According to tradition, a “Cockney” is a someone who was born within earshot of the bells of London’s historic St Mary-le-Bow church. Meanwhile, a “zombie” — at least since George A. Romero’s undead classic Night of the Living Dead — is a revived corpse who enjoys luncheoning on the innards of the still-breathing. Put them together and what do you get? That’s right, a revived corpse who was born within the sound of “Bow bells.” And the new British horror comedy Cockneys vs Zombies, which stars Michelle Ryan (the Bionic Woman revival), Alan Ford (Snatch), Honor Blackman (Goldfinger, cult TV show The Avengers), and the-largely-unknown-in-America-but-absolutely-awesome Richard Briers.
Inevitably, comparisons will be made between Cockneys vs Zombies — which receives its U.S. debut at this September’s Fantastic Fest — and Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, a high-water mark of the Londoners-versus-undead-lurchers genre. And it is worth pointing out that Briers’ costar in the long-running ’80s Brit-com Ever Decreasing Circles, Penelope Wilton, played Simon Pegg’s mum in Shaun. (The pair’s fellow Ever Decreasing cast member Peter Egan should feel free to start rehearsing the line “I’ve been bitten by a blinkin’ zombie!” round about…now.) On the other hand, the new red-band Cockneys trailer does make it look like a (foul-mouthed and gore-drenched) hoot.
Take a “butcher’s” (Cockney rhyming slang: “butcher’s hook”/”look”) and see if you agree.