Eric: Those things are vampires! We need crucifixes, garlic, silver, holy water, and Christopher Lee!
Ray: No, you sloppy tart, those things are fucking zombies!
Cockneys vs. Zombies is a zombie comedy that any fan of Shaun of the Dead will no doubt adore, in all its gruesome, messed up hilarity. Directed by Matthias Hoene and written by James Moran and Lucas Roche.Cockneys vs. Zombies follows brothers Andy and Terry living in the East End of London as they rob a bank to save the retirement home of their foul mouthed war veteran granddad (Alan Ford). Their robbery almost goes belly up with the arrival of the police, but when they open the door they find they’ve been rescued at the last second by the Zombie Apocalypse. Accompanying them throughout the story is the beautiful, innocent hostage Emma, feisty locksmith Katy and the completely insane psycho “Mental” Mickey who lives in a shipping container and has a metal plate in his head. The two brothers make it their mission to get to their granddad and rescue him and the surviving old timers from the zombie hordes before it’s too late.
This film contains examples of:
Action Dad and Action Mom: In a flashback of Terry and Andy's childhood, we are treated to their parents, where the dad gives a short speech to them about the importance of family and doing what's right. Then they both pick up shotguns and leave, with audible police sirens outside and "Come on you fucking pigs!" from the mother. Also an example of Hippie Parents maybe, considering how they're dressed.
Action Girl: Katy is this from the beginning, and Emma gradually becomes more of one as the film progresses, when everything about her would make you expect her to become just a Damsel in Distress, even having her adorable "Your time has come!" one liner.
Ammunition Backpack: There can be few things on this Earth more satisfying than being trapped by zombies for several hours in a small confined space (with old people) only for your grandkids to arrive through the ceiling with two sports bags utterly loaded with weapons of every imaginable kind.
Apocalypse How: Class 0, The zombie outbreak is successfully contained to East End London by the army and they're preparing a counterattack.
Asshole Victim: Maybe he’s justified, but hostage Clive decides to start threatening everyone with the pump action shotgun rather than pay attention to the crowds of zombies outside, proclaiming that he’s in charge. Cue disemboweling a few seconds later.
There's also the guy shutting down the old folks' home, who seems to enjoy it a little too much. He turns up at the end of the movie as a zombie; Ray and his grandchildren take great pleasure in gunning him down.
Ax-Crazy: There's a reason that Mickey's nickname is "Mental".
Badass Grandpa: Granddad Ray is immediately demonstrated to be one, handing out verbal smackdown after verbal smackdown on anyone who pisses him off. A very brief flashback shows his experience in the war, in which he breaches a German bunker and single-handedly takes out a whole Jerry platoon with either rifle or bayonet. His first response upon seeing the zombies is to slice one’s head off with a set of pincers, and he’s the source of some wonderful swearing.
Ray: I know this place is closing down, but people are trying to eat their dinner. So listen, you yuppie twat, if you don't get out of here by the time I count to five, I'm going to shove that clipboard so far up your arsehole that you'll have to stick your pen up your nose to write on it. One, two, three...
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Emma gets a bit of red on her, but despite the crying at one point and significant amounts of violence (including a grenade) her face never seems very messed up.
Bittersweet Ending: Though much of London’s population is surely either dead or turned, the main protagonists escape aboard a boat onto the Thames, and the British Army soon flies overhead with a substantial number of attack helicopters, signifying a counterattack.
Boom, Headshot: Since it’s the only way to rekill the receased, this is fairly common with more than one beautiful impact with a SPAS 12 shotgun.
The Cavalry: While discussing the future and wondering what’ll happen next, a fleet of Apache gunships pass overhead, no doubt to begin the Army’s response to the zombie rise.
Chekhov's Gun: Two of them — Mickey's metal plate in the skull and the grenade he brings along to the robbery. The former means that once he turns, they can't just shoot him (since the plate protects the brain), and the latter is used to finish him off.
Circling Vultures: Well, one vulture anyway, which starts circling over the East End when the plague of zombies gets started.
Cool Car: The group hotwire a classic red London double decker bus to transport all the rescued old people.
Cool Guns: Nothing beats the SPAS 12 shotgun. When Mickey tests it out on an approaching zombie it clearly does damage, especially with the brutal leg shot which resembles what would happen if you packed the inside of a tree trunk with high powered explosives.
Crapsack World: A number of aerial shots show smoke rising from all across London, and the streets are teeming with the scavenging undead.
Damsel in Distress: Subverted with Emma, who skims the edge of becoming this but in the end becomes an effective zombie killer, with a couple of brilliantly adorable one liners. If anything, the Badass Grandpa is the damsel in distress since his rescue is the main objective for much of the film.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Certainly feels like this trope is being invoked every time someones dares to say anything to Mickey that he might not like.
