Beaver Fever: The best part about "Zombeavers" might be the title
85 min., rated R.
Stop me if you've heard this one before: a group of college co-eds at a cabin are terrorized by zombified beavers after a toxic-waste spill in the lake. Okay, maybe not the part about the zombified beavers. Mary (Rachel Melvin) and her sorority sisters, recently cheated-on Jenn (Lexi Atkins) and liberal-mouthed Zoe (Cortney Palm), go to her cousin's cabin in Indiana to swim in the lake and get Jenn's ex-boyfriend off her mind for the weekend. It's not long before the arrival of the girls' respective boyfriends, Tommy (Jake Weary), Sam (Hutch Dano) and Buck (Peter Gilroy). When Jenn still refuses to forgive Buck for hooking up with another girl, she goes to take a shower, only to find a raving, drooling beaver that Tommy ends up bashing over the head and killing. The next morning, the five of them go for a dip, while Jenn stays on shore, worried that there are more beavers. And, oh, there are, and as many times as the dumb kids kill them, the ferocious undead beavers keep on coming back to life. There is no cell phone reception, the nearest hospital is thirty miles away, and the only neighbors around is an old couple, Myrne and Winston Gregorson (Phyllis Katz, Brent Briscoe), as well as creepy hunter Smyth (Rex Linn). Worse, if one of them gets bit, he or she turns into a buck-toothed beaver.
Barely having enough to withstand feature-length, the 85-minute "Zombeavers" is surprising at least in the order of who's a goner and who's not. The actors, including Rachel Melvin (2014's "Dumb and Dumber To") and Peter Gilroy as the always-horny lout of the bunch, competently fulfill their requirements of playing broad-stroked stereotypes, showing their bare bodies on occasion and looking scared on command, despite the clearly ridiculous nature of being terrorized by rabid beavers that are obviously puppets. And, of all people, a mustachioed John Mayer gives an amusing cameo in the opening and closing moments as one of the careless truck drivers, alongside comedian Bill Burr, transporting the hazardous waste. Unfortunately, there's not enough wit or much inspiration and really nothing special here to contribute to this schlocky subgenre. Yes, "Zombeavers" delivers the gory, over-the-top payoffs that one is expecting, especially once the kids start turning into the critters, but few moments actually stand out. Maybe in the right frame of mind (a few libations might be recommended to enhance the experience), you might surrender to the movie's goofy, so-bad-it's-good appeal.