Undead isn't without flaws. However, Undead is pretty good. In many ways, this admittedly campy Action/ Comedy/ Sci-Fi/ Horror/ Mystery can be criticized for the same reasons it could be praised. This one is most certainly up to the eye of the beholder. The dialogue is often ludicrous and is delivered in such a serious and sanctimonious way that the audience will necessarily either laugh out loud or groan miserably. There is a lot of blood in Undead to an extent that, in places, reminds one of Kill Bill Vol. 1 in its daring you to be offended. Many of the situations are simply ridiculous, but then, this is a comedy. This is what works here. The closest analogy I can make is to 2006's Slither in its balance of hilarity and horror.
Undead is also one of the most ambitious Zombie Films of all time. Whereas Romero (for example) suggested a mass infection, but generally told only the stories of a small, isolated few, The Spierig Brothers shoot for the works here, telling the story of an isolated infection on an incredibly grand scale. Literally astronomical.
A small town Beauty Queen named Rene (Felicity Mason) has fallen on granite-hard times. For one thing, she's broke, for another, she's the target of more animosity than Ralph Nader at the Democratic Convention due to her celebrity status as "Fish Queen", for another, her face is plastered all over town with an ironic smile that tortures the hell out of her, and for the final insult, she has just inherited from her family all the DEBT she could ever not want. Man... what could be worse? Well, just walk away, Rene (a character actually says that) because your day is going to get even worse.
Suddenly, small meteors begin to land all around this little Aussie village. People are getting holes blown in them and their heads are exploding like pi˝atas with all the candy melted. Then, for goodness sake, those that die but remain relatively whole rise again as ZOMBIES. Need I tell you they GET UP AND KILL? Need I add that the people they kill GET UP AND KILL? Probably not. So, that's the bad news, right? Uh... wait just a cotton picker... right at this point Aliens begin to Invade Earth and have constructed huge walls all around the village so no one can get in or out.
So, THAT's the bad news, right? Well... the only guy who can save Rene and the rest of the village is the Town Crazy named Marion (and played by big Mungo McKay). He's a philosophical and tortured giant who has been abducted once before. Ah, he doesn't seem so crazy now, does he? Actually, yeah, he kind of still does. But the really, really, really bad news is that we see his butt.
And, except for an exhibitionist Alien, that's the only nudity we get.
Undead should be easy to criticize for its meandering plot and silly situations. It should be, but there is such a method to the Spierig madness that somehow it all coalesces into a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining romp through the Zombie Ridden Outback. It's laughable, yes, but intentionally so. It goes off in all directions at once, but it's fun. It seems to be going nowhere a lot of the time, but it's got a great ending.
This stream of consciousness, anything goes attitude is what makes Undead so cool. It's also what might turn many viewers (even fans of Zombie and Sci Fi Films) off like a Ron Jeremy and Andy Rooney Pole Dancing Party. One thing it seems that most everyone can agree on is the special effects. Edited and embellished in their PCs, The Spierig Brothers have made Undead into a tongue-in-cheek CGI Sci Fi film with Aliens as funny as they are cool-looking.
In short, this is both a fan favorite and a film derided by fans for its flaws. Further, with films like Shaun of the Dead out there which blast past virtually every other Zombie Comedy in history, it's easy to say that Undead isn't quite THAT good! Stay through it till the end, give it a chance and don't miss that rip-roaring final act. All told, Undead is a keeper. Three Stars out of Five for Undead. I guess I can stop wondering what a Zombie Version of Crocodile Dundee might be like. Maybe a Vampire version of Crocodile Dundee might kick ass. "Ah, That's not a Stake... Ah? That's a Stake!" SHRIEK! See you in the next besieged reel!
Well, then Throw a Shrimp on the Barbie, and Click Here!
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