Ibiza Undead (2016) Review

iu1IBIZA UNDEAD (Dir- Andy Edwards, UK, 2016)

Starring- Jordan Coulson, Cara Theobold, Ed Kear, Homer Todiwala, Emily Atack, Matt King, Marcia Do Vales

Out NOW on UK DVD from Soda Pictures

Zombies go on holiday and the last place you would expect it to end up at would be in the Spanish party capital. Renowned for being a mecca of massive club nights, cheap booze and drunken horny teenagers who are more commonly seen to end up collapsing outside a club spewing up their guts and being filmed for a tawdry late night holiday expose of boozed up Brits abroad, IBIZA UNDEAD attempts to combine that tradition (sort of) with an attack of the living dead kind. Admittedly horror and comedy can be tricky bedfellows but with a decent and eye catching title can Edward’s film make the heads of genre fans tick whilst delivering gut busting belly laughs and gut munching?

Three mates, Alex (Coulson), Big Jim (Kear) and Az (Todiwala) are off to Ibiza for a holiday of “booze” and “bitches.” Lo and behold though Alex being a cheapskate hasn’t changed the name on the fourth plane ticket and his ex-girlfriend, who dumped him, Ellie (Theobold), is still coming along much to the annoyance of his mates. They meet up with Alex’s big sister Liz (Atack) who has rented a villa to stay at. Rather than hang out with his sister and her mates who don’t want him there in the first place, Alex and the boys hit the town, managing to meet an angry club girl street promoter (Do Vales) who recommends the the best club in town which is run by shady owner Karl (King) who has smuggled zombies into an already over run by the living dead England, onto the holiday island to be part of his club’s main dance attraction. However a shipwrecked boat full of zombies that was caused by the actions of a dimwit underling of Karl and Big Jim’s stupid decision to feed the undead dancers booze sets off an attack that causes the island to be overran by the rotten kind of tourist who wants to dine on the all you can eat buffet of booze soaked youngsters.

iu4Pitching itself clearly as a combination of THE INBETWEENERS and SHAUN OF THE DEAD, IBIZA UNDEAD does manage to pull out some likeable elements and set pieces throughout its flawed, often uneven 95 minutes. The entertaining irony that is obvious in the film and is pitched nicely is that as much as Ibiza in real life has had an influx of drunken loutish debauched British youngsters invading the island and bringing down some areas over many years since its rise as a party capital, in IBIZA UNDEAD its the Brits again who cause the zombie epidemic. Partly through Big Jim giving booze to zombies and dodgy Karl importing them illegally to his club. It’s a nice swipe at British attitudes and loutish behaviour abroad that is reckless and clueless to its effects. There’s also an interesting brief side story mentioned at the start that explains how Britain is under a zombie epidemic currently controlled by the military and that a certain political party is blaming it on immigrants. The film does deliver at least a decent bit of zombie carnage though not much gore, aside from a pretty grim amputation scene that is played for dark manic gallows humour and is one of the highlights of the film as it sets out to shock in its over the top gleeful gory-ness.

iu3Though the use of CGI blood is an annoyance and one thing that still perplexes me as to why filmmakers would use it. Added to this the cast are obviously having fun and enjoying it but there performances are pitched between mildly irritating to annoying especially Kear as Big Jim. Playing a type of Nick Frost Ed character from SHAUN OF THE DEAD, Big Jim is the loud mouth of the group but unlike the character from SHAUN who is clueless to his idiocy, Big Jim just comes off as sounding crass and annoying with his constant boasts of sexual prowess and wanting to find all the “sluts” which seem almost demeaning rather than being funny. Even in a moment, which is well delivered, where Jim exposes some vulnerability to Liz, he soon steps back into his annoying one note bullshit artist role and returns to grate your nerves.

Whilst the film does balance humour and gore reasonably well in certain areas of the narrative, other scenes come across entirely forced and almost uneven. Such as one character, who I wont reveal but still MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD, who makes an unusual entirely selfless decision and soon regrets it due to his own lack of knowledge. Yet rather than suggest that the same character could pop up in a later comic reveal towards the end, instead it ends up on a rather sombre note that perceives a grizzly fate that seems entirely out of touch with the films tone.

iu2Admittedly in a sub-genre that is always cramming out more fresh/rotten corpses off the production line, in the zombie film arena its hard not to admire parts of IBIZA UNDEAD with its attempt to combine a drunken Brit twat’s abroad vibe with laddish humour with gut munching undead. And Edwards works well with the limited budget he has and certainly pitching this at an audience who are fans of THE INBETWEENERS and, well fans of zombies. But in the end the proceedings come off as predictable, flawed and whose characters might drive some viewers to actually not care at all what happens to them and whether they get off the Island or not.

