November 11, 2012

Filthy Review - 'Gangsters, Guns and Zombies'

Gangsters, Guns and Zombies (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

The first I heard of this little gem, from back across the pond, was several months ago when I caught the first trailer. I will admit, as if often the case these days, that when I saw there was another zombie film on its way I wasn’t exactly filled with manic excitement. However, there was something about the trailer that just seemed to gel, and fortunately that is amplified in the film itself. Zombies won’t die, not in film anyway, as long as there is passion behind the making of the film. Gangsters, Guns and Zombies has this passion by the shitload.

To dwell on the plot for too long would be kind of pointless, as the title of the film will give you a fairly good indicator of what to expect. Don’t go in thinking Goodfellas though; instead think Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels kicking off with 28 Days Later, whilst the 2002 video game The Getaway crashes the party, albeit on a smaller scale.

Gangsters, Guns and Zombies follows Q (Vincent Jerome) and a group of loud-mouthed London gangsters who have just robbed a bank. Their plan is to make it to their safe house before the Filth catch up with them and slap the cuffs on. Not the easiest task at the best of times, and it’s made a whole lot tougher due to an emerging outbreak of the undead. It never rains, it pours right? So, their getaway ends up being an escape from the ensuing apocalypse.

Rather than focus on the zombies, Gangsters, Guns and Zombies keeps the undead at a safe distance; they are there, pretty much all the time, but the focus is squarely on the occupants of the getaway van. It is here that director Matt Mitchell lets the motley crew of criminals have some fun with the hilarious script. Damn, I was laughing like a good’un throughout, and it is quite obvious that this was a film that was based around the script, rather than having zombie action with a script tagged on.

I have no idea, right now, what the budget was for the film, although I am guessing it wasn’t very much. But, instead of trying to make a film that the budget can’t back-up, Gangsters, Guns and Zombies plays to its strengths; which is the aforementioned cracking script, and focusing on the solid cast. Regardless of the budget though, this is a film that looks good and is put together with a definite technical craft and understanding of film. It is not a group of miscreants with a camcorder trying to give us motion sickness, instead there are fluid camera shots, an editor that knows what they are doing and all in all a very professional feel to the film.

The only real fault I had with the film is that sometimes the pacing did seem to be a little off at times, with some of the scenes being tightened up a little. That being said, this is the debut feature of director Mitchell, and the finer points will no doubt come in time. As a debut though this is a great starting off point and one I had a ton of fun with. There are nods and winks to other films, and there are elements that have been seen before, but when it’s this much fun it is hard to hold it against the filmmakers. At the end of the day this is a funny film that is well made and shows a definite love for the genres that inspired it.

XLrator Media are releasing this in the US, as part of their Macabre imprint, and I have to say that this is a fine addition on a label that is fast becoming one to keep an eye on, with future titles to include The Lost Coast Tapes, The Thompsons and Inbred. The screener I watched didn’t include any extras, as it was just the film itself.

I had a blast with Gangsters, Guns and Zombies and, even if the cover artwork is slightly misleading, I highly recommend giving this film a shot. There’s plenty of blood, without being gory, a shit ton of laughs to be had and it’s damned good fun.

Gangsters, Guns and Zombies hits VOD on November 15th and Blu-ray and DVD on December 11th from XLrator Media.


Anonymous said...

Really looking forward to checking this out when available here in the UK!!

Maynard Morrissey said...

never heard about it, but it sounds helluva fun. I'll keep an eye on it.