Absurd as it may sound, it takes a special kind of talent to pull off a movie like “Zombeavers.” A movie with this premise could either be a flat affair, or so terrible it loses sight of its punch line. Thankfully, the crew behind the production has it in the bag. “Zombeavers” is a bonafide new kind of zombie movie, but one that pays tribute to a ton of classic movies from “Creepshow 2,” and “The Thing,” right down to “Die Hard.” And the good part is, if you hate the movie, you can at least count how many beaver jokes writers Al Kaplan, Jordan Rubin, and Jon Kaplan squeezes in to ninety minutes run time. “Zombeavers” may not be for everyone, but I had a blast. It’s clever, witty, and over the top horror comedy that mixes nature run amok movies with the zombie sub-genre.
College girl Jenn (Lexi Atkins) is heartbroken over an apparent affair her boyfriend is having, so in an effort to cheer her up, her friends Mary (Rachel Melvin) and Zoe (Cortney Palm) head to a cabin by a lake to get away from relationship woes. Just their luck two inept truck drivers shipping canisters of ooze lose one of their shipments which drops in to a beaver dam. The beavers soon become contaminated transforming in to rabid zombie beavers. When the girls’ boyfriends crash their getaway, they all realize they’re being stalked by the zombie beavers after killing one of their own out of self defense. “Zombeavers” is touted to a specific audience that enjoys cult horror comedy, and despite the apparent low budget, director Jordan Rubin delivers on a great piece of schlock. One of the main aspects that “Zombeavers” has going for it, is its script which delivers constant hilarious one liner after the other, all the while propping up some great scenes of zombeaver carnage.
Rubin and co. introduce some really quirky characters, all of whom are complete morons and derive a laugh of two thanks to their sheer incompetence. I didn’t expect it, but Disney stalwart Hutch Dano steals the film as idiotic Sam, who is so self obsessed, he barely contributes to the fight for survival. Dano plays the vain college guy well with some great one-liners and ace comic timing. Rubin sneaks in some great visual gags, some of which are subtle, others obvious. There’s a great death reminiscent of “The Thing,” and a hilarious moment where the beavers break through floor boards creating an impromptu game of whack a mole. While I mostly enjoyed “Zombeavers” the finale really felt as if the writers just didn’t know how to end the entire narrative and just abruptly cut it off. I’d have enjoyed a more absolute and wittier resolution. That said, “Zombeavers” is a hysterical and breezy horror comedy that borders on brilliant quite often.