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Shaun vs. Zombeavers (2014)

zombeav1Directed by Jordan Rubin

Starring Rachel Melvin, Hutch Dano and Cortney Palm

A trio of college girls go to the lake to get away from the boys for a weekend but the boys come to them anyway.  Unfortunately, the cabin they’re staying at is by a lake teeming with beavers coated with evil toxic waste who now want nothing more than human flesh to gnaw on.



 

They’ll dam you to hell!

The film gets the set up out of the way quickly via a truck driven by a couple of nutbars who hit a deer.  Turns out the truck is carrying toxic waste and one of the canisters flies off and lands near a beaver dam.  Set up complete, now on to the character development.  Three hot college girls arrive at a cabin, which happens to be near a certain beaver dam, to get away from the guys and relax for the weekend.  While out swimming in the lake, they run into a local hunter named Smyth who warns them to stay away from the beaver dam.  Easy enough to do, right?  Later that evening, their boys show up for the usual drinking, fucking and partying until one of the girls is attacked by a rabid beaver in the bathroom so they kill it and dispose of it outside.  So much for that.

zombeav2

The next day, however, they discover the beaver carcass is gone but think nothing of it as they all go for a swim.  After just a few minutes one of them gets pulled under the water.  Thinking it’s just a joke, everyone else waits for him to resurface.  He does resurface though minus a foot.  Everyone swims back to the cabin and barricade themselves inside when they realize they have goddamn zombie beavers attacking them.  They learn pretty much everything about beavers (seriously, they have a book on the subject) as they fight to survive against the tiny terrors.  The evening gets much worse as they discover that anyone who is bitten or scratched by these creatures turn into a zombified beaver creature.  Is anyone going to make it out of the woods alive?

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Now that’s a hairy beaver.

Well let’s get the obvious out of the way:  if you read the movie title and say, “Huh, zombie beavers, that’s ridiculous,” you would be correct and your enjoyment of the movie entirely depends on whether that tickles your sense of humour or not.  The filmmakers throw a lot of different sight gags, one liners and even parody/homages to other zombie films.  For example, when the students are boarding up the cabin, like in Night of the Living Dead, to keep the zombie beavers out but come to find out that yes, beavers chew through wood so it was a hilarious misstep to do so.  Throw in a barrage of obligatory “beaver” jokes and you get a bit of an idea of where the filmmakers sense of humour lies.  The film is definitely funny at times though not as often as I would’ve liked.

zombeaver5

Ehhh, let’s skip the head tonight.

One of my big problems with the film is the cast of characters who are mostly unlikeable.  I suppose that makes them easier for me to watch get eaten by beavers, so I guess I’m rooting for the beavers and the people who really deserve it get it pretty good.  In fact, the special effects are really good for such a low budget film.  While the beaver technology is low tech, the gore gags they are a part of are delightfully disgusting.  The previously chewed off foot is nothing compared to someone getting their face gnawed on by a beaver’s giant buck teeth.  Bleh.

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That’s not going to heal if you don’t stop picking.

Ultimately, the film wants to make you laugh at their own ridiculous take on the zombie genre and it succeeds more than it fails but only by so much.  One of the hardest types of films to make work are horror-comedies and finding that right balance between the two genres.  The film is way more comedy than horror though, so I’m judging more on that aspect and when it comes to funny, your mileage may vary.  It just comes down to the concept, if you think you’ll enjoy it, you probably will.  If you think it sounds stupid, well you should check out something else.

TL;DR

Story: 6 – Magical toxic waste turns beavers into blood-thirsty zombiefied creatures and they’re hungry!

Blood: 7 – Some pretty neat effects thrown in to enjoy.

Nudity: 8 – The movie delivers many times over with the lovely Cortney Palm in several topless scenes.  Thank you!

Overall: 6 – As a horror film, it delivers the necessary goods though it’s more of a comedy so it’s ultimately up to the viewer to decide whether they think the concept is funny or not.

Trivia

-Stick around after the credits to see a scene involving a bee feeding on a zombeaver (bees eat meat?) and becoming a zombee!

-The film made around $44,000 at the box office.

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Falling in love in 5….4….3….2…1

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