Zombie freakin’ beavers! Need I say more? Sure, Zombeavers sounds like some hackneyed SyFy movie or an unfortunately titled dusty DVD you’d find in the back of some shady adult video store, but the title sure does catch your attention. If your expectations are low, then you’re already taking the right steps to approaching a ridiculous movie like this. Trust me, they should be incredibly low.
There seems to be a bit of a formula when it comes to these Frankenstein-esque horror movies. Take a group of people, any cliched setting, any random animal and any horror scenerio, throw it in a blender and see what comes out. In the case of Zombeavers, we have a group of girls out at a cabin to get away from their problems when their significant others come crash the party. It just so happens that the lake they’ve decided to spend their time had a bit of a mishap where a stray tank of green goo came crashing down on a beaver dam turning them into….zombie beavers. Hi-jinx ensue, because of course they do.
This horror-comedy (emphasis on comedy) is best enjoyed when your blood alcohol content is straddling the line of good times and blacking out. Granted anyone willing to take the ride will likely already know not to take anything too seriously, despite how shockingly well made it is at times. When I say well made, it’s important to understand that I’m referring to effects work and camera work. The script and acting is pretty much what you might expect from something this silly.
Get out your checklist for this one also, seeing as how every horror cliche in the book is explored in the most obvious way possible. Zero time is wasted in getting boobs on screen and once they were on screen it felt like they were there for 10 of the first 15 minutes. There are characters making the dumbest decisions possible by inexplicably splitting up when they should be sticking together, going outside when they hear a strange noise, things like that. Even when it’s pretty well obvious they are dealing with undead beavers, the characters act like they’ve never seen a zombie movie before as no one ever tries to stab the animals in the head. Even when they do, the beavers sometimes still don’t die. Who needs consistency?
Ragging too much on this movie for logic, acting and script issues is beside the point. I’m relatively sure the jokes and acting are intentionally bad. The goal here is to just have fun with the fact you are watching people fight zombified beavers. It’s all very dumb to be sure, but it’s super fun and just when you’re getting kind of tired with watching these idiotic characters bat away puppets with amazingly creepy eyes, filmmaker Jordan Rubin throws a new twist into the mix to carry the film through to the end. The twist is hilariously bad, but it injects a bit of gross out fun to the fold.
Amonst all the hokey horror humor is some genuinely good filmmaking. Zombeavers opens with a Return of the Living Dead-esque opening complete with score. There are some great shots of the wilderness and legitimately creepy imagery surrounding all of the eye-rolling beaver (in reference to female genitalia) jokes and attempts as memorable horror one-liners. At times, the movie feels like a parody of something like Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead, just with zombie beavers instead of Deadites – and trust me, not one of these characters is as badass and memorable as Bruce Campbell’s Ash.
It’s somewhat difficult to give this a ranking that accurately expresses its true quality. You just have to take the good with the bad and adopt that annoying “if you shut your brain off” mindset to truly appreciate a movie like Zombeavers. It’s leaps and bounds better than any SyFy movie I’ve ever tried to sit through, but it’s equally as dumb as any of those tend to be. It’s not classy, it’s not unforgettable, but I’ll be damned if it’s not entertaining. It doesn’t quite fit into the “so bad it’s good” category but considering finding some time between your drunken Sharknado and Sharknado 2 viewing parties for Zombeavers.