Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Film #3: Dead Alive (1992)

Gore-ifying: One word to describe the sickeningly bloody adventure that is Dead Alive. So much red goo poured out of our flat-screens that the RDHP had to change their socks after viewing.
All you gore hounds, take note. This one will finally shock you.

In between the eye-popping, limb-hacking and disemboweling, a plot tries take shape. Set in 1950s New Zealand (now THAT is an original setting) the story revolves around Lionel Cosgrove, a wimpy cross between Norman Bates and Principal Skinner. Lionel seems to have left his balls inside MOTHER upon birth, because she orders him around worse than a fat chick talking to a baker.

Early in the movie, Lionel is sent to fetch some groceries from the local store, where he meets clerk Paquita, a saucy gypsy-esque "foreigner" who immediately states Lionel is her one true love (as indicated from a previous tarot card reading with grandma). It takes awhile, but Lionel finally gets up the nerve to ask Paquita out on a date to the zoo. But MOTHER is close behind, spying on her object. While hiding next to an animal cage, a rabid monkey chomps down on MOTHER's old-ass arm. This was no ordinary bite, as MOTHER soon turns into the living dead and begins infecting half the town.

Lionel is too p-whipped by mum to put her down, so he starts stashing her and the rest of the infected in his basement.
It is up to Lionel to finally stand up to MOTHER in order to quell the zombification of the village. But will he have the guts to stop her, AND score with Paquita?!

Dead Alive sets a new high bar for gore in a horror movie. Sure, it is a zombie movie, so it's bound to be bloody. But director Peter Jackson (yep, THAT Peter Jackson) doesn't stick to the lame cliches of mere brain smashing and limb chopping. The zombies literally fall apart in this movie, even before the hacking/slashing begins.

There were more than a few audible "Ughhhhhhhhs!" in disgust by the RDHP during this viewing. Rare squealing from two horror vets? Bravo Jackson.

"Kills" are an important part of any horror movie. Creative death scenes are what make a horror audience (s)cream. In Dead Alive, no two zombies or survivors are mutilated the same. In fact, though gory as hell, many of the scenes are just so creative you forget to puke. This variety keeps an audience member engaged through the sometimes lengthy zombie vs. survivor fight scenes. For example, a demon baby birthed after two zombies make whoopee actually crawls through a victim and emerges by pulling apart her head, his babyface slowly emerging between her lips. WTF?!
You just can't wait to see how the next monster (human or zombie) will meet its horrific demise!

This is zomedy at its best, and bloodiest.

RDHP Ratings:
C-Rating: 4.8
Chris Dimick proclaims: "Dead Alive is one of the best zombie movies of all time. The gore reaches pure insanity, and drenches the brain until all one can do is laugh. The film misses a perfect 5 though, as the plot is near "'tarded" ridiculous (Note: If your mother turns into a zombie, don't feed her poison, it will just make her stronger). But, this flick isn't trying for an Oscar. The point was to be gross and funny. Dead Alive was gross and funny. Golf claps for P. Jackson!"

N-Rating: 3.5
Nick Rich proclaims: "Two days after watching this flick and I still don't know how to feel, which in and of itself says something! After the credits began to roll, the only word I could muster to describe what I had seen was bizarre. I can't recall ever feeling this way about a movie... I was left with the distinct feeling that I would enjoy the movie on second viewing (0.5), but didn't feel like I had the opportunity to do so on the first(3.0). I suspect this was because the execution of the story and pervasiveness of the effects were so different from anything I had seen before that all my mind could do was "watch" the film and not necessarily "enjoy" it. Strangely enough I kinda felt this way about my wife when I first met her - I felt drawn to see her again, so much so that it superseded the option of liking her. Bizarre.

P.S. My favorite zombie moment was the "light incapacitation" - there's a nightlight for the kiddies!"

What We Learned From the Viewing:

Sleepwear Note of the Viewing/Quote of the Viewing:
Priests sleep in their little white collars. Guess you never know when you need to dole out some preaching, or some whoop-tush. Check out this guy, he "kicks ass for the Lord!"

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