'Ahockalypse' Review: 'Goon' Meets 'Walking Dead' Directed by Wayne Harry Johnson Jr.
Starring Jesse Rennicke, Squall Charlson, Alex Galick
Published Aug 16, 2018It's pretty easy to see, from the first blow of the whistle, what Ahockalypse is trying to do. Part Goon, part Wolfcop (trading Canada for Minnesota), Ahockalypse borrows liberally from frat boy sports tropes and '80s throwback horror, with lacklustre results. The by-the-books approach to genre filmmaking doesn't help, but overall it's the lack of polish on this film that really tanks it.
Ahockalypse's plot crashes and burns in a sea of dick jokes and hockey puns, but plot-wise, it can essentially be described as thus: Star player of the Prairie Kings, Jonsey (Jesse Rennicke) and his teammates are attacked by the zombified version of a rival team shortly after defeating them in a playoff game. After several bloody encounters with other survivors and more zombies, the team decide to fight their way back to their home arena for a final showdown to the death.
Throwing a lot of stuff at the wall to see what sticks is the name of Ahockalypse's game. Mad Max: Fury Road cosplayers, unfaithful girlfriends, lesbian jokes, Home Alone stripteases, some questionably racist, kung-fu-fighting Asian characters, and Trump and Putin references that are really just references and nothing more are all crammed into a scant 80 minutes.
It's all well and good to be fun and goofy — Ahockalypse certainly isn't the first slapstick zombie comedy, and it won't be the last — but the jokes need to be funny to actually work. No one can deliver their lines with a straight face, the "gags" are more like meta-references to other genres or films, and the actual zombie part of this zombie film leaves much to be desired.
Even with a very limited budget, there's no excuse to the sort of half-assed SFX Ahockalypse utilizes to animate its army of undead. Worse still is the idea that it's funny because it's cheap — horror fans deserve better than pixelated, blurry, off-sync CGI gore, but films like Ahockalypse trade in the idea that deliberately bad effects somehow make a horror comedy funnier.
While gleefully over-the-top, grindhouse-aesthetic, bombastic blood 'n' guts work some of the time (think Sion Sono or Takashi Miike), they work because they're executed with an amount of finesse and style. Playing off shoddy work and a lack of attention to detail with regards to not only the effects, but writing and directing, as just something genre audiences should come to expect from pulpy B-movies is downright offensive.