Zombie Hockey Comedy Is A Thing And AHOCKALYPSE Nails The Premise
Sports and horror. Out of all the subgenres of horror, it's perhaps the least explored. We have plenty of western outings, a few handfuls of musical bits, I mean, we're talking about an entire category of films that can easily throw in the word "scarecrow" as the prefix and no one bats an eye.
Let's face it though, they are two pretty drastically different types of movies and while we have some notable sports themed KILLS, it's hard to find out and out sports horror. (Or, as it was once dubbed by Gunpowder & Sky, "sporror" and I love it.) Lucky for us, Wayne Harry Johnson Jr, holy smokes that must be a pseudonym, has decided to address that issue head on with Ahockalypse.
Taking place over the course of the night when the Beaverdale Prairie Kings win a minor league hockey cup, a zombie apocalypse has also broken out. The Prairie Kings slowly whittled down in numbers as they must survive the night, fighting their way back to the rink in which they won their championship to stand their ground and fight the zombie horde on their own turf.
Listen, I'm not even going to front, this is full of pretty sophomoric humor. It's never outright offensive but does ride dangerously close but when it manages to strike a funny bone, it's actually really solid. Sometimes, although sparse and briefly, some of the more spoof moments feel like an eighties Zucker vehicle. Pop culture references abound, ranging from political to entertainment, and while they aren't all gutbusters, most will have you smirking and it strikes a particular chord with nineties kids. I mean, it makes two really solid Home Alone references and I can't hate on that.
The premise works. Straight up, it's a solid plot with some really fun ideas. The beginning of the film has a kickass fight scene that we unfortunately rarely see mimicked again, with fight scenes more often than not resulting in off screen death and lots of shoving. The few graphic deaths that do exist are held for the most climactic moments, so it was a great call from the creative team to hold onto these for scenes that need that extra kick.
The actors are all rookies and no one is going to blow you away but no one is heinously bad. It's impressive that the group was able to pull together some pretty impressive set pieces, including a sizable hockey rink and a full blown club. The plot is messy and the pacing is odd but none of it really matters because you're in it for the yucks and the final scene which is truly full of passion and gusto.
Ahockalypse isn't perfect by any means, but with a decent script, great premise, and some solid set pieces, it's a fun entry into the sparse sporror genre. With a bigger budget, this movie has the potential to be FANTASTIC and that holds a lot of credence. The film is available now from Sparrowhawk Films on VOD and nows the time to watch; it's the perfect group setting weekend horror flick.