By Andrew Barell
Premiering on April 19th at the TriBeca Film Festival, “Zombeavers” has been unsurprisingly receiving a lot of attention. The buzz for the film, directed by Jordan Rubin (“Crank Yankers”) has reached the elite film festival audience, a feat rare for a horror film … with zombie beavers.
The Zombie genre has been completely over-saturated and overdone in the last 15 years. So why does this film deserve our attention? Films like “Cabin In The Woods” (2012) and “Juan of The Dead” (2011) are examples of how to make zombies funny and memorable, mixing in genre twists and satire. Apart from being entertaining, these films amongst others, comment on important and relevant social themes. Government control and religion are a few major topics touched upon in these films, which elevates them above the slough of garbage zombie entertainment that comes out regularly these days.
“Zombeavers” had potential to do this, and seeing as it made it into TriBeca one would assume it offers something more than gore, dumb teens, and a cabin in the woods. Unfortunately, this film does little more than display naked women and make bad jokes. The zombie beavers are accidentally created after a toxic barrel sprays on them and their dam near a riverside cabin. From here an unsuspecting trio of sorority girls predictably find themselves cornered with their frat bro counterparts in the cabin. There are a some funny moments and even some references to a few other horror/thriller films; the most direct being the famous “Get out of the water!” from Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws”. Other than the innocent beavers, who couldn’t help being mutated into monsters, it’s hard to really feel for any of the characters, which makes it hard to see the point of it all.
One of the key marketing points of “Zombeavers” was advertising its bad reviews. This would be funny if the reviews weren’t completely accurate. If you’re looking for something intelligently framed within the Horror genre, ‘Zombeavers’ has nothing to offer. Even entertainment wise this film seemed to be lacking. Maybe fifteen year olds will get a chuckle from the potty humor but it is hard to see what the people behind TriBeca saw in this vapid and unimportant film other than a large draw and some money.