Strewth and other Australian stereotypes – popular antipodean comedian Jim Jefferies stars in this comedy horror film about friends fending off zombies in an industrial office building. It’s a lower-budget party than one might expect from a film starring known name Jeffries, but worth a look all the same.
Here two popular subgenres meet – the Shaun of the Dead bro-ish zom-com and the Australian horror flick. It’s not the best of either world, but it’s a whole lot better than it could have been. After all, if there’s one thing the horror scene could do with less of, it’s Shaun of the Dead-esque zom-coms. This one has a familiar setup: the dead have risen, and a bunch of mates hole up together to ride it out. In terms of tone and attitude, it bears more in common with Doghouse or Stag Night of the Dead than it does Shaun or Braindead.
It’s a beer-swilling, potty mouth vein of humour that’s easy to hate but even easier to watch. Low as the budget is, the action is pretty good, the banter (with apologies for using the word ‘banter’) reasonably amusing. ‘Reasonably amusing’ is far from stunning praise, but it’s the best you can expect from Declan Shrubb’s debut feature. In typical low-budget zombie fashion, much of it involves grubby men sitting in a room together bickering and leering over the only girl in the movie (in this case, the daughter of one of their number). Alex Williamson is the ‘me’ of the title, a cheery hat-wearing type who seems relatively unfazed by the zombie apocalypse unfolding around him. Jeffries plays mate Joel, very much a deadpan Jim Jeffries type performance; familiar to anyone who’s a fan of his stand-up routines. Greg Fleet’s Roy rounds up the trio of mates, playing the dad to ‘me’s’ crush and subtly the funniest of the three (sorry Jim). One’s enjoyment of Me and My Mates vs the Zombie Apocalypse will very much depend on how funny you find its leading men. This reviewer did laugh quite hard at “a nightmare on balls street.”
A better setting could have solved some of its problems. With no offence to people who work in Australian telephone exchanges, there’s nothing remotely interesting about a zombie movie set in Australian telephone exchanges. Even if one of the people hiding in there is Jim Jeffries.
ME AND MY MATES VS THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: DECLAN SHRUBB / STARRING: JIM JEFFRIES, ALEX WILLIAMSON, GREG FLEET, ANDY TRIEU, ADELE VUKO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW