August 22, 2018 Ahockalypse (Movie Review)
Prepare yourselves for the feel-good zombie/hockey movie of the year, the Horror-Comedy Ahockalypse, which reached its goal (pun very much intended) of VOD and DVD on August 17, 2018, thanks to Sparrowhawk Pictures/Black Space VFX.
Here, the Prairie Kings hockey team have just won their championship game against the Icecats at the Dullworth Arena. Unfortunately, there is little time for celebrating as the zombie apocalypse is upon them and fires are raging throughout the city. The team – Jonesy (Jesse Rennicke in his acting debut), BJ (Squall Charlson: A Nightmare on Twitch.TV 2016, Gags 2018), Wave (Alex Galick: Ruin Me 2017, The Harbinger 2019), Sweed (Mason Hendricks in his acting debut), and the crazy Russian Vlad (Jonathan Goodman in his acting debut) – must trade in their crafty on ice moves for something much more deadly if they hope to survive the relentless zombie attacks.
With several women in tow – including widowed Mrs. Johnson (Gabrielle Arrowsmith: Toliman 2014, Rise Against the Fall 2018), Jonesy’s wannabe fiancée Jenny (Kaylee Williams: Once, When I Was Dead short 2014, The Lashman 2014), and a nameless groupie (Lindsey Kuehl in her acting debut) – the boys must survive midget cannibals, pole-dancing, zombies on crutches, frequently running around in their underwear, and former Karate school attendees Rob (Paulo Martins: Me, Myself and AI short 2017) and Don (Matthew Ford in his acting debut).
Clocking in at 80 minutes in-length, Ahockalypse was directed by Wayne Harry Johnson Jr. (Beware the Watchers short 2010, The Horror 2017) and written by Johnson Jr. and first-time writer Craig Patrick. It also features Kelly Wendlandt as the Cajun Club owner; Chris Charais (Soul Survivors: Angel-Love Power 2015, Recalibrate short 2016), as Jenny’s dad; and hockey legends Kelly Chase and Barry Melrose.
This Horror-Comedy goes for a kind of 2004’s Shaun of the Dead vibe, with an intentionally Velveeta-coated script peppered full of adult, oft sexualized humor, and entirely low-budget, underdone CGI and special effects. Whereas, in the aforementioned flick, Shaun and his ragtag team hideout the apocalypse in a pub, these athletic adventurers head back to their home away from home, the hockey arena, to do battle with the undead. The end result is a film that is intentionally ridiculous, but it definitely has its moments.
Ahockalypse relies heavily on its humor, which is a mixed bag: most often worthy of a slight chuckle or snort, and rarely verging on full-blown belly laughs. There is a heavy nod to Home Alone embedded throughout, while, on the converse, the comedy often goes for double entendres and sexual innuendo, and is most often supremely low-brow. Take, for example, one of Vlad’s early quips: “I heard she went lesbian. #scissoring.” Then there’s the team’s rallying cry at their winning game – “If he can find his penis, we can find our balls!” – which comes after a ‘moving’ speech about a hidden penis. There are also Fifty Shades of Grey nods and an amusing slight aimed at Donald Trump. Couple all of this with boobs, girls kissing girls, and a stripper pole, and the film is decidedly worthy of an R-rating.
Considering that the bulk of the Ahockalypse cast are making their acting debut here, the acting throughout is pretty solid. No one stands out for their over or under-acting, but rather each of the actors contribute some slice of comedic brilliance that serves to shine the ice. Stand-outs include Wendlandt, as the lisping sleaze that owns The Cajun Club strip club, along with the duo of Martins and Ford, who provide a great comedic relief as the chrome-sprayed duo of Rob and Don. Considering this is his acting debut, Rennicke, as Jonesy, does a splendid job with his character, the leader of the pack, a 20-something torn between his commitment to his clingy girlfriend and his appreciation for the enticing MILF Mrs. Johnson. In their supporting roles, both Charlson (BJ) and Galick (Wave) do a great job at providing quite a few moments of comedy, particularly their ridiculous dual strip-tease.
When all the myriad elements come together, you get a film that is an enjoyable watch, if a bit lagging in spots, as there’s just not enough action or hysterical laughter to keep the ball (or puck) moving fluidly throughout the film’s runtime. Fortunately, Ahockalypse is still ridiculous, in the best sense of the word, and it has enough moments of intentionally cheesy goodness to be worthwhile for fans of Horror-Comedy, hockey, zombies, or comedic hockey zombies. Raise your sticks high for cheesy innuendo, CrypticRock give Ahockalypse 3 of 5 stars.