I had the extreme fortune last night to see this in the theater and right before the film started I overheard a person sitting directly behind me mention that she had seen the trailer for this film and it looked "pretty gross". At that moment it occurred to me that there's people out there who've never seen DEAD ALIVE! Up until then I had just assumed that everybody who likes horror movies had already seen this movie a dozen times or more. Next you're going to tell me there's people out there who can't quote all of Buford T. Justice's lines from SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT...ha! Whatever. There's no way, no way!!!
For those two or three people out there who've never seen DEAD ALIVE here's the story: Lionel lives at home with his over domineering mother. He goes on a date to a local zoo with his girl Paquita. While spying on her son, the mother is bitten by a rat monkey from Skull Island (yes, that Skull Island) 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 large household...and all of them want to kill Lionel.
The story is brilliant, 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.
After watching it last night on the big screen I started thinking about how there really hasn't been any over the top splatter films of this quality made since this movie. It's kinda sad. The other, ever sadder, thing is Peter Jackson has completely forgotten about the horror genre. Yea, he made THE FRIGHTENERS in 1996 and I love that movie, but ever since he's made nothing but CGI heavy fantasy films that I really didn't care too much about. It'd be nice if he went back to his roots and made another non-CGI, low budget gross out film. I can only watch BAD TASTE and DEAD ALIVE so many hundreds of times...I wasn't a big fan of MEET THE FEEBLES.