Luxurious living in the heart of East London is the promise on the advertising boards, but for the residents of the Bow Bells Care Home, the future is less rosy, as theirs is one of the buildings due for demolition to make way for the new construction work. Plans change, however, when the excavation reveals a crypt sealed by the order of King Charles II in the year 1666. Two eager workers venture in, hoping for treasure; what they find is piles of skulls, rats, cobwebs, overgrown roots, and scrabbling in the darkness, hungry zombies.
Meanwhile, brothers Andy and Terry and their cousin Katy, along with associates “Mental” Mickey and Davey are attempting to rob a bank to obtain funds to secure a home for their grandfather when Bow Bells is demolished, a heist that goes badly wrong through their incompetence and worse when the zombies arrive. Realising the residents will be unable to defend themselves, they make their way back across the city to rescue them.
The new feature from James Moran, writer of Severance and episodes of Doctor Who and Torchwood, is directed by Matthias Hoene, whose previous work Beyond the Rave, planned to have relaunched the Hammer studio brand, was deemed so poor its release was buried on DVD, and neither he nor Moran offer anything that might be regarded as original or challenging in this predictable effort, nor do they offer the veteran cast including Honor Blackman, Richard Briers, Dudley Sutton, Tony Selby and Georgina Hale material worthy of their experience.
The focus is on humour, but while the sight of Briers trying to outrun zombies in a zimmer frame and later gunning them down with an Uzi have charm, other than the briefest moments, the storyline never rises to how outrageous the concept thinks it is. As soon as the bold titles have run, the film settles straight into stereotypes and obvious situations, with nothing of the subversion of expectation that made Severance noteworthy, and while it manages to meets its ambition, like the budget, that concept is very limited.
While most of the performances are adequate, even personable, some are wretched in the extreme, such as Alan Ford’s tiresome aging hardman, a role he has played so often he’s apparently forgotten he’s supposed to be acting, and his character is also saddled with the delivering an egregious speech on the indomitable spirit of east end Londoners, portrayed for the entirety of the film as trigger happy, foul mouthed, ill educated yobs, indicating that the target audience is within a strictly defined area and they have no interest reaching beyond that.