I love horror comedies because they allow me to sit back, enjoy a few beers, and not think to deeply about what's going on in the film. The gore and laughs that usually come with them are a nice bonus, too. When I heard of Wayne Harry Johnson, Jr.'s upcoming hockey zom-com, I knew that I had to see it and had rather high hopes for the film. We're my expectations met? Not really but my gripes are minor and I still had a fun time with the film.
Ahockalypse begins with Jonsey (Jesse Rennicke) and his hockey team, the Prairie Kings, defeating their rivals on ice, the Ice Cats, for the championship cup. After the match, the team begins celebrating their victory but the party is cut short due to the start of a zombie apocalypse. Their night of booze-fueled fun quickly descends into bloody chaos as they fight their way through hordes of the undead in an attempt to make it back to the arena for a video game boss stylized showdown.
In addition to zombies, Jonsey, BJ (Squall Charlson), Wave (Alex Galick), recently widowed Mrs. Johnson (Gabrielle Arrowsmith), and some random girl that nobody remembers, have to fend off looters, a strip club owner, and most importantly Jonsey's psychotic girlfriend, Jenny (Kaylee Williams). There are many laughs to be had along the way, the comedy aspect is what carries this film so well. Without it, Ahockalypse wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable. The main cast all did great jobs in their roles and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment they spent on screen together...except for Jenny, she was an evil bitch.
I also very much enjoyed the running subplot throughout the film, which followed the Prairie Kings mascot, accompanied by his two badass sidekicks, as they dished out kung-fu ass kickings to some very unfortunate zombies. As a lover of many kung-fu flicks, this was a very welcome addition. I'd also like to state that I enjoyed the score for this film, which was rather synth-y and ominous.
Onto my biggest problem with the film, the lack of gore and the horrible CGI special effects. Almost all of the effects looked as though they were whipped up in After Effects. Pixelated blood spurts, green-screen zombies, and other digitally rendered effects really detracted from the violence when it did occur. The gory moments that did feature practical effects were fun but very few in number. Ahockalypse would've benefited greatly from using more practical effects and gory kills. Alas, this is primarily a personal gripe as I am a sucker for cheesy 80's style gore.
Writer, director, and producer Wayne Harry Johnson Jr. has put together quite an enjoyable experience with Ahockalypse. There's all of the cliches that you'd expect from this type of film, lots of laughs, and cameo appearances that hockey fans are sure to love. This is a film that's best enjoyed with a group of friends and lots of booze.
Ahockalypse hits VOD and DVD nationwide this Friday, August 17th.