Review: Doghouse

Posted by Cory Casciato On July - 14 - 2010


In director Jake West’s Doghouse, we follow a bunch of loutish men to a tiny, out-of-the-way village, where they hope to carouse and help one of them, Vince, get over his fresh, new divorce. From this not-terribly-zombie-sounding premise, things quickly progress into familiar (for readers of this site, anyway) territory: violent, bloody mayhem explodes within moments of pulling into the town, as they discover that for some reason all the women there have gone insane and are murdering and feeding on the men. Cue Hall and Oates “Man Eater”!

Casting itself as sort of an anti-romantic comedy (anti romantic, not anti comedy), Doghouse manages to package some fantastic gore and decent laughs into a fairly slight premise. I mean, there really isn’t much more to it than “dudes go to town, dudes get chased, some dudes get eaten, big finale.” If that sounds too slight to be worth your time, you could be right — but read on, there are other points to consider.

If you hate non-traditional zombies, steer clear. These are a bioweapon-created Rage-style zombie/mutants. They’re not technically dead, and they are smart enough to use weapons (but not doors, oddly), plus they end up mutating even further in more inhuman, feral ways. That said, they’re clearly zombie-inspired and they’re credited as Zombirds (“birds” being English slang for women), so that’s good enough for me

There’s also the minor issue of the takeaway message of the film, which seems to be “Women are emasculating, ball-busting bitches, so fuck it: there’s no reason for men to be anything but total pigs.” I don’t agree with that, but, having gone through two divorces myself, I can understand the feeling… Let’s just say I didn’t have a heap of trouble identifying with Vince as he delivered his end-of-act-II soliloquy resolving to get over his bitch ex-wife, be a right bastard if it suited him and start kicking ass/taking names.

Now, I enjoy a good zombie movie message as much as the next person, but I don’t feel I have to love the message to enjoy the film. So, despite some reservations as to the seeming message (which, to be fair, seems to be offered at least somewhat ironically, although it’s telling that the most loutish and unpleasant characters have a much higher survival rate than the generally pleasant if ineffective nicer guys) I had a good time with this film. It’s light and frothy, but there are some great gags in it, both of the comedic and horrific variety. It’s bloody as hell, and there are a few moments that will almost certainly make you wince, which I always appreciate.

Is it a classic? No. But it is a well-made, entertaining horror comedy that doesn’t skimp on the grue, features a ton of memorable moments, laughs and creatures (the zombie bride, fattie, hair stylist and Xena-esque witch are just a few of the highlights) and never lets up on the intensity once it gets going. It’s definitely worth a look for zombie enthusiasts once it hits DVD.

Doghouse/UK/2009

7 Responses to “Review: Doghouse

  1. Jond76 says:

    Sounds amusing!

  2. [...] Dan Schaffer talks about his script for Doghouse (hey, I did a review of Doghouse just last week!). [...]

  3. Jay Clarke says:

    Glad to see you got to catch this one. I was highly anticpating this for a long time, and was pretty disappointed with it. It started fairly strong, but declined from there quickly. The highlight was definitely the creature designs and even they were underused.

  4. Interestingly, I think the reason I liked it as much as I did (moderately fun, ultimately disposable) was I expected basically nothing from it. The trailers left me kinda “meh.” I had a friend talking it up, but he and I frequently disagree vehemently, so I went in without high hopes. It was fun for 90 minutes, then it was over. Better than I can say for a lot of the movies I watch…

    tl;dr – Low expectations are the key to enjoying Doghouse

  5. Zombie Shakespeare says:

    I find it’s best to go in with low expectations for most zombie movies.

  6. @Zombie Shakespeare – Brother, you ain’t kidding.

  7. ZOMFG Zombambeenos says:

    Bride Zombie is pretty darn ripped…

    Was very educational to see all the professions available to a lady once in the zombie state. Butcher Zombie, Dungeons and Dragons Zombie, Housewife Zombie…. Hairdresser Zombie.
    I enjoyed this movie probably a bit too much, British accents enriched the films plot and characterisation for me.

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