Dam these beavers to hell!
A minor traffic accident yields Zombeavers who are looking to ruin a relaxing weekend getaway. This campy horror film provides more laughs than scares, and makes you question if the filmmakers really understand what a zombie is.
The trailer seems to have a pretty simple premise. Three girls vacationing at a lake house run into a colony of angry, zombie beavers. It looks like a tongue in cheek cross between Night of the Living Dead, Friday the 13th and Piranha. Let’s see how bad this movie is!
Presented below is the trailer for the film.
Outside the town of Ashwood, Indiana, two men (Bill Burr & John Mayer) in a Mamaroneck Medical Research Facility truck hit a deer causing a container of medical waste to fall into a stream and be carried downriver to a beaver dam, where it begins to leak its toxic green contents. At a cabin on the lake, three young women, Mary (Rachel Melvin), Jenn (Lexi Atkins), and Zoe (Cortney Palm) arrive for a girls-only weekend after Jenn’s boyfriend cheated on her.
The girls go for a swim on the lake, noticing a beaver dam which they investigate. They are startled by a bear, which is soon scared away by a hunter named Smyth (Rex Linn). That night at the cabin they play some games but soon investigate weird noises. They are surprised by the arrival of their boyfriends, who came at Zoe’s request. Even though Jenn is still mad at Sam (Hutch Dano) she says the guys can stay. Mary and Tommy (Jake Weary), and Zoe and Buck (Peter Gilroy) all pair up and have sex will Jenn discovers a mutant beaver in the bathtub.
Tommy kills the beaver with a bat and they put it out on the porch. The next morning it is missing, presumably taken by another animal. The gang goes swimming by the wooden platform in the middle of the lake, except for Jenn who is still freaked out. Buck is attacked, losing a foot, with Tommy getting scratched. Sam throws Zoe’s little dog, Gosling, into the water to distract the beavers. Jenn heads to the cabin to call for help, but the phone lines have been gnawed through.
After killing, or at least incapacitating one beaver in the cabin, Tommy and Zoe decide to take Buck to the hospital that evening, but are blocked when beavers topple a tree on Tommy and block the road. Zoe and Buck are rescued by Smyth but can’t get back into the cabin since Jenn, Sam, and Mary have boarded up the windows and doors. Smyth drives them across the meadow to the neighbors house (who have already been killed).
Mary is sulking in her room, upset that Jenn found out that it was her Sam cheated with. Jenn comes and climbs on the bed as if to kiss her and mutates into a beaver-monster. Mary and Sam lock Beaver-Jenn in the bedroom and play whack-a-mole with beavers popping up through the floorboard. Meanwhile, Buck turns as well, attacking Smyth and Zoe escapes. Mary demands that Sam strip to look for any scratches that may yield an infection. The two then begin to have sex, but Beaver-Jenn pops through the floor and bites off Sam’s penis.
Zoe drives Smyth’s truck into the living room of the cabin and rescues Mary. They two escape to the road, but when they start to walk around the felled trees Mary pulls a gun on Zoe, believing the scratches she has from jumping through a window are beaver bites. As Zoe denies being infected, Mary mutates and Zoe puts an axe into her skull before hobbling off to the main road. The next morning Mary spots a truck approaching her, but the Mamaroneck Medical Research Facility driver doesn’t see her and runs her over.
“Listen, we cannot turn against each other right now. That is exactly what the beavers would want.” – Sam
Zombeavers, a horror film about abnormal aquatic rodents, fills the void between animal attack films Piranha and Sharknado. What a time to be alive! It is a campy, exploitative film that is less concerned with certain elements like logic, and more intent on playing the long game of jokes related to the word beaver. One might wonder if the film is scary. I’m not sure that people coming to a movie called Zombeavers are actually looking to get scared. Obviously the title is a portmanteau of the words zombie and beaver, which is also a bit punny. There are some shocks in the film, where things jump out at the characters, but most of the moments of terror for the people involved are humorous due to their bizarre absurdity. Some people may be freaked out by the body horror involved with the mutations of characters into giant humanoid beavers. They grow giant buck teeth, and get claws and a giant flat tail which is weird and disturbing. But other than that there’s nothing out of the ordinary in terms of the scariness of the film.
The thing that I’ve been puzzling at since I watched this film is the nature of the monsters. There have been many films about spilled waste that causes mutations in people or animals, such as CHUD, The Toxic Avenger, or Eight-Legged Freaks. Add this premise to the world of animal attack films (Piranha, Jaws, The Birds), by of course picking an animal that hasn’t had a film made about them yet, and you get Zombeavers. But by evoking the term ‘zombie’ audiences might be looking for specific traits, such as the creature needs to eat brains, or can be killed by damaging the head/skull of the creature. These rabid beavers don’t seem to follow that logic. The creature that is pinned to the butcher block has multiple knives in its head and neck and still continues to move. There doesn’t really seem to be a way to kill the monsters except breaking them into such small pieces that they aren’t dangerous. Same for the affected humans. As with zombie films like Night of the Living Dead, people scratched or damaged by the creatures turn into those creatures eventually. That seems to track (outside the fact that the beavers want to bite and scratch the kids, not necessarily eat them). But why do the humans mutate into giant beaver creatures? They grow a giant tail, for goodness sake! This may just be the comical nature of the film taking over, as it seems to be very on-brand for the tone of this particular movie.
Zombeavers is probably the film to sit around with a bunch of friends and watch on a late Fall evening. It’s a little gratuitous on sex and sexuality, with the horny frat boys thinking about primarily one thing–even when trapped in a bathroom with a mutant beaver outside the door. And if you don’t mind women who define themselves by the men in their life, then this film won’t bother you either. Pro tip: this film does not pass the Bechdel Test, or even get close. It’s a goofy singular premise horror comedy that does create a minor bit of tension along the way as audiences try to predict who will die next and who will survive. The answers may surprise you.
- If you can manage to sit through the film, don’t leave before the credits end. Not only will you get a few silly outtakes from the film, but a bonus scene where a honeybee feasts off a dead beaver carcass and then returns to the hive, all with ominous music. Where is the Zom-Bees film, I ask?!?!
- The other big question is what caused Bill Burr and John Meyer to cameo as the men in the truck. Yes, that John Meyer!
Having grown up on comics, television and film, “Jovial” Jay feels destined to host podcasts and write blogs related to the union of these nerdy pursuits. Among his other pursuits he administrates and edits stories at the two largest Star Wars fan sites on the ‘net (Rebelscum.com, TheForce.net), and co-hosts the Jedi Journals podcast over at the ForceCast network.