5/10

Templeheart Films presents Ibiza Undead for its World Premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest on 26th August

IBIZA_UNDEAD_poster_webTempleheart Films presents Ibiza Undead for its World Premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest on 26th August…

Synopsis:
It’s “The Inbetweeners meets Shaun of the Dead” in this slick horror comedy that’s heavy on both gore and laughs. In the new film, Alex, Az and Jim head to Ibiza for their first lad’s holiday. Unfortunately for them, tagging along is Alex’s unimpressed ex-girlfriend Ellie. Arriving in Ibiza, the lads dump Ellie with Alex’s sister Liz, her friend Zara and head to San Antonio to start their week of debauchery. Soon they end up in a San Antonio club, run by local gangster Karl, where the main attractions aren’t alive… they’re dead! Thanks to Jim’s wild antics, the zombies escape and all hell breaks loose with the entire party island soon battling the undead.

Starring Emily Atack (The Inbetweeners), Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey, Overwatch, Crazy Face), Matt King (Peepshow, RocknRolla) and featuring Alex Zane. The comedy is written and directed by Andy Edwards and produced by Elisar Cabrera for Templeheart Films (The Seasoning House, Devil’s Tower, Deranged), one of the UK’s most prolific genre production companies. Ibiza Undead is a wild re-imagining of a classic movie genre to really sink your teeth into!

IBIZA UNDEAD - Kenneth the zombieDirector Andy Edwards: “I’m really excited and thrilled that the premiere of Ibiza Undead is at this year’s FrightFest. As a regular attendee myself I’m sure the FrightFest audience will love our fun, fresh – and very British – take on the zombie genre. And yes, we really did film in Ibiza – so some of the zombies are real!”

Ibiza Undead World Premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest on Friday 26th August

Tickets:
http://www.frightfest.co.uk/2016films/26th-august—discovery-1.html
Friday 26th day-pass £60. Single tickets £13.50 available from 23rd July

An Interview with Andy Edwards by Dean Sills

ae6An Interview with Andy Edwards by Dean Sills

Hello Andy, welcome to UK Horror Scene. Before we begin I would just like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us.

UKHS – What got you into filmmaking and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

AE – I’ve wanted to be a filmmaker since I was about four, and saw a double bill of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back at the cinema. I knew that if I couldn’t be a pilot for The Rebellion, then the next best thing would be to learn how to make movies.

I studied Film at University – but this was back in the day when the two choices of format were VHS or 16mm film, so a world away from the options filmmakers have nowadays.

 

UKHS – Who is your favorite film director?

AE – Way too many names to mention…Off the top of my head I think directors such as Takashi Miike, Chan-wook Park and Lars Von Trier are all making consistently interesting movies at the moment. But my all-time favourite would probably be David Lynch.

 

ae1UKHS – You previously directed the short film ‘Six Ghosts’ about a young couple who are both haunted by 3 ghosts. How long did it take you to write and direct this short film and do you believe in ghosts and the supernatural?

AE – This had a very quick turnaround actually. I’m friends with a band called Johnny Foreigner, and they asked if I’d be interested in shooting a music video for a song off their third album. Despite zero budget, I thought it would be more interesting for everyone involved to make a narrative short, and have several of their songs weaved into the soundtrack. It was then quite a rush to write, shoot & edit a ten minute film and get it ready for the album’s release.

As for real-life (or real-death) ghosts – I’m very interested in the supernatural – but unfortunately I’m way too rational to believe any of it, and consequentially, ain’t afraid of no ghost.

Six Ghosts on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/40857294

Johnny Foreigner: http://www.johnnyforeignertheband.com/

 
ae2UKHS – The horror anthology film, ‘Three’s A Shroud’ won the British Horror Award at the British Horror Film Festival 2012, congratulations on this fantastic achievement. You directed the segment ‘The Time Traveller’s Knife’ which is all about a group of young girls who are celebrating Halloween when a masked killer begins to strike until only one remains. Can you tell UKHS a little about your segment and some of the influences that inspired you to make this?

AE – The Time Traveller’s Knife very much wears its influences on its sleeve – the pub the film is set in is even called “The Carpenters Arms” after the great John Carpenter. And then, added to the traditional slasher mix, I threw time travel in there. And whilst not
anywhere near as much of a timey-wimey headfuck, the movie Primer was an influence for the time travel elements.

I had hoped that by combining these two genres I’d end up with something unique – but after making the film I then watched both Triangle and Time Crimes which have a similar mix of time-travel and horror. Quite possibly I pre-cognitively was influenced by these films before I saw them due to some kind of time-quake.

Three’s A Shroud has been with a couple of distributors but fingers crossed, should finally get released sometime later this year so you’ll all have the chance to view it for yourselves.

Teaser Trailer for The Time Traveller’s Knife:

 

ae3UKHS – David V G Davies also directed one of the segments ‘Over Developed’ in ‘Three’s A Shroud’ and you have teamed up with him again for ‘Blaze of Gory’ How did you get involved with ‘Blaze of Gory’ and did you enjoy filming your segment ‘Monster’?

