People went thousands of years without cell phones, you guys can last two days!
There’s an old saying of “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” and that definitely rings true in some cases. Some of my favourite films over the last 10 or so years have been those that I never thought I would like, such as “Kiss Ass” (I thought it was going to be a parody similar to Scary Movie), but more often than not the films that you think are going be terrible are just that.
I lost all hope that the film was ever going to be any good when I was doing a Google search for the poster and three of the first four were mock posters where the quotes were taken from people criticising the film. In no circumstances should three of the first four results (I didn’t even put the word poster into my search) should be posters mocking the film.
There are people that say that the best way to die is quickly, you know, just get it over with, and that is the case with this film because it’s absolutely diabolical, but at least it’s over quickly, having a run time of just 68 minutes and 4 seconds from the start of the film to the end credits.
It’s not often I turn off a film before it’s finished, but came very close.
Jenn (Atkins) has just split with her boyfriend following pictures of him kissing another girl appear online, and her friends take her for a weekend away in a log cabin to get over it. After initially enjoying their weekend, their respective boyfriends all turn up, including Jenn’s ex, Sam (Dano).
As the truth about the situation with Sam emerges, the characters suddenly find themselves being attacked by undead beavers. Numerous attempts at escaping fail as the beavers bite down trees to create barricades on the roads out and to set traps.
Advertised as a comedy horror, this is far from being either scary or amusing. Infact, I’d say the scariest part is that this film was somehow made and greenlit by a studio. I’ve seen some poor films in my time, some of which I’ve reviewed on here previously but at least they all had something to offer, “Zombeavers” had nothing. With “Frank” I at least got the chance to rant about how films that look good aren’t necessarily anywhere near the level of compliment, and with “Zombie Apocalypse” I at least got to laugh at how stupid the characters were, I didn’t get anything with this other than a feeling of frustration.
Even at just 68 minutes long, this film dragged due to the long, drawn out attempts at being funny that fail to raise even the remotest chuckle. This starts as early as the opening scene when two van drivers are plodding along and one of them shares that he once dated another man for a week and loved it, with the exception of the sex. The way he says it was obviously intended to make the scene amusing, but it just falls completely flat and it stays like that throughout. Later on in the film they board the cabin’s windows with wooden planks, even one of the characters points out that beavers chomp through wood and therefore what’s the point? Am I supposed to laugh at that point?
The script is almost painful and goes to places it doesn’t really need to go, with one example coming just before the 20 minute mark when the three main characters are playing “would you rather” and one asks the other “would you rather watch your mum get murdered by your daddy or get raped by your daddy whilst your mother had to watch?” Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older but I don’t think I would have found it appropriate or amusing even in my 20s, or even pushing it further, my teens.
I wouldn’t actually be surprised if this script was written by a fourteen year old boy who had looked at far too many of his dad’s porn collection. The whole film is just so full of immature content that it becomes almost impossible to like the film. Within the first 25 minutes you’ve had a girl who can’t keep her clothes on for more than five minutes, two of the three male teenage characters are obsessed with sex and can’t come up with a mature response to anything, someone responding to female characters saying “we’re just looking for beavers” and responding with “yeah, aren’t we all?” whilst scanning his eyes down the scantly clad women’s bodies.
Don’t get me wrong, nudity isn’t necessarily a bad thing in film and used correctly it could actually add something, such as when the girl is being stripped in “Interview with the Vampire” when she is being attacked by vampires in the middle of a theatre production, showing how vulnerable the character is in that situation. Nudity, if used correctly in film, can be beautiful and not feel like it’s just catering to the younger members of the audience, but again this film feels like it was made for pubescent teenage boys.
Whilst the film causes many of it’s own problems through having a stupid plot and characters, it’s biggest sin is the consistent use of horror cliches, such as one of the aforementioned issues with female characters being more than happy to consistently take her bikini top off, getting locked out of their house when the wind blows the door shut, cheesey one liners with innuendo, the redneck characters who are obsessed with hunting anything that moves, the camera angle changing to the perspective of the attacker when they are stalking their prey, the main character seeing the beavers but when the others investigate there is nothing there are first, I could go on.
One of the most disappointing parts of the film is that despite an extremely short run time 68 minutes of 4 seconds from when the film starts until when it goes to the credits, nothing really happens until nearly half way through the film (around the 32nd minute mark to be precise). Whilst the story not getting started until just after the 30 minute mark isn’t uncommon in a lot of films, you have to do something special in those 30 minutes if your film only lasts 68 minutes. It gives no time for the characters to develop beyond the immature nature that they portray in that opening 30 minutes.
After that 30 minutes, due to a few factors, the film reminds me of the New Zealand made “Black Sheep”, a film about sheep that start attacking people, the difference between the two is that “Black Sheep” is actually enjoyable. It is amazing that two films that have such similar storylines can be so far apart in terms of quality, and it’s not even a budget issue as I wouldn’t be surprised if the budget for “Zombeavers” was higher than “Black Sheep”. The characters is in the latter are well developed, have a good back story and the sheep don’t look like they’ve been made on a computer from the late 1990s.
I’m going to end this section by sharing one of the mock posters for the film, a take on the excellent Joaquin Phoenix film “Her”.
If you’re between the ages of 13-16 you might enjoy this film due to it’s extremely immature content, but if you’re not a boy going through puberty then you will see this film for what it is, complete and utter trash. Recently I reviewed “Zombie Apocalypse” and I am seriously struggling to figure out which film is worse. At least “Zombie Apocalypse” made me laugh about how stupid the characters were.
In many ways I can’t believe that they made this film without the intention of making it in such an incredibly poor manner. There are so few parts of this film that suggest that it was intended to be anything more than straight-to-DVD and it thoroughly deserves those posters with the quotes about incredibly poor this film is.
I can’t find a single positive to take from this film and that is saying something.