Pete’s Peek | ‘Bloody Trafalgar!’ Cockneys vs Zombies tops my Halloween 2012 Hit List

‘Bloody Trafalgar! It’s Carry On meets RocknRolla bonkers brilliant!’

While geezer brothers Andy and Terry (Harry Treadaway and Rasmus Hardiker) rob a bank with their cousin (Michelle Ryan), an ancient plague is unleashed on London’s East End turning the locals into zombies. Next stop – the Bow Bells Care Home, where their granddad Ray (Alan Ford) and his fellow residents are trying to fend off the undead horde. Can the trio save the oldies and escape before it’s too late?

This zom-com combines the witty banter and comic hi-jinks of Carry On films of old with the flashy fast cut edits of a Guy Ritchie-styled mockney crime heist to produce one of the best British comedies in ages. Veteran stars Honor Blackman, Richard Briers and Dudley Sutton get the biggest laughs – especially Briers trying to outwalk the zombies on his zimmer frame. And the Ska-fuelled end credits song Head to Head with the Undead is just so darn catchy, you might find yourself wanting the soundtrack as well. View the trailer here.

Released on Blu-ray and DVD 29 October, Studio Canal


Chernobyl Diaries (Blu-ray, DVD, Download, Studio Canal)
This survival horror starts with an intriguing premise – a group of young tourists venture into the ghost town of Prypiat, near the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, where they become stranded overnight. But instead of the cast facing-off radioactive mutants (like in The Hills Have Eyes), this shaky-cam horror has them running away from a pack of barking dogs or falling into pools of water and grazing themselves. The only real scare comes from a wild bear whose sleep is disturbed by the unlikeable intruders. What I did like, though, was the Uri’s Extreme Tours infomercial in the extras. I’d go on one.

Lovely Molly (Blu-ray & DVD, Metrodome)
This is one truly disturbing movie from Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sánchez, about a former drug addict (Gretchen Lodge) whose mind unravels when she suspects her father’s spirit is haunting the childhood home she shares with her new husband (Johnny Lewis). Packed with some ‘What the Hell!’ shocks and a visceral performance from Lodge (hope the actress didn’t go into therapy after making this), Sánchez’s chiller gets better with repeated viewings. It’s also the last film made by trouble actor Lewis, who died in September. Check out my original review here.

Monstro! (DVD, Monster Pictures UK)
The low budget exploitation films of Russ Meyer and Roger Corman are paid homage to in this Australian indie film featuring a rockin’ soundtrack and a giant glove puppet monster that’s worthy of a classic B-movie. Three sexy tattooed bad girls (who look straight out of Meyer’s Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill!) hide out at a remote beach cove after a killing spree. But when they fail to heed the warnings of a crusty old sea dog (Norman Yemm, remember him from the The Sullivans?) not to go into the water, a giant tentacled creature crashes the girls’ boozy slumber party. I loved the idea of this film, but waiting for the creature to appear, becomes a chore. The poster, however, is a must have.

The Night Child (DVD, Arrow Video)
The success of The Exorcist caused a deluge of child possession movies throughout the 1970s, much like The Blair Witch Project is to blame for the continual glut of ‘found footage’ horrors today. This one, from 1975, features much in-demand Italian child star Nicoletta Elmi as a young girl with daddy issues who is drawn to the dark side by a cursed medallion. With it’s haunting music-box score, atmospheric shots of Spoleto, Umbria, dreamlike editing, and a youthful Joanna Cassidy providing the sex interest, this is a cut above the usual fare. The director, Massimo Dallamano, was also Sergio Leone’s cinematographer on the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More. Tragically, Dallamano died in 1976 following a car accident.

To view trailers for any of these releases, just click on the DVD covers.

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