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December 14 2014
Zombeavers Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
None3/12/2014ReelDVDJordan Rubin
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD MA 5.1R18+Rachel Melvin

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Rex Linn (Cliffhanger, Django Unchained) is probably the most well known cast member.

When I heard that there was a film called Zombeavers coming to Blu-Ray I needed no convincing to track down the distributor and force them to shoot me a copy for review on Futuregamez. As you're reading this review, it should be obvious that I succeeded in my quest, so thank you to ReelDVD. With my love for films such as Piranha 3D, Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus and Sharknado just the title of this film had me excited. So, did it live up to expectations? Well, we're sad to say, not really, but it's not without some redeeming features.

When it comes to the storyline there isn't too much imagination required here. Three college girls stay at a river/lakeside cabin for the weekend and when their boyfriends join them for a weekend of sex, the good times come to an abrupt end when "zombified" beavers start attacking the cabin, and the six college students...

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These beavers are, well, not normal!
With a runtime of 71 minutes when the credits start rolling this isn't a film that overstays its welcome and, indeed, it could have run a little longer as I never felt we got to know the characters, especially the boyfriends who turn up, shag the girls, and all character development ceases when the action starts. Also, disappointingly, the most well-known cast member Rex Linn (who you will know from Cliffhanger or Django Unchained), who plays an older hunter who lives in the region, also has limited screen time. As for the main cast, well the three females (Rachel Melvin, Courtney Palm, Lexi Atkins) were actually all pretty good; they're all gorgeous to look at, and talk and act exactly as one would expect from girls of that age - boys, sex, nude swimming, drinking, social media - it's all covered.

Now we do understand that this is what Hollywood are dubbing a film with a "micro budget", which for this film is $2 million dollars, and as such it was filmed in only a couple of weeks, with and unknown cast and with some very dodgy beavers (of the animal kind, expect some jokes in the film about that of course). Actually, the beavers were our biggest issue with the film, they just look too puppet-like. We're not expecting CG masterpieces, or real animals to be used, but these ones were just so fake it was comical every time they appeared on screen.

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The girls are enjoying the lake... for now.
With an R18+ rating here in Australia we expected a pretty fun gorefest with this film, but we have to say, if you're going to make a low-budget horror film with a silly premise go all out. What we have here is a couple of sex scenes with no more then a minute of footage which pushed the rating up to R18+ (or equivalent around the globe), but there's little else to justify the rating. Why not go all-out to throw in plenty of gore, nudity and swearing too. It just doesn't make sense to go in half-assed, build up expectations of a very adult film, and then not deliver the goods.

While we hoped this film would be as entertaining as Piranha 3D, or even Sharknado this movie misses the mark in many areas. The script is pretty generic and predictable, for a R18+ film there is a definite lack of gore and shocks (the rating is definitely for the brief sex scenes), and the cast is nowhere near the caliber of that in those aforementioned films. Still, if you like those "so bad it's good" films, then Zombeavers is worth a look.

Zombeavers is presented on Blu-Ray with an AVC MPEG-4 encoding at a screen-filling 16:9 (1.78:1) aspect ratio and, despite the limited budget which we detailed earlier, this is a pretty nice looking film with a generous bitrate allowing the transfer to retain a high level of detail, even in the darker night scenes.

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These beavers are normal, well, sort of.
The Blu-Ray release of Zombeavers includes two audio tracks the first being a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) which is the preferred track for those with suitable equipment to listen to the format. The second audio track on this disc is encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640kbps and while there are very subtle differences, switching between the tracks randomly demonstrated a minimal difference between the two, except for the more frantic scenes where the lossless track had a little more impact and clarity. The surround sound channels were also fairly muted during the film which disappointed. Overall, this isn't a great release sonically but it's clear and gets the job done.

There is only one single subtitle track on this Blu-Ray release, an English Captions for the Hearing Impaired. We sampled these through various points in the film and the text was accurate to the on-screen dialogue.

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This is about as gory as Zombeavers gets.
Sadly there are no extras on this Blu-Ray and while we can understand the economics around the cost of having to produce and include such features, it can't take too much to record an audio commentary for inclusion. More often than not, it's the unknown filmmakers and smaller budget films that could do with both the exposure and offer interesting insights into creating films on shoestring budgets that make the best tracks.

Having said that, there are a series of outtakes in the end credits of the film, some of which are fun, but nothing like the outtakes in a Jackie Chan film!

The title of Zombeavers alone should give you a great indication of what to expect from this release, so if you liked Sharknado, MegaShark Vs Giant Octopus or Piranha 3D you might want to check this out. For us though, it didn't reach the entertainment levels of those other films so for most a rental will suffice.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę ReelDVD. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.