Little Monsters – 2019 – Darth Vader & Ukulele’s vs Zombies

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Writer/Director: Abe Forsythe

Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, Josh Gad, Diesel La Torraca

Things haven’t been going well for Dave (Alexander England – Alien: Covenant, Secret Bridesmaids’ Business) although he doesn’t really do much to try and improve his situation. Clinging to a music career that fizzled out long ago, constantly potty-mouthed and seemingly in a state of constant argument with Sara, his girlfriend (Nadia Townsend – Home and Away, Concealed), Dave’s a bit of a loser really.

The inevitable happens and Dave and his girlfriend split-up leaving Dave to fend for himself, which means that he moves in with his sister Tess (Kat Stewart – Five bedrooms) and her 5-year old son, Felix (Diesel La Torraca – Lambs of God).

One morning Dave takes Felix to school where he meets Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o – Black Panther, Us) and finds himself completely smitten by her looks. Possibly, by her personality as well although that’s unlikely as Dave is probably letting his dick do the thinking for him.

Dave manages to ingratiate himself into helping Miss Caroline in an upcoming field trip in the hopes of getting closer to Miss Caroline, well, into her pants anyway, but things don’t go quite as he planned. Not only does he find upon arrival at their destination that the children’s favourite television personality (who he really can’t stand) Teddy McGiggles (Josh Gad – The Comedians, Frozen/Frozen 2) is present but also that Miss Caroline is engaged. Oh, and there’s a slight problem with zombies having escaped from a nearby military facility.

If they can just stay positive, maybe they can sing their way out of this.

The zombie petting zoo wasn't the success the organisers hoped for.

This film is pure fun. The comedy takes the front seat and the zombies are the McGuffin that drives it but that’s fine because the story and direction are good and best of all, the cast are great. Lupita Nyong’o is absolutely fantastic with her portrayal and her charming, personality as she tries to stay positive and keep the kids alive, is just a joy. A school teacher that sings Taylor Swift songs to her kids whilst she plays the ukulele should be annoying, but Nyong’o carries the role fantastically. She had such a great, heart-warming personality that you can’t help but smile (and maybe even feel a little smitten) every time she’s on-screen. I’m sure most of us know (or have known) a teacher with that kind of personality who stays positive for their kids and would most likely sing and skip their way through diversity.

Alexander England’s portrayal of Dave works well. Yes, he’s a childish failure but he’s a likeable childish failure and his foul-mouthed antics work well with his character progression through the film feeling natural and unforced.

Special mention also needs to be made of the kids in the movie. I’m sure you’ve all seen movies where the kids are just annoying little shits who you would happily throw to the zombies but that doesn’t happen here. Well, maybe with one of them as he whines and shouts about his constant need to play putt-putt golf, but that’s intentional so I can let it slide – although I would have let the zombies have him. But the rest of the kids were just great, especially La Torraca who plays Felix. He does a great turn as Darth Vader as he runs about in full Sith regalia, pew-pewing at zombies and attempting to use force powers and there’s a later scene, where he has an anaphylactic reaction, which was remarkably well done for such a young kid.

But now comes the time to point out the things I didn’t like.

Firstly, the film was a little too padded out at the start and seemed to spend a bit too much time focusing on Dan, rather than just getting on with giving us the zombies. It’s only a minor gripe but there was a scene where the bus had broken down and Miss Caroline plays her ukulele and then Dave plays his guitar, but it didn’t really add anything to the story and could quite easily have been dropped from the film without affecting the plot at all.

My other moan is with the character of Teddy McGiggles. He wasn’t that bad overall, especially as I was expecting to really dislike the character but he still overstayed his welcome a bit for me. He didn’t really have any redeeming qualities and I just couldn’t wait for him to become zombie chow. If I was in that same situation, I’d have pushed him out the door along with the putt-putt golf kid.

Other than that though, I have no complaints.

The horror in Little Monsters is actually quite minimal. Sure, there are smatterings of blood and guts, however, it’s the comedy that takes centre stage here. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Yes if you’re after an out-and-out zombie gore-fest, then you’ll probably be disappointed, but if you want a movie that will make you laugh that just happens to have zombies in it too, then you can’t go far wrong with this film.

It’s a feel-good zombie flick with heart that even managed to get through the cracks of my grumpy exterior and make me laugh. Don’t go in expecting another Shaun of the Dead or you may be disappointed, but do go into this expecting to have a good time as you’ll have a smile on your face throughout. Even if you do have to listen to Hansen Mmm-Bopping their way through the end credits.