Cinema Review: Zombeavers | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, January 25th, 2020  


Studio: Freestyle
Directed by Jordan Rubin

Mar 19, 2015 Web Exclusive
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In this tale of undead, murderous, carnivorous beavers, the highlight of the film comes right at the top: in the opening scene, two medical waste disposal employees drive a truckload of barrels to wherever they plan on “environmentally” disposing them. Their banter is utterly priceless. Joseph (the hilarious Bill Burr) and Luke (John Mayer—yes, for real; you won’t recognize him, and you’ll do a quadruple take once you realize it’s the “Your Body is a Wonderland” crooner) swap tales that are all at once crass, crude, hilarious, and genius. Mayer is especially brilliant. Even as they hit a deer and a barrel of toxic waste rolls off their truck and into the beaver lake, the riffs keep coming. I swear to cinema, on the strength of this scene alone, I was primed to love Zombeavers.

Then, we get to the meat of the story. True to typical horror trope, a group of gorgeous college girls head to one of their family’s remote lake house for a weekend of girl-time, drinking, and topless sunbathing. Little do they know, the toxic waste has zombiefied the resident beavers, turning them into bloodthirsty carnivores that chew flesh like the cast chews the scenery. Soon, mayhem ensues.

Woodn’t you know it, the zombeavers—which look a heck of a lot like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog with rabies and fur—are surprisingly smart. They tunnel under the cabin to get inside and even fell trees to block the roads. They’re also everywhere. The nearly-indestructible monsters seemingly populate between takes, until there’s a virtual army of them. Despite their overwhelming numbers, they often attack one at a time, or hold off on attacking altogether—whatever the plot requires. Sometimes, they burst through the floor; sometimes, they patiently wait on the porch until the college kids are ready to… Okay, I’ll stop. I got carried away trying to analyze Zombeavers, and for that, I apologize.

Zombeavers is pretty one-note, and the joke is, well, not that strong. The film itself could (and probably should) be funnier, but somehow it doesn’t manage the consistent so-bad-it’s-good laughs it needs to shine. It’s campy as hell and probably best watched after ingesting substances. Despite its efforts, Zombeavers isn’t as glorious as Sharknado, but that’s only because it’s confined to a smaller area with fewer victims to chew on. If they make a sequel—and be dam sure they’ll try—we can undoubtedly expect zombeavers on a much grander scale.

Author rating: 3/10

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