there are ample beaver jokes, but there’s also genuine hilarity in all of it. When the girls go swimming, one of them peels her top off and revels in baring her chest. Later on, one of the dude bros gets maimed by a zombie beaver and they need to make a tourniquet. The same girl goes to take off her bikini top and her boyfriend dismisses her, saying, “No, that’s too small,” grabbing her dog’s life vest instead.
Yes, there is gratuitous nudity, and yes, there are ample beaver jokes, but there’s also genuine hilarity in all of it.
It’s goofy, the special effects come in just above low-budget level, the zombeaver attacks are amusing to watch, and the characters develop in (very) unexpected ways. Perhaps what I liked most about ZOMBEAVERS is how the film thumbs its nose at the tired “final girl” trope. That and how the beavers were intelligent enough to chew through all the phone lines (those lovable scamps!), which were of course the only means of communication since the cabins were too remote for a cell signal.
All in all, it’s an enjoyable watch and the perfect diversion for a rainy Saturday.