Every once in awhile, even when you live the majority of your movie-watching life in the B-Movie realm, you still come across one movie here and there that sounds and looks so…unbelievable… that you think to yourself with a laugh “There is no way this can actually be real.” Assuming that it was just a Funny or Die style parody video, I never gave the Zombeavers trailer a second thought for that very reason It was so outlandish, so corny, so tongue-in-cheek, and so bizarre that I figured it just couldn’t be real and was just some parody mock trailer at the time. But then when I started seeing more and more buzz online about it, and realized it was actually a real upcoming movie, well I knew I had to get onto that bandwagon as soon as I could.
And Zombeavers did not disappoint.
“A group of college kids staying at a riverside cabin are menaced by a swarm of deadly zombie beavers, and a weekend of sex and debauchery soon turns gruesome as the beavers close in on the kids.”
This is the kind of movie that certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you’re the kind of person that can just sit back, relax, turn off your brain, and not help but laugh at the total insanity unfolding before your eyes, than this is the movie for you to watch. Admittedly, for such a short movie (only an hour and 15 minutes) it takes an unusually long time before things really start to happen, most of which leading up to it is spent with characters that we don’t ever really like, and teen drama that we just don’t care about (for example, one of the characters cheated on her boyfriend with the boyfriend of another one of the characters), and this kind of stuff took up much more of the movie than I would have liked. However, once things do start happening though, it’s pretty much non-stop cheesy bizarre fun.
Zombeavers is all about these college kids going to this cabin in the woods by a lake for a weekend getaway, and unbeknownst to them the local beaver population has been infected with an unknown spilled chemical that has been turning them into…well…zombie beavers. And thankfully these zombie beavers were not done with piss poor cheap badly-integrated CGI, nope, these zombie beavers were done in piss poor cheap puppetry animatronic goodness, coming across looking like rabid Muppets on crack, and while this may turn some people off (I have to admit they really did look terrible, especially when in-motion), I found it just added to the camp factor, as it’s quite clear right from the opening animated credit sequence of beavers chasing our characters around the opening credits themselves, that this movie isn’t just corny but it’s corny while KNOWING that it’s corny. This movie is totally in on the joke with us, portraying everything that happens and every line of beaver-pun-filled dialogue in a very tongue firmly in cheek kind of way, with a wink and a nod. Seriously, you can’t have a movie about zombie beavers, that turn those they bite into zombie human/beaver hybrids, and attempt to play it straight. Clearly the filmmakers knew there was no way that would work and they just went all-in with it, delivering us one hell of a fun little movie.
The only part that really feels like it’s played any bit even resembling straight was character actor Rex Linn as the local hunter that ends up coming across the teens during their night of terror and helps them out, and even though he’s played mostly straight, the fact that he is even though all this zany bizarre zombie beaver insanity is going on around him, just adds to the comedic value as he approaches it all with the most straight faced delivery possible, never failing to get a full-on laugh from me. Not to mention most of the beaver-related innuendo puns came from him. Suffice to say, such an awesome character doesn’t survive the movie, and I was totally sad to see him go when the time came. The character or characters that do make it to the end though might surprise you, as this was one of those movies where the person you thought was the main character gets knocked out of the running midway through and you realize anybody can be killed off at any time, which I have to confess did add a certain level of genuine suspense to this otherwise goofball of a movie.
Chances are if you’re watching Zombeavers you’re a fan of zombie cinema to begin with, and while you don’t need to be in order to find enjoyment out of this one, it certainly helps as there’s tons of nods to other zombie media to be found, especially to George A. Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead, as the movie almost directly lifts from that when the teens barricade themselves into the house and board up all the windows and doors – something that doesn’t take long for them to hilariously realize was pointless as beavers eat wood and start bursting through in no time at all, which in turn leads to a laugh riot of a visual akin to a live-action whack-a-mole game.
As mentioned above, another aspect of the zombie genre that is kept alive and well in this flick is that when you’re bit you turn into one of the Undead as well, only in this version, because the characters are being bit by zombie beavers, they turn into this ugly mix of human and beaver hybrid zombie, which is just a crazy insane visual that has to be seen to be believed. And the best part of this? It’s not just humans it happens to either. Ohh no. There’s actually a scene that involves a zombie bear-beaver. Just let that sink in for a minute. A Zombie. Bear. Beaver.
There really isn’t a whole lot more I can say on this movie. It’s crazy, it’s insane, it’s stupid, it’s cheesy, it’s bizarre, it’s idiotic, it’s fun, and it just has to be seen to be believed. Much like with Asylum’s and SyFy’s Sharknado movies, it’s more of an experience that you just have to go through in order to fully ‘Get it’, and its short runtime just makes it that much more enjoyable as overall it moves at a pretty quick pace once it gets going. The only downside is that it does, admittedly, take a bit longer to finally get going than I would like for such a movie, and most of the time leading up to that is spent on teen drama bullshit that nobody watching cares about, happening to characters that are pretty hard to like to begin with.
Considering the ending of the movie is left totally unresolved and open-ended, I’m really hoping we’ll get a Zombeavers 2 in a couple years down the road. I would love to revisit these growling rabid drug-fueled Muppet zombie beavers again at some point, and with all the movies getting sequels that don’t really deserve them, it would be a shame to not have Zombeavers turn into a franchise itself.
Now remember folks, until my next review, be sure to not go near any dirty hairy beavers.