Cockneys Vs. Zombies was something of a favorite at horror festivals but never got picked up for a U.S. theatrical run. However, American zombie flick fans without access to festival screenings can now check out the film on home video via this new blu-ray from Scream Factory. The results do well by the film, offering a strong transfer and plentiful extras.
The blu-ray transfer translates the film’s digital cinematography to the small screen nicely, with appropriately high levels of detail and a nice depth to the film’s colors, the latter quality being especially impressive in the eye-popping animated credits sequences that open and close the film. The film’s soundtrack is presented via a 5.1 DTS mix that offers a clean, effectively-mixed blend of dialogue, music and effects.
The Hoene commentary is a pretty straightforward look at the film from the director’s chair: he views the film as an adventure more than a horror piece, offering a lot of commentary about his choices in setting and maintaining a lighter-than-usual tone for a zombie film. He also offers plentiful scene-specific tales about the locations and is effusive with praise for his cast, referencing them all by name and offering little anecdotes about what they brought to their roles. He’s never at a loss for something to comment on and his humble, cheerful personality makes the track a pleasant listen.
The Moran commentary discusses the film from the screenwriter’s viewpoint, with the author providing a scene-specific set of ruminations on his choices as a writer. Along the way, he discusses how the film grew towards a crowd-friendly vibe as he wrote it, particularly in his reluctance to kill protagonists off, and the inspiration behind different setpieces. Along the way, he also covers how he got involved with the project and even plays an voicemail message that star Alan Ford recorded for his phone. Moran has a charmingly dry sense of humor that keeps the track engaging and budding writers will find his thoughts interesting.
There is also a series of “original look behind the scenes” segments, eight brief bits in all. The first four focus on particular sequences, like the bank robbery or the dockside finale, all of them offering plentiful on-set footage. The next three focus on the filmmakers and cast, including a segment on the makeup effects and a fun bit where Harry Treadaway goofs around with a camera on set, including Rasmus Hardiker improvising fun bits of business.
However, the most memorable bit is the last, a brief instructional video that was filmed to train the extras on how to act like zombies. The result entertains while presenting genuinely useful info on how to portray a member of the living dead for the camera.
Next is a brief set of deleted scenes, totalling about six and a half minutes. Most of these are either trims or alternate versions of scenes, the most amusing/satisfying being a moment where Alan Ford punches out a disrespectful street kid. There is optional commentary for these scenes from both Hoene and Moran: it’s worth noting that they have differing views on the aforementioned punch-up scene and it’s interesting to hear their different takes on it. An appropriately raucous yet lighthearted theatrical trailer rounds the package out.
In short, this blu-ray offers a tidy little package for Cockneys Vs. Zombies and provides an appropriately high-def way for American fans to become acquainted with this zom-com.
To read Schlockmania’s film review of Cockneys Vs. Zombies, click here.