Emergency Broadcast: The group use the van radio to try and figure out what's happening, to find an emergency BBC address about the viral outbreak, and that the Army is quarantining the area. For a comedy, it's frighteningly realistic. It doesn't even make mention of the nature of the outbreak, presumably since telling millions people they were being attacked by zombies wouldn't do much good for morale.
Eye Scream: A zombie that dares to intrude on the old folk's home gets an eye gouged out with a needle by an old lady for his troubles.
Genre Savvy: Not only does (nearly) everyone immediately recognise the zombies as zombies, Emma is perfectly aware of the rule that you need to shoot them in the head, perplexing the others.
Girls with Guns: There's Katey and Emma, not to mention the old ladies. Special mention goes to the old woman who immediately knows how to assemble an AK-74. Anyone else suspicious about her past?
Gorn: Red is certainly a dominant colour in this film. Jaw ripped off, plenty of necks being torn open, a lower leg blown to pieces by a direct shotgun blast, zombie decapitated by having its head twisted round twice or by a giant set of pincers, and not to mention all the hundreds of bullet wounds and the results of a grenade going off in your mouth.
Gun Porn: The sheer number of weapons on display in Mickey's container is mind boggling.
Ignored Vital News Reports: Sort of. Just before the fifteen minute mark, while the two brothers talk the radio is playing the news, which ominously describes hints of the outbreak beginning, but it's so vague and holds no details that'd make it seem out of the ordinary so Terry and Andy ignore it.
Incongruously Dressed Zombie: Two crowds of zombies in the colours of rival football teams stumble into each other’s paths on the street. And start fighting. The heroes use their distraction to sneak past.
Infant Immortality: ...erm. There may or may not be a scene where Mickey kills a zombified woman pushing a pram and picks up the baby inside to rescue him, before it suddenly turns in his arms. What’s Mickey’s reaction? Put him down out of compassion? No. Drop kick him across the street into a “Prevent Child Cruelty” sign, decapitating him. It may well be one of the greatest moments in cinema history.
Last Stand: Granddad does this with his Heroic Sacrifice to unchain the boat so it can escape. Then it turns out he’s one tough fucker, as he mows down the dozens of assailants with his assault rifle and survives.
Made of Plasticine: Whether or not a skeleton (yes, a skeleton) has the strength to tear off your lower jaw with one bite has yet to be investigated by National Geographic. The trademark disembowelling that comes with a zombie film is also a good example. It’s also subverted when Mickey gets bitten; there’s no chunks being torn out, instead the zombie’s just dangling off his arm like a fish on a hook and Mickey reacts very calmly, though it may be that he’s just too insane to feel pain. Considering previous scenes, this may be the case.
Not Using the Z Word: Averted deliciously. The first reaction upon seeing the undead is “Zombies” completely deadpan. Also, in response to the claim that they’re dealing with vampires: “No, you sloppy tart, those things are fucking zombies!”
Off with His Head!: Emma's first brutal killing is when she repeatedly slams a great big metal spade against the back of a zombie on the floor, eventually slicing right through.
Then there's also Mickey's brilliant attempt at breaking a zombie's neck, where it just stands there alive and well with its head twisted backwards. Mickey keeps twisting the head like a cork until it tears off completely, to the horror of Clive and Emma.
One-Hit Kill: Headshot = Kill. Though the bullet has to hit the brain.
Organ Dodge: One of the pensioners gets bitten on the ankle, but unconcernedly takes off the bitten prosthetic and beats the creature's head in with it.
Our Zombies Are Different: The first two zombies are buried in a 17th Century tomb and reduced to skeletons which implies magic. Though it could be that they’re run of the mill zombies that simply stop degrading over time.
Stop or I Will Shoot!: Averted. All Mickey needs is for Katey to say "Zombies" before he blasts away the people coming towards him covered in blood.
Too Dumb to Live: Averted. Granddad keeps a very cool head while he and the pensioners are trapped, including recognising that “We’d be fucked up there!” if they were to shelter upstairs, a reference to the criticism of the popular zombie defence tactic of higher ground.
Played straight with Clive, who seems to think that repeatedly telling his kidnappers that he knows their names and will make sure they're prosecuted is a good idea.
Undead Child: A baby in a pram turns in the hands of Mickey, only to be punted across the street in response.
Wall of Weapons: The shipping container Mickey lives in seems to have every inch of its walls dedicated to storing every weapon under the sun. Rifles, submachine guns, a goddamn katana...
Zombie Apocalypse: A regional apocalypse, confined to London. Though that’s certainly an apocalypse for its 8,303,369 residents.