The very best B-movies are the ones that do not take themselves too seriously and can create a playfully scary tone, hopefully while people run away from puppets or people in rubber suits. Gore is a plus, too. If these are the criteria, then Zombeavers is a champion. The scene before the opening credits (which have some really fun animation) has Bill Burr and John Mayer as truckers transporting some toxic waste (of course). Burr’s character isn’t paying enough attention and slams into a deer, losing a barrel of the waste in the process. The barrel rolls into the creek, and gets caught in a beaver dam, where it begins to leak. This is all the explanation we will ever get for the origin of the zombeavers.
Our human characters are actually very ably acted, and often quite funny (check the imdb link above). Three sorority sisters vacation to a cabin by a lake which is definitely about to be infested with zombeavers, and they are eventually joined by their boyfriends. The movie is cavalier with its nudity and sexuality, helping the tone remain light-hearted before the zombeaver threat is fully realized. There’s some relationship drama, but that matters much less than zombeaver puppets chewing off peoples’ feet. The puppets definitely look schlocky as all Hell, especially when they move, but that only reinforces the tone. At one point, I was worried that the zombeavers would not pose a significant enough threat, but that was before one of the co-eds grows buck teeth, a beaver tail, and starts eating her friends. How silly of me to think that the zombeavers wouldn’t infect the humans with their bites and scratches. How very silly of me.
The movie is incredibly brisk with a runtime of a mere 75 minutes, and despite the fairly formulaic plot, there are surprises around every corner, whether they be beaver-inspired sexual puns (guess how many there will be before watching the movie and see how close you get!), some very funny interactions between the characters, or some very adept shots of gore. Overall, this is a quick and fun B-movie, which definitely plays loose-and-fast with the zombie genre while being a legitimately funny comedy. The closing credits contain a Rat Pack-styled song about zombeavers which is happy to provide a basic synopsis of what you just watched, as well as hit some of the more popular beaver puns again, so be sure to stick around for that and also the post-credits tease. I’ll leave the tease unspoiled, but it will suffice to say that it is remarkably simple, subtle, and exciting to the point that I hope the tease is legitimate and we actually receive the sequel promised. If you’re at all in the mood for a little B-movie schlock, look to Zombeavers; it’s a dam good time.