There are bad movies. There are movies so bad that they are good. And then there are movies that are so bad you want to turn it off because you’re embarrassed to be watching it. Ahockalypse falls into that last category. Ostensibly, the film is about a hockey team that fights off a zombie horde. Ultimately, though, neither of those things seem to take center stage throughout much of the movie.
Writer/Director Wayne Harry Johnson Jr.’s heart seems to be in the right place, but all of his ideas and scenarios never quite fit. The apocalypse happens without warning or any suspense, characters are only vaguely introduced and the plot itself constantly skates on thin ice.
After Jonsey (Jesse Rennicke) and his team win the championship, they spend the rest of the film executing various skits that pretends to be a complete movie. Some of the more horrendous attempts at humor come when the cast is encouraged and/or forced to strip down to their underwear. The film can never decide if wants to be more like American Pie or a true horror film. This tonal confusion only drags the movie down further.
The emotional core of the film hinges on Jonsey and a love triangle with his girlfriend Jenny (Kaylee Williams) and Mrs. Johnson (Gabrielle Arrowsmith), the mother of another hockey player, although exactly which player is almost impossible to discern. Who will end up with who though is never in question. Jenny is vapid, selfish and has no real qualities. Mrs. Johnson, on the other hand, is a blank slate of personality, but is the only other choice, so of course Jonsey falls for her. She also happens to be (at most) five years older than everyone else.
The shoestring budget of Ahockalypse resulted in poor sound quality, lighting issues and disastrous gore effects. Zombies are green-screened into multiple shots. Blood is almost exclusively CG and the zombies themselves are just people lumbering through scenes with minor makeup touches at best. The stunt coordination features laughable moments of actors clearly pulling punches, and nearly breaking character trying not to laugh when they are supposed to be fighting for their lives.
The humor is frat house nonsense that gets lost in the aforementioned bad audio or the even-worse acting that can’t find any sort of timing or a drop of chemistry. A running gag centered on the team’s mascot fighting off zombies is mildly amusing but loses steam before the movie finishes. Squall Charlson as BJ is the only other standout in this hockey movie that can’t even make it to the third period. Hockey pundit Barry Melrose cameos briefly in Ahockalypse, but can’t save the film despite being one of the better actors in it. Thankfully, at 80 minutes, the brevity might allow you to finish the movie. Otherwise, you might be better off staying in the penalty box.
Any hockey-related film that makes me question my loyalty to the sport like Ahockalypse did cannot and should not be recommended. Protect your home ice and stay far away from this cinematic apocalypse. ■
Kyle Scully is a lifelong Sharks fan whose secret dream is to attend the Sloan Analytics Conference. Loves Zebra from Popcornopolis but only eats it at hockey games. Follow him on Twitter @socal_scully