IBIZA UNDEAD

PrintE-mail Written by Paul Mount

Lazy critics have already dubbed Ibiza Undead ‘a cross between Shaun of the Dead and The Inbetweeners Movie’ and whilst we’re not lazy critics here at STARBURST (far from it – sometimes we get up before lunchtime), we’re going to do much the same because, try as we might, it’s hard not to reach the same conclusion. Ibiza Undead tries hard to recapture the magic of Edgar Wright’s iconic British rom-zom-com and one of the most successful British comedy movies of the last twenty years but Andy Edwards’ often gutter-level script and unsophisticated plotting leave the movie shivering in two very large and much more accomplished shadows.

But that’s not to suggest that Ibiza Undead is an undead loss. Although it struggles under the weight of its lowbrow ambition, tiny budget, and deeply unsympathetic characters it’s oddly watchable and manages, against the odds, to raise a smile or two and provide a couple of smart moments of gore, at least one of which demands that you look away or at least wave your hand over the screen shouting “Nooo, don’t do that!” as some reviewers must surely have done. Ahem.

The set-up is brisk enough. An uprising of the undead has been contained (more or less) but life goes on even in times of direst crisis. For horny British teens, of course, this means jetting off to Ibiza with a pocketful of condoms and an unshakable thirst for cheap booze. A trio of likely (but not especially likeable) lads arrives on the island in search of sun, sea and…other stuff. They’re promised that the island is zombie-free but an unscrupulous club owner (Peep Show’s Matt King) has been importing the undead to act as attractions at his nightspots. Unfortunately, his unreliable supplier has dumped his latest delivery into the ocean – and no-one’s reckoned on the zombies managing to wade ashore at (un)dead of night.

This is all vaguely promising in a slightly derivative way but Ibiza Undead stumbles and ultimately falls, despite some enticing visuals, predominantly because it’s really hard to care about any of the characters who find themselves trapped on a holiday island as it starts to go to Hell. They’re a desperately grim bunch, especially the tediously-repulsive Big Jim (Kear) and even ‘nice guy’ Alex (Coulson) is too much of a cold fish for the audience to warm to, especially when he gleefully relishes the killing and carnage that inevitably ensues. Only underdog Az (Todiwala) comes close to earning our sympathy and the girls, including The Inbetweeners’ Emily Atack, are uniformly the type our mothers warned us about. Which isn’t necessarily a criticism…

Ibiza Undead’s low budget means it really can’t fly and exploit its admittedly-novel concept. It says ‘Ibiza’ on the title card but it might as well have been filmed on Barry Island; much of the action takes place in a club, in a bar, or in the gang’s villa. Despite some decent make-up jobs for the zombies themselves, the film isn’t especially scary and, with its cast of irritating self-obsessed (and sex-obsessed) teenagers, it isn’t as funny as it thinks it is either. But there are a couple of worthwhile one-liners, a bit of pace in the narrative and enough goodwill to rise above the movie’s obvious shortcomings and deliver a moderately pleasing, if slightly grubby, ninety-minutes of shambolic zombie mayhem liberally studded with nob gags.

IBIZA UNDEAD / CERT: 15 / DIRECTED & SCREENPLAY: ANDY EDWARDS / STARRING: CARA THEOBOLD, EMILY ATACK, JORDAN COULSON, ED KEAR, MATT KING, HOMER TODIWALA, MARCIA DO VALES / RELEASE DATE: 20TH MARCH
 


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