Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Looks like somebody over here might have a little problem with women. Oh… I know it’s all in good fun poking fun at bitter bitches, opening our film with a front row seat of bitches being bitter, having the central point of the story orbiting around the rescue of a once great man, destroyed by a bitter bitch and then having our heroes being chased by a horde of mutated bitter bitches. It’s all in good fun, right? I mean nobody really has a real problem with bitches, it’s just some boys having some fun in a movie. At least that what I told myself. The name of this movie is ‘Doghouse’, a further reference to bitter bitches of course, and while that title is okay I guess, imagine if director Jake West had convinced the distributor to ship out a movie called ‘Bitter Zombie Bitches’! Now that would fly off the shelves. Again the question is raised why I’m not at some movie company getting paid handsomely while sitting in a corner thinking up brilliant stuff.

Vince (Steven Graham) is destroyed. The love of his life has abandoned him, despite the fact he did everything in his power to give this woman everything she could’ve possibly wanted. Never fear because Vince’s mates are here to rescue this man from his doldrums. Or help him rediscover his Inner Bloke as one his mates intimated. Mikey (Noel Clarke) has an aunt that lives in a hip little out of the way town and this is where our boys are going to drink and party all day and all night. First though Mikey has to hear it from his bitter bitch of a wife, now he can go to the pub to meet up. Also on the way is Neil (Danny Dyer) who has to be assaulted by a bitter bitch whose name he’s forgotten, there’s Graham (Emil Marwa) who is gay but that hasn’t stopped his male bitter bitch from sniping at him and there’s Patrick (Keith-Lee Castle) who has resorted to ‘stay calm’ audio recordings to get through life with his harpy of a bitter bitch. Matt (Lee Ingleby) is Comic Book Guy and I think we all know that comic book guy is usually bitch free, whether he wants to be or not, and finally there’s Banksy (Neil Maskell) whose potential bitter bitch left him at the altar so he’s probably in the best shape of them all.

Off they go on the charter, minus Banksy whose van has broken down, to this nice little town. Once they get to this town things are a bit odd. It’s completely empty for starters and it has a stench of death. Then out of the blue they observe tough as nails Sgt. Gavin Wright (Terry Stone) attack this poor defenseless hooded woman, and being the chivalrous types they rescue this woman. Who happens to be a mutated zombie. And now it’s on as mutated zombie bitches emerge from just about everywhere with a taste for fresh human male flesh.

No problem, jump back on the charter bus and get out of there. But there is a problem as the lovely bus driver has also become a mutated zombie bitch. What in the world is going on? Clearly whatever is happening only affects women but why? Two words for you. Gub and Ment. With a sprinkle of conspiracy and a dash of biological airborne warfare. It’s complicated. Plus we’re only seeing phase one of the zombiosis. Phase two is coming soon, it won’t be pleasant and not all of our blokes are going to make it home. But as bad as this situation might be, it’s still better than being with those bitter bitches back at home. At least these zombie bitches have an excuse for the way that they are.  That's the message there.

So what we have here is a British Horror Comedy, a genre that they’ve kind of claimed as their own over there and this one turned out about as well as the other British Horror Comedies I’ve seen not named ‘Shawn of the Dead’. ‘Doghouse’ isn’t a bad movie by any means and it certainly has its moments of inspiration, but a lot like another British Horror Comedy we’ve recently seen in 'Lesbian Vampire Killers', it just seems to try too hard to be witty and clever and as such the end result feels forced and not… wait for it… ‘organic’. That’s the word for today folks.

More often than not, while the blokes were scurrying around going through their mad shenanigans, I knew I was supposed to be laughing but I wasn’t. That’s kind an uncomfortable feeling. However we did enjoy the completely ridiculous concept of why these poor women became zombie bitches, all of the actors in this thing were in on the joke and didn’t take this movie the least bit serious, even while getting gored, stabbed gutted or mutilated and it did have its humorous moments. When Neil the player looked dismayed that he may have to kill the pretty, now mutated bus driver his friends imparted to him that ‘now isn’t the time to start humanizing women’. That was funny. There were a few funny moments in this movie, just not as many I think I was supposed to have experienced.

‘Doghouse’ is a slightly more lucid movie than West’s film ‘Evil Aliens’ even though that film had its own specialized set of charms it was working with, and it’s not dull and definitely skates from crazy scene to the next with relative speed and a touch of originality here and there, but it is a horror comedy that wasn’t as funny as it should’ve been. Or all that horrible either.

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