Director: Jake West (2009)
Starring: Stephen Graham, Danny Dyer, Noel Clarke
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK

Those who claim horror to be a misogynistic genre will find little argument in Jake West’s Doghouse, a chavvy little horror movie which finds a sleepy little village overrun with zombie women. It stars Danny Dyer and has a character die whilst cluctching a can of Carling. Expect to see it premiere on Bravo sometime next year.

Doghouse is the type of movie that has titlecards introduce the main players. Namely, Danny “my surname describes my level of acting talent” Dyer, an amiable Stephen Graham, and the always reliable Noel Clarke, amongst others. Vince (Graham) has just been dumped by the missus. In an effort to cheer the poor bugger up, Neil (Dyer) et al drag him off to a small countryside village where they hope he’ll rediscover his inner bloke and realise that all women are (*cockney accent*) slaaaaaaaaaaaaaags.

Well, no-one counts on there being an outbreak of ‘zombirds’ to ruin their careful planning. The zombies themselves are one of the many things that work in Doghouse’s favour. Their design is greatly influenced by the Evil Dead films, and they look horrible and bizarre and a lot more interesting than they would had West simply gone for classic zombie chic.

The other things that make Doghouse worth your while are an above-average cast and a pretty funny script. The characters are well realised enough for them to largely not feel like one-note cannon fodder (that said, you'll probably be able to tell straight away who's for the chop). Stephen Graham and Noel Clarke were my favourite players here, but everyone who isn't Danny Dyer generally does a superb job.

Any good Danny Dyer movie (an oxymoron, surely?) needs to have a decent ratio of cockney-wideboy-bullshit to Danny-Dyer-abuse to work fully. Simply put, if I have to suffer through a Danny fucking Dyer movie, I’ll need to see plenty of violence heaped upon the wee arse throughout. Severance did a good job of this, as did Straightheads and Outlaw. Thankfully, Doghouse has a better ratio than most. It’s almost worth sitting through his atrocious performance for. He gets his fingers chopped off here, which is nice.

Where Doghouse begins to flounder is in its final quarter. Up until this moment, you don’t really see the zombies as women. They get killed in increasingly horrible ways (and there’s a dodgy gag about the virus being spread via washing powder) but it’s still all par for the course. And then Vince has his big realisation. Discovering his inner misogynist, he vows to kill “anything in a dress” and to stop being beholden to women. And now the zombirds aren’t zombies anymore –Vince is acknowledging them as women, not souless, possessed creatures. With that in mind, watching what comes next might leave a foul taste in the mouth for some. When Danny Dyer uses the phrase "remote control women", you'll hope they eat the fucker. It's all tongue-in-cheek, mind, but it lets down the movie so far and completely alienates Graham's character from the audience. Doghouse is probably Jim Davidson's favourite movie of 2009.

Up until this point, Doghouse is an enjoyable - if overly trashy - Brit horror comedy that gets by on good performances, a zing-heavy script and plenty of gory, inventive zombie killins'. Not, however, one to watch with the girlfriend.

3/5 screaming Scream Queens!!!

A little present for the fellow Dyer haters out there:

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