Opening with intros to the main characters, comedy horror Doghouse follows a group of geezers who take their recently divorced mate Vince (This is England’s Stephen Graham, playing less ‘fascist’ and more ‘melancholy’) on a lads weekend away in the English countryside.
Up for a fun time of football, f-ing and blinding, booze and most importantly birds the merry band have the shock of their lives when they finally reach the remote village. The tiny town is indeed full of women. Except these ladies have been turned into weapon wielding psycho zombies.
A war of the sexes ensues with the gang desperately trying to defeat the man hungry army of zombirds with no weapons, no clue and worst of all no beer.
Okay I know what your thinking, “Isn’t this just Shaun of the Dead with added sexism?” and in a way it is. There is no denying the unoriginality of another British Zom-Com. However there is a lot more to Doghouse than a simple cash on the reanimated genre of horror comedy.
Director and editor Jake West does a great job crafting a sharp and well-made movie with visual flair and a dose of real horror.
Most importantly there are some very very funny moments, courtesy of comic book writer and artist Dan Schaffer’s script. From brilliant dialogue like the guys discussing which zombie they fancy, to sight gags such as when the men have to dress as women to fool their attackers.
The cast is also excellent with rent-a-geezer Danny Dyer – great as cocky cockney chauvinist Neil who not only has most of the best lines but also endures the worst torture.
The rest of the characters are played by a bunch of “Isn’t he from…?” faces including Terry Stone, Noel Clarke, Lee Ingleby and Billy Murray (from The Bill and those annoying insurance adverts).
Importantly the main gang of guys act as if they have known each other forever, treating the horrible life or death situation like a Saturday night piss-up and making it much more entertaining for us.
The effects are great and the female army of undead is done in true Romero style. Each is dressed in a particular costume, from sword wielding witch, to killer bride, to granny zimmer zombie.
There is plenty of good gore too and some clever moments of nastiness that make you cringe and laugh at the same time. Some of the most memorable being a birthday cake with mens fingers instead of candles, and a rather gruesome kill involving a beer bottle.
Perhaps it’s a massive analogy for male emasculation in modern society, perhaps it’s an un-P.C plea to liberate your inner bloke. Whatever it is Doghouse is definitely a hilarious horror comedy which delivers on all fronts and that’s why its worth a watch.
Additional film information: Doghouse (2009)
Additional film information: The Messengers (2007)