J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tribeca ’14: Zombeavers

This year, the road to the Academy Awards surely starts in Tribeca. Leslie Nielsen also suddenly has stiff competition for the best on-screen beaver joke. The dam-builders are indeed restive in Jordan Rubin’s Zombeavers (viral trailer here), which screens midnight tonight during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

Right, so a den of beavers get zombified just before Mary and her two sorority sisters, depressed Jenn and catty Zoe, arrive at her family cabin for a weekend getaway. Do you think they get cell service up there? Dude, please. At least their respective horny significant others crash the party, making things real awkward for Jenn and her cheating dog boyfriend. However, they will not have much time for recriminations before the zombie-beavers attack.

This year, Tribeca’s midnight programmers are determined to discourage viewers from vacationing in the woods. Whether it be the work of homicidal hunters in Preservation, alien-abductors in Extraterrestrial, or zombie-beavers, bad things just seem to happen when you try to get back to nature. Their cautionary warning is duly noted.

So seriously, Zombeavers is just a thing of beauty. It is easily the funniest zombie comedy since Red Snow: Dead vs. Red, which admittedly just screened at Sundance this January, but is still high praise. Rubin delivers plenty of comedic gore, but rest assured, the nudity is strictly gratuitous.

As Mary, Jenn, and Zoe, Rachel Melvin, Lexi Atkins, and Cortney Palm are impossible long legged and admirably good sports. The corresponding guys act like they are in a competition to see who can be the biggest meathead idiot, but that is about right for the zombie-beaver sub-genre. Of course, the wildly over the top furry undead creatures are the real stars and they do not disappoint. They’re resourceful little buggers. For extra random cult movie points, Zombeavers also features CSI: Miami regular Rex Linn as Smyth, the grizzled grizzly hunter.

What more could you want from a film than hordes of zombeavers attacking bikini-clad sorority sisters? When in doubt Rubin just cranks up the blood-splattered visual gags, but there are some wickedly droll bits of dialogue scattered throughout. Highly recommended good, clean movie fun, Zombeavers screens tonight (4/26) as a midnight selection of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

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