Zombeavers review

As many filmmakers have discovered, the horror-comedy is a tricky thing to pull off. Get it right and you could have a Return of the Living Dead on your hands, get it wrong and you could end up stuck with a Return of the Living Dead II-sized stinker on your hands. Which brings us to Zombeavers, a tongue-in-cheek splatter flick about a group of college kids holidaying in an isolated cabin, who find themselves under siege from a colony of undead beavers that have been mutated by a barrel of medical waste.

Goofy as the premise may be, this hasn’t stopped the filmmakers from loading the film with all the sex and splatter genre fans could ask for - including yet another example of graphic mutilation of male genitalia, which is now starting to look like the ‘in-thing’ this year. Meanwhile the members of the cast are clearly enjoying themselves goofing around and battling unconvincing zombie beaver puppets, which lends the film an amiable vibe that keeps the enjoyment factor fairly high even if all of the script’s gags don’t quite hit the mark.

So even if it isn’t quite as funny as it thinks it is, Zombeavers is also much more enjoyable than its SyFy-esque title may lead you to believe. So turn off your brain, crack open a beer and settle back with the best killer beaver movie you’re ever likely to see…

Picture: The film’s digital photography translates into a striking 1.78:1-framed 1080p encode on Blu-ray. Sharpness and clarity are excellent, ensuring that fine detailing is in plentiful supply throughout. Colour reproduction is also very strong, with bright primaries during the early daylight exteriors and warm tones for the cabin interior.

The only really significant issue stems from black levels, which (as often happens with digital cameras) sometimes look a little washed out in areas of low light, which most of the night exterior shots of depth and makes them look rather flat.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: Zombeavers’ DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is an energetic, if not entirely enveloping piece of sound design. The vast majority of the audio remains firmly focused on the front stereo spread (which is, at least, pleasingly wide) with the rears only really used for the odd atmospheric effect and to give the rather generic score a little more space to breathe. What’s on offer is undoubtedly well rendered, just don’t go expecting too much in the first place.
Audio rating: 3.5/5

Extras: Auditions (6 minutes) features footage of the principal cast members reading for their roles, followed by the relevant clip from the finished film. Building a Beaver (2 minutes) explores the creation of the beaver puppets. Man Becomes a Monster (1 minute) is a hasty look at the creation of another of the film’s special effects. Extended Scene (37 seconds) is a deleted – and not very funny – gag about ironic electro music. Finally, Behind the Scenes (1 minute) is a quick compilation of production footage and visual effects shots. In other words, there's not much to get excited about here.
Extras rating: 1/5

We say: Attractive AV makes this knowingly daft horror-comedy even more appealing in hi-def

Zombeavers, Universal Pictures, All-region BD, £20 Approx