I remember, some months ago seeing a trailer for Zombeavers and thinking it was a fake-trailer, a little joke made as a publicity stunt for viral means, but in no way did I consider that it was actually a trailer for a feature film. Then I learned that it was indeed an actual trailer for a movie, and my intrigue was awoken along with a feeling of “well, this is probably going to be terrible”. Directed and co-written by Jordan Rubin (a head writer of MTV movie award shows for years), this is a horror-comedy that plays it fairly straight in the midst of the many innuendos and obvious punchlines regarding the link between the word beaver meaning the animal, and the other meaning. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t lie. You know.
Three college girls, Jenn (Lexi Atkins), Zoe (Cortney Palm) and Mary (Rachel Melvin), head to a family cabin by a lake for a getaway. Jenn has been cheated on by her boyfriend so there is a no-guys rule being implemented for their weekend by the water. They sunbathe and stroll around, play truth or dare and just, overall, play the typical college girl stereotype from six hundred previous horror films. They come across a hunter named Smyth (Rex Linn) who stares at them a bit and tells them to cover up their bodies, causing them to depart his company due to his creepiness. Soon, the guys arrive against the wishes of the girls, including Sam (Hutch Dano), the guy who had cheated on Jenn. Tommy (Jake Weary), who is dating Mary and Buck (Peter Gilroy) who is dating Zoe, along with Sam, beg to stay and the girls eventually agree. Suddenly Jenn, about to take a shower in the bathroom, finds a rabid-looking beaver in the bathtub and freaks out. The group investigate and bludgeon the beaver with a baseball bat (say that ten times, fast) and continue with their weekend. When they head out onto a raft in the middle of the lake, and Buck has his foot gnawed off by another beaver, it is obvious that there’s something very wrong with the beaver population in the area. Sam throws Zoe’s dog towards the beavers to distract them and they flee back to the cabin, the dog becoming beaver food. The intelligent group of college kids then realise that the beavers don’t die when they’re beaten and stabbed and come to the conclusion that they are being hunted by, yeah, ZOMBEAVERS. The group of sexually promiscuous and scantily clad students must try to survive before they find themselves being chewed on by the wild eyed undead beavers that are hot on their tails.
Let me begin by saying that this film is completely ridiculous, but then you could probably have guessed that merely by the title of the movie. The beaver effects are terrible, cheesy and reminiscent of low budget creature features from the 80’s, but to be honest, that isn’t really one of the bad parts of this film. The acting. Oh boy, the acting. The lead characters are all pretty bad when it comes to performance, but I’m not quite sure whether that was the intention of the director anyway. The dialogue is awful, an example being when Tommy is trying to drive to a hospital only to find trees blocking the road, and he proceeds to yell out “suck a bag of dicks” in anger. That’s what we’re dealing with here. It is also hard to ignore how absolutely numb-headed and stupid the characters are. One scene, in which the students are trying to escape the beaver-infested lake, sees the clever and definitely-not-useless Jenn standing in the water at the edge, screaming for the rest of the group to “get out of the water”, all the while standing a few inches from land, her feet in the lake. I mean… come on Jenn, it isn’t rocket surgery! So what I’m saying really is that the characters, all of them, are daft and unlikable, but again, strangely, I don’t think any effort was even attempted to make them likeable or give them dimensions. It seems, to me, that this is one big joke, from beginning to end, based on the hope that you find the idea of zombie beavers to be slap-your-knee hilarious. I don’t, and the lack of even minor depth or reason to care what happens to these idiots made it hard to give much of a crap about the film in general. It’s one of those times where even criticizing the movie feels unnecessary, like the director would probably just shrug his shoulders and hit back with “well, you weren’t supposed to like it, asshole”.
The story, the acting, the creature effects and the writing aside, this is a bad film. With those things included, this is a bad film. Overall, this movie is just bad, bad, bad. Still, I had a touch of fun with it, to a degree. I mean… what else would I expect from a film like this? I guess it does everything that it promises to do (which is deliver tits, ass and undead beavers with shining eyes), and it is done in a fairly (fairly being a strong word here) entertaining way. If you can get past the abundant flaws and the rotten characters along with the ridiculous decisions they consistently make, then you might have a bit of fun here too. It isn’t one I’ll watch again, and it’s likely that it’s much more enjoyable being watched with a group of people as you all mock what is being seen on screen. A time-waster if there ever was one, I almost regret watching it, but not quite.
In closing, I think I strained a muscle by holding in the dozens of beaver jokes I wanted to let out while writing this review.