Well, that’s it for the non-zombie movies. Now to get to the movies that the letter Z is pretty much known for. Now I remember seeing the trailer for today’s movie years ago and thinking that this is probably going to be one of the funniest things to come out in a while. I didn’t see much about for a while after that initial trailer showing and then about a year later, I saw it had come out on DVD and I immediately picked up a copy. So let’s see how they explain this combination in today’s movie, Zombeavers.
The plot: While transporting some medical waste from the Mamaroneck Medical Research Facility, Joseph and Luke are talking about the events in their life. When Joseph looks at his cellphone, he hits a deer, causing him to swerve and a canister fals out the back of his truck and lands in the nearby river, where it floats downstream before coming to a stop at a beaver dam, where one of the branches punctures the container and the contents begin spraying out. Some time later, college students Jenn, Mary, and Zoe are heading up to spend the weekend at a cabin that Mary’s cousin owns. When they arrive there, they are greeted by their neighbor Myrne Gregorson, who invites them to have breakfast with her and her husband Winston while they are there. As the girls get settled in, Jenn and Zoe discover that there is no cell service at the cabin and Mary tells them the whole point of the weekend was to get away from their phones and boys, as Jenn’s boyfriend Sam had cheated on her. The girls head out to the lake to go swim and as they sun themselves on the raft in the middle of the lake, they notice a beaver dam and Jenn decides to go take a closer look. As they go looking around the dam, they see a bear close by but it is chased off by a hunter named Smyth. As the girls thank Smyth for saving them, Smyth warns them to stay clear of any beavers they see, and also tells them to cover up. The girls head back to the cabin and as they sit around drinking, they hear a noise coming from outside and Zoe goes to investigate and they discover that their boyfriends, Sam, Tommy, and Buck, were playing a prank on them. Mary wants the guys to leave but Jenn talks her into letting them stay, as she figures she can talk with Sam about his cheating on her. While Mary, Tommy, Zoe, and Buck are having sex, Sam tries to get Jenn to forgive him so they can have sex but she knees him in the crotch and goes to take a shower. As she starts to undress, she finds a beaver in the bath tub and when it tries to attack her, she manages to get out of the room. As she is trying to tell Sam what happened, the others all come out and they all go to the bathroom to investigate. When they don’t see a beaver in there, Buck starts mocking Jenn when the beaver suddenly appears in a cabinet and tries to attack him. Tommy manages to kill the beaver with a baseball bat and they place it in a garbage bag and leave it outside. The next day, as they are going out to swim at the lake, Jenn notices that the beaver’s body is missing and Tommy says that some wild animal must have taken it during the night. While Jenn refuses to go in the water, Tommy, Buck, and Zoe are having fun swimming and Mary and Sam are on the raft talking, and it is revealed that Mary is the girl that Sam had slept with. As they discuss whether they should tell Jenn the truth, Zoe and the others convince Jenn to come out into the water but as she heads in, she feels something swim up against her leg, freaking her out. Suddenly, Buck is dragged underwater and as blood suddenly starts to appear, he resurfaces holding his foot, which had been bitten off. Tommy is dragged under but comes back up and they head to the raft to get out of the water. Jenn runs to the house to try and call for help, unaware that the phone line has been cut, and as she get’s no answer, she is attacked by a beaver, which scratches her leg, but she eventually manages to pin it to the kitchen counter with a knife. As the beavers begin circling the raft and attacking it from underneath, Sam throws Zoe’s dog into the water to serve as a distraction and as the beavers kill it, they swim to shore and head back to the cabin. As beavers surround the cabin, they realize that the beaver pinned to the counter is the same one from the night before but it is still somehow moving. As they argue over what they should do, Zoe yells at Sam for killing her dog and when Mary tries to defend him, Zoe reveals to Jenn that Mary was the one who slept with Sam. Realizing that Buck won’t survive the night without medical attention, Tommy suggests taking Mary’s car to get help and Zoe goes with him. As they head down the road, they find a tree had been knocked