“Zombeavers” is the mutant love child of horror specialist Troma, early Peter Jackson, Japanese kaiju flicks and Canadian television sketch comedies — a film that disgusts, terrifies and tickles in equal measure with grotesque creatures and a sickening sense of humor.
Three self-centered sorority sisters check in to a remote lodge for some girl time after Jenn (Lexi Atkins) discovers a photo of Sam (Hutch Dano) cavorting with another woman. After spending the afternoon disrobing, rubbing sunscreen on one another and checking out a beaver dam, they return to find that their boyfriends are paying a surprise visit. But the dudes aren’t the only uninvited guests for the weekend.
A barrel of biohazard material from a medical research facility falls off a truck, rolls down the stream and spills the toxin within. To the surprise of no one, it turns beavers into zombies that will chomp on anything in sight.
Written by brothers Al and Jon Kaplan with director Jordan Rubin, the film gets maximum mileage out of its one-note joke. The writing lets viewers in on that joke without smug, self-congratulatory metaness. Despite the deliberately schlocky effects and puppetry, other aspects of the filmmaking are surprisingly satisfactory. It needs to be only one notch more bonkers to help its chances for cult status.
MPAA rating: R for horror violence and gore, crude sexual content, graphic nudity, language.
Running time: 1 hour, 17 minutes.
Playing: At Los Feliz 3, Los Angeles. Also on VOD.