Gangsters, Guns & Zombies DVD Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Directed by Matt Mitchell
Written by Matt Mitchell and Taliesyn Mitchell
2012, Region 2 (PAL), 88 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 7th Jan 2012
Vincent Jerome as Q
Huggy Leaver as Tony
Fabrizio Santino as Crazy Steve
Cassandra Orhan as Cassie
Frank Rizzo as Pat
Charlie Rawes as Muscles
Gangsters, Guns & Zombies is the sort of movie which introduces its characters by having their names pop up next to them as they appear. That tells you almost everything you need to know about Gangsters, Guns & Zombies, which is like Snatch crossed with Dawn of the Dead. I believe the most popular phrase, when dealing with a movie like this, is “does what it says on the tin.” Well some things are clichés for a reason - Gangsters, Guns & Zombies certainly does that.
A confession: during the first half of the film, I had written a whole paragraph about Gangsters, Guns & Zombies being a tinned meat (carrying the metaphor further than it ever needed to go) – the movie equivalent of Spam or something equally processed, nasty or bland. Feeling proud of that particular bit of wit, I had fired off a tweet about it, saying that “Gangsters, Guns & Zombies does what it says on the tin. Shame it's a tin of crap” or something to that effect. That was not a very nice thing to say, and nor, as it emerged, was it particularly true.
I'm going to unleash another journalist cliché here, and say that you should never judge a book by its cover. For once the film settled down some, and I got to know its characters, I actually began to enjoy it. It takes a while though. Cockney gangster films are a very acquired taste, and mine just doesn't roll that way. The characters have names like 'Crazy Steve' and 'Muscles' and speak in exaggerated Cockney accents while stomping on zombie heads with their brand new trainers. There's a lot of repetition of the word 'fahck' and 'cahnt' and – my personal favourite – 'safehaaaaahs'. For about fifteen minutes, the characters don't have a lot to say, other than “fuck off, you.” As they referred to a police officer as a 'pig', the film almost lost me. Grow up, eh.
Having seen Strippers vs Werewolves, Doghouse, Cockneys vs Zombies and countless other horrible British horror films (actually, that last one isn't too bad) starring some combination of Billy Murray,Tamer Hassan and/or Danny Dyer, I was less than enthused at the prospect of Gangsters, Guns & Zombies. But to its credit, the film is frequently imaginative, occasionally fun and always action-packed. Best of all, Billy Murray, Tamer Hassan and Danny “my surname reviews my own movies” Dyer are nowhere to be seen. Once you get to know the characters and enjoy the actors playing them (not great, but good chemistry with one another) you might realise that they're not such a bad lot after all. “You ever syphoned petrol before?” “No, but I stole a pair of Diesel jeans once.” Yeah, I laughed.
As low-budget British zombie films go, Gangsters, Guns & Zombies is actually a lot of fun. It takes a while to warm up, but once it does, it's very likeable. Gangsters, Guns & Zombies might be a little bit like a tin of Spam – but then, I do sometimes like a bit of Spam
Video and Audio:
It looks and sounds a little cheap, but not disconcertingly so. There are much worse-looking zombie films out there.
Blood, Sweat and Tears documents the hard work which went into making Matt Mitchell's debut feature. Way to make me feel bad about the “tin of crap” remark.
As a special bonus from HorrorTalk, you can click the cover below to download a specially made prequel comic to Gangsters, Guns & Zombies in PDF format. Like the film, it contains material of an adult nature and is not suitable for children.