Review: AHOCKALYPSE (2018)

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A tale of zombies, beer, and minor league hockey, AHOCKALYPSE may be the most Canadian film ever made. Even if it was made in Minnesota.

Playing in the final game of the playoffs the Prairie Kings are down by a goal in the third period. They seem to have caught a break when the Ice Cat’s star player is to sick to take the ice. The Kings win in overtime! But their celebration is cut short when the Ice Cats appear in the parking lot still in full game attire, including sticks. But when they start biting rather than fighting it becomes clear. That wasn’t a lucky break, after all, it’s an outbreak of zombie virus.

Now, these lovable goons have to battle their way back to their home arena for a final showdown with the undead. Can hockey legend Barry Melrose help the guys escape with their lives – or is it sudden death for the Prairie Kings?

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Writer/director Wayne Harry Johnson Jr. (THE HORROR) has crafted a film that lovingly parodies both zombie films and hockey culture. It even manages to take a few slapshots at politics along the way, thankfully without becoming overtly political.

Watching Jonsey (Jesse Rennicke), BJ (Squall Charlson GAGS) and Wave (Alex Galick , GUNN, RUIN ME) try to get themselves as well as Mrs. Johnson (Gabrielle Arrowsmith) and Jenny (Kaylee Williams, BLACK CREEK, THE LASHMAN) to safety is a constant stream of takedowns of genre cliches. It’s like North America’s answer to the soccer playing zombies of GOAL OF THE DEAD.

From zombie kids to humans out to exploit the situation. The idiots who see this as a chance to rebuild humanity via selective breeding are a particularly rich source of humor. There’s even trouble from within the group, but I won’t spoil that. It’s more into laughs than gore, though there is a good amount of, (unfortunately CGI), blood.

There’s also a running subplot concerning the team’s ass-kicking mascot and his two beautiful and badass sidekicks. They continually lay a kung fu beatdown on the walking dead.

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Like another recent film, ANOTHER WOLFCOP, the final confrontation plays out on arena ice. And it’s everything you expect it to be, complete with a homage to THE FOG and decapitation by hockey stick.

Apart from the CGI splatter I only had one real problem with AHOCKALYPSE. The Prairie Kings are sitting in the home area during the game. But the plot involves them making their way back to their own arena, some miles away. Something that’s complicated by their bus being stolen. It’s not a critical gaffe, but it really sticks out in an otherwise solid film.

AHOCKALYPSE will be skating into VOD and home video nationwide August 17th. You can pre-order it on Amazon and iTunes or order the DVD at the film’s website.

Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy