A refreshingly lively, upbeat zombie-horror film, entertaining right to the final frame
I’d been looking forward to Jake West’s DOGHOUSE for some time, I’d been expecting something along the lines of LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS, which had made me smile and kept me entertained. However, whilst the premise is similar to LVK, DOGHOUSE is far superior; it was a scream from beginning to end and definitely one I’d recommend.
When a group of everyday, football-loving, beer-swilling, blokes decide to take their mate Vince away to a quiet village to take his mind of his impending divorce, they are expecting to find a village full of hot, single women, and spend a few days drinking and partying. When they arrive in Moodley however, the over abundance of females is not such a boon after all!
The women of the town have all contracted a gender specific disease which has transformed them into Zombirds, they’ve devoured all the men and this group of unsuspecting fellas soon realise that a town full of man-hungry women, is far from a good thing.
The characters West has created are your archetypal British males, they love Match of the Day, beer, and women (apart from Graham, he’s gay). That’s not to say these are one dimensional characters, nor are they all the same, they share the same interests, but West has taken time to give them each some depth. Neil (Danny Dyer) is sexist and arrogant and played well by a somewhat typecast Dyer, and whilst not all of his friends agree with his chauvinistic views, it isn’t long before misogyny rules and the battle of the sexes commences, and it’s easy to understand why once you see the women of Moodley!
The Zombie women are formidable, and imposing; each one of them different – the scissor wielding hairdresser and the axe wielding bride are particularly sinister. This is what’s so original about this film, each of the Zombies has a very different look, almost like comic book characters, and this was a stroke of genius. I also like the way the Zombies move, particularly in phase one of the virus, jerky, erratic movements, which make them frightening even though they move slowly. However, this isn’t really a scary film because the screenplay keeps the mood light from start to end. The entire film is laced with a good balance of humour and tension, although it isn’t just a case of telling jokes and slipping in the odd one-liner, it’s more a case of the characters themselves being genuinely funny guys – and it’s great fun seeing the bizarre and inventive ways this group of men go about evading the women of Moodley.
The weapons of choice are also comical, when one man threatens another with a fireplace brush it’s hard to take it seriously, but that’s fine, Jake West clearly didn’t want to make a serious, scary film, instead settling for a rip-roaring, well-paced, action packed, funny, and thoroughly entertaining watch.
The acting across the board is brilliant, I can’t fault the casting: even the zombies were well cast. That usually wouldn’t matter, but in Doghouse the Zombies as individuals do matter.
Doghouse is a refreshing, lively, upbeat film, entertaining right to that oh-so-wonderful final frame.
DOGHOUSE (2009). Director/Writer: Jake West. Cast: Danny Dyer, Stephen Graham, Noel Clarke, Terry Stone, Christina Cole, Lee Ingleby, Keith Lee Castle, Emil Marwa, Neil Maskell.