down, blocking the road. Seeing Smyth’s truck nearby, Tommy goes over there and grabs an axe, which he hands to Zoe, then he says he is going to go on foot and try to get help but the beavers cut down another tree, which falls onto him. As another beaver goes to attack Zoe, it is shot by Smyth and she has him help her get Buck and they load him into his truck. They drive back to the cabin but can’t get in, as Mary, Jenn, and Sam, had been forced to barricade it to keep the beavers out so they are forced to head to the Gregorson’s house for shelter. Inside, they find that Winston has been killed by the beavers and as Smyth searches the house, he finds that Myrne was killed as well. Back at the cabin, Jenn, Mary, and Sam are discussing their situation and Mary ends up going to get some rest. When Jenn enters the room and gets into bed with her, she suddenly begins transforming into a beaver-like zombie and tries to attack Mary, drooling all over her. Sam hits her in the head and he and Mary leave the room and board it up, only for more beavers to start coming up form the floor so they take shelter in the bathroom. Back at the Gregorson’s house, Buck changes into a zombie and attacks Smyth and Zoe tries to shoot Buck but accidentally kills Smyth. As she runs from him, she heads upstairs only to have Myrne start changing so she quickly jumps out the window to escape her. Back at the cabin, Mary and Sam take their clothes off to make sure they haven’t been bitten or scratched and end up having sex. Meanwhile, one of the beavers chews through an outlet and catches on fire, which in turn catches the cabin on fire. When they smell the smoke, Mary and Sam stop having sex so they can investigate but Jenn burst through a wall and proceeds to bite off Sam’s penis, killing him. Mary makes it out of the room and finds herself trapped by beavers and the fire but Zoe drives Smyth’s truck through the wall and Mary quickly gets in and they drive away. As they drive down the road, a zombie Smyth shoots at them, causing them to crash into a tree and as a zombie Buck, Myrne, Smyth, and a zombie bear move towards the truck, Zoe is able to get it started again and drives off. Suddenly, Jenn appears on the roof of the truck and Zoe slams on the breaks, sending her flying off, then Zoe runs her over. When they get to where the tree is blocking the road, Zoe explains that they have to go the rest of the way on foot, walking past a changing Tommy. As the sun starts to come up, Mary stops walking and points a gun she found in Smyth’s glove compartment at Zoe. Not wanting to take a chance that Zoe has been infected, Mary is prepared to shoot Zoe, who says she wasn’t bitten or scratched, when Mary suddenly starts to change, having been infected when Jenn drooled into her mouth. Zoe is forced to kill Mary with the axe, then continues walking down the road. When she sees a truck approaching, she tries to flag it down but the truck, driven by the same men who lost the container, ends up running her over. In a post credit’s scene, a bee is seen to be feeding on the corpse of a beaver and when it flies back to it’s hive, it is shown to have been infected.
Zombeavers met with mostly positive reviews, holding a 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Zombeavers obviously isn’t high art, but it delivers just enough of the gory insanity promised by the title to earn a recommendation for genre fans.” A joke credit at the end of the movie is a disclaimer that says “No animals were harmed during the making of this film, although the bear did receive a purple nurple (not our fault, he started it.)” Despite the viral nature of the trailer, where it received over a million views in a week, the movie only got a limited release in theaters, where it earned $44,080 during it’s brief run.
This is a pretty funny bit of a horror movie. The acting was decent, with nobody really standing out from the others but nobody was simply awful either. The story was interesting, with the whole medical waste turning beavers into zombies being a little unique. However, the aspect that being bitten or wounded by the beavers would turn a human into a beaver-like monster really did feel like it was taken from Black Sheep (2006). I will say that the bear-beaver- hybrid actually had me laughing out loud the first time I saw it, as did the scene of Jenn, having begun changing, hopping around and slamming her tail onto the floor. The beaver puppets were ok looking for the most part while the special effects involving the blood and gore were better. It’s a fun little change from your typical zombie movie and worth giving a shot.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5