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Doghouse (AF)


Stars: Danny Dyer, Stephen Graham, Noel Clarke, Lee Ingleby, Christina Cole, Terry Stone, Adele Silva, Emily Booth, Billy Murray, Keith-Lee Castle, Emil Marwa, Neil Maskell

Director: Jake West

Deliberately comic horror movies aren’t as easy to create as they might seem as duds like The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies and Werewolves on Wheels so depressingly attest. Zombies, staggering around like crooked politicians who have been zapped by the publication of their expenses, should be good for some laughs as the rather-less-wonderful-than-it was-hailed-to-be Shaun of the Dead proved.

Here writer Schaffer and director Blake largely deserve to be in the doghouse themselves for wasting film and my time on a dog of a horrorflick whose most shocking element is the fact that it succeeded in getting a cinema release rather than joining the Undead as a direct-to-DVD release.

I usually enjoy Dyer’s cheeky cockney persona (a kind of bearable Jamie Oliver, if you like) but here he is given almost nothing to work on as a member of a bunch of drinking buddies being attacked in a small village by a collection of ludicrously over-the-top female zombies who resemble nothing so much as the unfortunate result of a weird disaster that overtook a bunch of second-rate repertory pantomime dames. A couple of jokes signally fail to revive the moribund affair, the dialogue is largely dire, the direction desperate and the cinematography is muddy. Wait for the DVD if you must and then give thanks to the inventor of the fast-forward button.

Alan Frank

UK 2009. UK Distributor: Vertigo. Colour by deluxe.
90 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 14 Jun 2009