Take a US army base testing dangerous compounds that turn people into zombies, with Pleasant Valley farm, now with mini golf, a teacher, a man who’s just split with his girlfriend, and a whole bunch of five-year-old kids.
Mix it all together and what you get is Abe Forsythe’s (“Down Under”, “Ned”) new film Little Monsters, throw in Josh Gad (“Frozen”, “Beauty And The Beast“) as Teddy McGiggle, the worldwide children’s entertainer, and you have an absolute laugh-riot.
We begin with Dave, Alexander England (“Alien: Covenant“, “Gods Of Egypt”), who is not having a good time of things. He is clinging onto his band, that broke up some six years ago, and now he’s split up with his girlfriend.
He retreats to his sister’s place and sleeps on her sofa, swearing his way through tofu pizza and trying to avoid his nephew Felix, Diesel La Torraca (“Lambs Of God (TV)”), who loves tractors and Teddy McGiggle.
When he is forced to take Felix to school one day, he meets his teacher Miss Caroline, Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years A Slave”, “The Jungle Book“), and instantly falls in love and, before you know it, he’s volunteered to chaperone a school trip to Pleasant Valley Farm.
They arrive just as an outbreak at the US army base begins turning everyone into zombies and they spread next door to Pleasant Valley Farm. Miss Caroline, Dave, the children and Teddy take refuge in the gift shop.
Little Monsters is funny, very funny and there’s just enough blood and gore to keep the zombie fetish’s happy too. How Oscar winner Nyong’o ever ended up in this movie, I have no idea, but I’m glad she did. She shows a side I haven’t seen before and it’s brilliant.
She plays the goody two shoes Miss Caroline to perfection and has a great sense of comic timing to boot. England is her stooge and plays the hapless Dave as good as anyone.
But it’s Gad and La Torraca, and most of the other kids, who steal the scenes. Gad is perfect casting as McGiggle, an obvious nod to Mr Tumble, who also provides some hilarious insight to what he gets up to when the cameras aren’t switched on.
La Torraca, and the rest of the children, perform brilliantly. The complete childlike innocent they all have, whilst Dave swears and inadvertently teaches them all sorts of new words and phrases (like ball bag), is wickedly funny.
Naturally, or unnaturally, there are holes to pick: the story is fairly generic, the zombie outbreak doesn’t seem to venture further than next door to the army base and you never know why they were making zombies in the first place.
But none of this should spoil your fun of what is a wickedly funny zombie movie and a child explaining to another child what a ball bag is!
15th November 2019
THE QUICK SELL
A washed-up musician teams up with a teacher and a kids show personality to protect young children from a sudden outbreak of zombies.