Monday, August 13, 2018

Ahockalypse: Zombies on Ice

There are no ties in zombie apocalypses. It is sudden death all the way. High-sticking is recommended. Let’s face it, Jonesey and his teammates are probably not the brightest of the Northern Lights, might they might just have what it takes to survive in Wayne Harry Johnson’s Jr.’s Ahockalypse (trailer here), which releases in select theaters and on VOD this Friday.

If you don’t understand how a hockey player can take down a pack of shuffling zombies, fan favorite enforcer Kelly Chase will show us how its done in the film’s largely unconnected but totally awesome prologue. Cut to Jonesey and his Prairie King teammates. They are about to win the big game, with all their fans cheering them on, including divorcee booster, Mrs. Johnson. Alas, the celebration will be short-lived, due to the zombie outbreak, but there will still be time for some 1980’s-style gratuitous nudity.

Soon Jonesey is running for his life with his mates BJ and Wave, along with Mrs. Johnson and the mystery “hot girl” nobody seems to know. Jonesey is understandably concerned about his girlfriend Jenny, but she is a pill under the best of circumstances—and the zombie apocalypse really brings out the worst in her. In contrast, Mrs. Johnson keeps her cool. In fact, he is starting to realize she really isn’t that much older than him. Meanwhile, the team mascot and his two sidekicks, the “Badass Girls” have been tearing through town, mowing down zombies with their superior Kung Fu.

Thank goodness for Minnesota, because it proves we can still produce a gleefully politically incorrect zombie comedy like Ahockalypse within our borders. Sure, it is a gory zombie film, but it is indomitably cheerful all the way through. This isn’t one of those zombie movie argues the undead Armageddon is really humanity’s just deserts for not cutting green house emissions one-hundredth of one percent at the mere cost of global unemployment and mass starvation (feel the shame). It is about beer and hockey and zombies and stripper poles and guys wearing gopher suits.

Jesse Rennicke is likably luggish as Jonesey, but Gabrielle Arrowsmith is the breakout star of Ahockalypse. She gets the biggest laughs and shows considerable action cred, while maintaining her dignity in some absolutely outrageous situations. Similarly, Cassandra Ha and Jess Johnson make quite an impression and perform some impressive fight choreography as the “Badass Girls.”

Right, so forget about the Academy’s new distinction between best respectable picture and best “popular” movie. Ahockalypse is obviously winning them both. It doesn’t quite have the heart of Canada's original Wolfcop, but it is definitely skating in its league. It has to be the funniest zombie comedy since Dead Bite, which is saying something. Very highly recommended for fans of sensitive coming-of-age films, Ahockalypse hits select theaters and VOD this Friday (8/17).