Sunday, October 31, 2010
DEAD ALIVE (1992)
For the two or three people out there who've never seen DEAD ALIVE, here's the story: adult Lionel still lives with his over domineering mother in a large house on the hill. He goes on a date with a local girl, Paquita, to the zoo. While spying on her son, the mother is bitten by a rat monkey and the next day turns into a flesh eating zombie! Lionel can't stand the thought of killing his zombie mother, so he keeps her under sedation in the basement. Keeping a live zombie in the basement is hard work, so before long everything has spiraled out of control until there's an entire horde of zombies running around the house...and all of them want to kill Lionel.
That's a brilliant story, but what pushes DEAD ALIVE into the one of the greatest zombie movies of all time territory is the absolute genius of director Peter Jackson. I remember when this movie came out (I was in high school) my girlfriend and I sat on her mom's sofa in absolute horror movie Heaven. I was so glued to the screen I completely forgot about the sweet fuckmaking I was about to throw down. Outside of EVIL DEAD 2, I'd never seen anything like it. Right from the beginning, the film blasts off in a frantic pace and it never lets up. It's just one hilarious gore-drenched scene after another all wrapped up in a clever script that somehow makes it all believable and even has a little romance thrown in for good measure.
There really hasn't been many over the top splatter films of this quality made since this movie. It's kinda sad. It's also sad that Peter Jackson has completely forgotten about the horror genre. Maybe one day he'll return to it.
[Update 5/17/2018: I watched DEAD ALIVE again last night and then today I watched it yet again, but this time with the volume turned down a little and played some music by Anna von Hausswolff. I have no idea why, but it actually turned out kinda cool.]