Ibiza Undead Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by Capital City Entertainment
Written and Directed by Andy Edwards
2016, 95 minutes, Not yet rated.
Frightfest world premiere on 26th August 2016
Cara Theobold as Ellie
Emily Atack as Liz
Jordan Coulson as Alex
Ed Kear as Big Jim
What’s more British than setting your British comedy horror movie in bloody old Blighty itself? Why, setting it in grim, vomit-strewn, neon Ibiza, of course. What’s even more British than that? Throwing Shaun of the Dead-esque banter and zombies into the mix. Welcome to the world of Ibiza Undead, which is like Zombi meets the Inbetweeners movie, while desperately trying to be the next Shaun of the Dead.
What it forgets to include, however, is anyone as likeable as Shaun or Ed, or as funny as any one of the Inbetweener kids. Case in point: Alex Zane is in this movie. Off on a lads’ holiday to Ibiza, three poon-hungry lads crash the party villa inhabited by silly drip Alex’s sister (actually played by an Inbetweeners cast member) and his ex-girlfriend. Thankfully, the island’s undead quotient is on hand to spice things up before the boys can get too obnoxious (while still managing to be fairly obnoxious – Alex Zane is in this movie, don’t forget).
Ibiza Undead sees the world already in the grip of its undead invasion, matter-of-factly positing that zombies are real, people are already well over it, and some of them even ‘work’ at strip clubs in Ibiza. It’s this club the boys visit in their search for ‘sluts’, there encountering bar mogul Karl (Matt King from Peep Show!), who serves as the film’s very human and very welcome villain - a lovely change of pace from horrible teenagers and Alex Zane (who is in this movie, but at least gets called a twat by someone).
The boozy Benidorm attitude is, at least, justified by the setting and story. Were Big Jim, Alex and Az portrayed with the same finesse as in the films and characters it imitates, there’d be few complaints. As it is, it bears a lot in common with the pre-Eastenders comedy horror phase of Danny Dyer, right down to the mean spirit and misogynistic way it treats and leers at its female ‘characters’. And, like those movies, it does have a tendency to be funny in spite of itself. Ed Kear’s Big Jim is a shameless, ceaselessly annoying Ed from Shaun of the Dead rip-off, but he gets enough lines that, inevitably, some of them do land. The high-pitched James Corden voice is a bit much though, and by the time the film attempts to round him out into a ‘real’ character with a bona fide emotional moment, it’s far too late.
There’s a lack of scale and invention to Ibiza Undead, largely taking place in a series of rooms and clubs rather than the beaches or streets one might have hoped for from a zombie film set in Ibiza. The neon is a nice touch though, a visual flourish which distinguishes it from the rest. While awful Big Jim and Alex flounder with the ladies at the villa, its best non-Matt King character (read: quietest and least annoying) tackles the plot’s more interesting less hackneyed element. By no mean coincidence, it’s also the strand of story which gives Matt King the most to do – while still not giving Matt King nearly enough to do.
Ibiza Undead has its moments of wit and intelligence, but for every good joke (or at least, disarmingly cheap one) there’s at least ten other banal, misogynistic one-liners. Cheap, sleazy, morally objectionable, and full of utterly repulsive people (Alex Zane is in this movie) and brain-dead zombies (Alex Zane is... ah, you get the idea), Ibiza Undead is, at least, the authentic Ibiza experience.