Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Hockey Plus Zombies?

While the Monroeville Zombies might be a street hockey team in the View Askew Street Hockey League created by film director and producer Kevin Smith, the team isn't exactly comprised of zombies. In fact, the name "Monroeville Zombies" is shown as a shirt worn by Canadian Seth Rogen in the Kevin Smith movie Zach and Miri Make a Porno released in 2008. The reason for this shirt is that the Monroeville Mall has several scenes for the movie shot there, and Kevin Smith paid respect with an homage to George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead, released in 1978, as that movie was shot at the Monroeville Mall as well. Dawn of the Dead is a zombie movie, so that's the tie-in. And View Askew, for those that aren't aware, is the name of Kevin Smith's production company, and that puts a nice little bow on that whole street hockey league explanation as all of those teams in the league are based off Kevin Smith movies. Clear? Clear.

Well, sort of. For you see, there actually is a movie coming to video-on-demand and DVD that deals with the very convergence of the hockey world with a zombie apocalypse! Kevin Smith isn't involved with it, but it appears to be a fairly zombie-centric hockey film!

I received an email this evening about a new film that will be released on August 17, 2018 as an indie feature produced by Sparrowhawk Pictures and directed by Wayne Johnson Jr. The movie is titled Ahockalypse, and it seems to be aiming to be a "ZomCom" classic as "[t]he Prairie Kings fight for the championship and their lives — all on the same night." Here's the trailer for the film.
As you can see, former NHLers Kelly Chase and Barry Melrose lend their talents to this film, and it looks to be a bit off-the-wall in terms of its appeal. That being said, it is listed as a comedy and horror on IMDB so don't go into it expecting a remake of Dawn of the Dead on skates or anything.

The stars of the film are most unknown to film goers with virtually none of the actors appearing in a mainstream role. And while you might think that's a negative in terms of me bringing it to your attention, I believe that this obscurity gives the film an advantage in that the actors cannot be compared to other roles they've had. If someone shines in his or her role in this movie, this could be the springboard to a bigger and better career in Hollywood!

The film itself was shot in Austin, Minnesota at the Riverside Arena where the North American Hockey League's Austin Bruins play. Executive Producer Craig Patrick is the co-owner of the Bruins and second Minnesota-based NAHL team in the Rochester Grizzlies, so location scouting was fairly easy from his perspective. Austin, which is about two hours south of Minneapolis, is a city of about 25,000 people and is home to Hormel Foods which famously produces spam, the meat product! If you're visiting, make sure you visit the Spam Museum!

If you're looking for the comedy outside the trailer, the Ahockalypse Facebook page provided this little doozy of an Easter egg.
All in all, I wouldn't expect Ahockalypse to contend for Best Picture honours at this year's Academy Awards, but it looks like a fun movie that might have some replay value. If i can get my hands on a copy of Ahockalypse, I'll write up a review here on HBIC and give you the Roger Ebert-esque breakdown on whether Ahockalypse is worth your time or should be avoided like a zombie virus. Either way, if you're interested in getting your hands on a copy, pre-orders for the DVD begin on August 1 with a video-on-demand release date of Ahockalypse on August 17! DVDs are estimated to arrive around the same time, so don't let this opportunity to get in on Ahockalypse die!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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