Movie Review: Zombeavers

In March, Jon and I spent Bad Movie Wednesday (BMW) watching a film from New Zealand called Black Sheep. It was going to be bad, we knew it from the get-go, but it was also so good. If you like “so good, it’s bad” movies, give this one a watch.

In that review, I said the following:

“Jonathan King is a marketing guru for the simple fact that he has discovered one of the secret truths of America: to attract the masses, think of something preposterously stupid and they’ll swarm to it like bees to honey.”

Months later, that holds true today.

I wanted to watch a movie on Monday and this title popped up on Netflix. I continued scrolling because I wanted to look at an award-worthy film that I’ve been pushing off, like Wolf of Wall Street or Whiplash. In the end, I couldn’t help myself. I hit play on Zombeavers.

I’d avoid the trailer because it highlights some of the best parts of the movie but if you need that extra kick in the rear to hit play, watch it.

Zombies are trending right now. Put zombies in anything and we’re going to watch it. We can’t help ourselves. Zombies are a lot of fun. With the grandeur and drama of The Walking Dead continuing to impress and haunt, the genre of zombies has surpassed the heights of George Romero’s films. Foreign filmmakers are contributing to the spike such as the Norwegian films Dead Snow and Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead. Zombies is not an American epidemic. It is a worldwide one and it’s an epidemic people aren’t looking to cure.

It’s been nearly a week since I’ve seen it, but I can still say with sure confidence that Zombeavers was meant for BMW. The opening dialogue serves as a model of how you want “so bad, it’s good” movies to begin. It’s blunt and honestly, this first scene was pretty funny. I went back to the beginning just to watch it again. Some of the things these guys say are so outta left field that you can’t help but crack up. I almost wanted the scene to keep going, but zombies though.

Teenagers going to a cabin for a getaway isn’t new and the style of the script writing for the rest of the film isn’t seasoned near as well as its opening set. It is all too easy to distinguish the different styles of the three writers that worked on this script. One wonders why three writers needed to collaborate to diagram this simple a tale. The conversations between these characters at times are pubescent despite the fact that these girls seem to be in their 20’s. Immaturity runs rampant in both the characters and production of this far-fetched fable.

At times though, Zombeavers‘ simplicity is what keeps the dam together and prevents the water from crashing down on its disabled cast. I think Jon would agree that at times that was what made Black Sheep and even Sharknado so much fun. There were plot holes canyons and streams of ridiculousness, but the tone never felt misplaced in either of those films and it doesn’t feel like that here. That’s hardly an excuse for mediocre drafting, but at least it wasn’t suckage.

Other times, some wider turns of the wheel would have been welcomed because such simplicity is not engaging. It never got boring but only because it was so absurd, not just the situation these characters find themselves in but the way they handle it and the way they express themselves. There are a couple of one-liners the screenwriters decided to throw in for some reason and while I’m sure audiences will react to them, if they’re like me, they’re not laughing with them so much as they’re laughing at them. It is a laugh of mockery and a slice of enjoyment rather than a fun-filled pie.

Also similar to Black Sheep, Zombeavers uses puppets instead of CGI. Some leeway can be offered to a film with little to spend but the beavers don’t frighten. I applaud the effort, certainly, but the result is dead wood (beaver pun). Hard to build with, harder to build on.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Leon: The ProfessionalEnemySleeping with the EnemyEquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. Dead)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitzThe PunisherDrive Hard)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Boy Next DoorThe ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future Past)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for Zombeavers: 43.

Days after watching Zombeavers, I still found myself smirking over the stupid amounts of ineffectiveness in it. It’s one of the few films I’ve scored under 50 that I have an interest in watching again. The acting is strong-armed and gesturing with one hand. As you can guess, it doesn’t make the cut and the visuals are bearable at best. The dialogue that I criticized, believe it or not, is what keeps the film trudging in the mud and from afar, looking through binoculars, it’s pretty fun, but I wouldn’t dare get any closer.

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