AE – I loved making Time Traveller’s Knife for Three’s A Shroud, but I wasn’t interested in getting involved in another anthology straight away. It’s bad enough with three director’s egos involved so when Dave told me there’d be NINE for Blaze of Gory I was very apprehensive. However, what changed my mind was the unique nature of the film’s writer and her quite frankly disturbing vision. And I thought that if that could hook me in, it could also hook in an audience.

The filming itself was crazy as usual (there is still blood in my grouting which won’t come out), but by working with a cast and crew who I was largely familiar with, it was a lot of fun and we were able to shoot quickly and efficiently.

 

ae4UKHS – It’s great to see the beautiful, talented actress Victoria Broom (Deranged, Zombie Women of Satan) and the very talented actor Martin Hancock (Kingdom of Heaven, 24hr Party People, Coronation Street) in your segment ‘Monster’. I didn’t know much about Victoria but I am now a fan.You have previously directed both of them in your other projects, did you enjoy working with Victoria and Martin again and will we see you team up with them again in the future?

AE – Even before I came on board, Dave was considering Victoria for the lead of “Stacey” for the “Monster” segment. I didn’t think that role would quite work for her, but as we both still wanted her involved, I wrote the role of “Nurse Jessica” especially for Victoria.

As for Martin, I met him via a mutual friend and asked him if he’d be in “Six Ghosts”. I didn’t really think he’d say yes considering his amazing CV – but he did and was a real pleasure to work with. With a young and relatively inexperienced lead in “Monster”, I wanted to fill the rest of the cast with actors with charisma and experience – so Martin was first on my list, and Victoria, along with Peter Saracen and Demetri Turin all fit that bill too. At one stage Martin was going to be involved in Ibiza Undead, – unfortunately the schedules didn’t work out but hopefully we’ll get to work on something together soon.

 

ae5UKHS – I love the teaser trailer for ‘Monster’ along with the other ‘Blaze of Gory’ teaser trailers. The actress who stands out the most is the Sensational newcomer Sandra Veronica May as Stacey. I feel she is an actress to watch out for in the future. How did Sandra land the role of Stacey and what was it like working with her?

AE – This was a tricky role to cast – it’s the lead role and the emotional core of the film, but the character has virtually no dialogue and spends most of her time restrained in a cell. I knew I needed a very special actress for this role, which required extensive casting calls and auditions.

I’d kind of naively hoped that I’d be able to uncover an unknown star in the making – but after working with Sandra on this film, I actually think I’ve succeeded. She’s a mesmeric presence in the film and audiences are really going to be drawn in by her performance.

It’s a pretty harrowing script – yet she was a joy to work with despite what I threw at her (which was largely a LOT of fake blood). She’s a raw talent who definitely has what it takes to succeed in this business, and hopefully I’ll be working with her on future projects too.

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMGCb3zcXio]

 

UKHS – You specialize in horror but what genre of film would you refuse to make and why?

AE – If someone was paying me to make something, I probably wouldn’t refuse any genre! Being a horror/sci-fi/thriller fan, to me most rom-coms are like holy water to a vampire, yet I worked as a script consultant on a low-budget rom-com called “Red Heart” because I believed in the talent behind that film. The principles of either screenwriting or directing are largely the same, whatever the genre.

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSlO4YvqffE]

 

ae7UKHS – What is the hardest part of your job, directing, writing, editing or producing?

AE – I wouldn’t like to say which is the hardest – but writing and directing are the ones I actually enjoy so they don’t feel so much like hard work. Producing on the other hand, at times feels like hard work of Sisyphean proportions.

 

UKHS – Finally, can you tell us about your new movie ‘Ibiza Undead’ and the challenges you faced during the shoot in Ibiza?

AE – Ibiza Undead is my first full feature as a writer and director, and is pretty much Ronseal. It’s a zombie movie set in Ibiza with a glamorous cast that includes Matt King (Super Hans from Peep Show), Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey), and Emily Atack (The Inbetweeners). We shot on location in Ibiza in October, and the film is currently in post-production.

And “challenges” doesn’t even begin to cover it! Deciding to shoot my first full feature abroad, on the ultimate party island, with a script that required prosthetics, extras, boats, cars, underwater stunts and explosions was maybe an act of madness. Still, I had a great time making it, and when the film is ready to be released to the world I’ll give you much more of a lowdown!

Ibiza Undead on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IbizaUndead

And twitter: //twitter.com/ibizaundead

 
UKHS – Thank you, Andy. Good luck with your projects and keep up the great work.

Image Courtesy: Enna Cooper, Eva Lewucha and Paranoid Android Films.

Website: http://www.paranoidandroidfilms.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ParanoidAndroidFilms

Andy on Twitter: //twitter.com/eds209