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The world’s population can safely be divided into two camps: those eager to see a movie called Zombeavers and, well, everyone else.
The former may well find themselves satisfied by Jordan Rubin‘s feature debut in which a sextet consisting of three frequently scantily clad coeds and their boyfriends find themselves trapped in a remote cabin while being attacked by a horde of, you guessed it, zombie beavers.
Said creatures have entered into their unfortunate undead state thanks to the familiar horror movie plot machination in which a barrel of toxic waste falls off a truck (manned by comedian Bill Burr and musician John Mayer, the latter presumably paying off a bet) and lands in the lake where the semiaquatic rodents make their home.
The girls first arrive at the cabin alone, amusing themselves by talking about their love lives and sunbathing. One of them quickly discards her bikini top so as not to get tan lines, a stance that will no doubt be met with approval by the film’s target audience.
Their boyfriends soon show up unannounced, and after the usual preliminary round of hook-ups, the demonic creatures, played by animatronic puppets that wouldn’t pass muster on a Saturday morning kids’ TV show, soon begin wreaking their violent mayhem, including an attack during the group’s dip in the lake during which a small dog is unceremoniously sacrificed.
It isn’t long before the kids are holed up in the cabin, quickly discovering that nailing planks over the doors and windows isn’t the smartest way of keeping the malevolent wood-chomping rodents at bay. A redneck hunter (familiar B-movie veteran Rex Linn) arrives to show the young’uns how it’s done, but not before they’ve suffered such indignities as castration-by-beaver.
The screenplay — by veteran TV comedy writer Rubin, Jon Kaplan and Al Kaplan, obviously written during a marathon drinking session — features gags both obvious (one of the men suggests a “safety orgy” during the zombie beaver siege) and clever (a character shouting “Get out of the water!” as the camera simultaneously zooms in and pulls back, referencing the famous shot from Jaws). Needless to say, there’s plenty of gratuitous nudity, extreme gore and raunchy humor, with endless double-entendre beaver jokes and one minor character, upon hearing the loud racket next door, telling his wife, “It’s just those kids scissoring each other to Lady Gaga.”
How the film wound up in theaters rather than on the Syfy channel is anybody’s guess, although the R-rated gore and sex is clearly a major factor. Nonetheless, it has a certain goofy, Troma Films-style charm, and the brief 77-minute running time makes it appropriate for the bottom half of a drive-in double feature. The end credits include the inevitable outtakes (naturally far funnier than anything seen in the film proper), the crooning of a silly theme song, and a set-up for a sequel involving … wait for it … zombie bees.
Production companies: Armory Films, BenderSpink
Cast: Cortney Palm, Hutch Dano, Peter Gilroy, Rachel Melvin, Jake Weary, Lexi Atkins, Rex Linn
Director: Jordan Rubin
Screenwriters: Jon Kaplan, Al Kaplan, Jordan Rubin
Producers: Evan Astrowsky, Chris Bender, J.C. Spink, Christopher Lemole, Tim Zagaros, Jake Weiner
Executive producers: Theodore Miller, Alan Pao
Director of photography: Jonathan Hall
Production designer: Freddy Waff
Editor: Ed Marx
Composers: Al Kaplan, Jonathan Kaplan
Casting: Chadwick Struck
Rated R, 77 minutes
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