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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 21.88%
Average: 14.06%
Pretty Bad: 23.44%
Total Crap: 6.25%

5 reviews, 34 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"Ugh. Another one?"
2 stars

You could make a case for all zombie movies being unnecessary, of course, but even fans of the genre will have to admit that "Undead" is struggling to exist in a world that doesn't need it.

Made on the cheap by quirky Australians who have clearly seen their countryman Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive" a time or two, "Undead" is brimming with the usual antipodean whimsy and slapstick, plus a lot of gore and violence. What it doesn't have, in particular, is anything frightening, nor is any of it anything beyond mildly funny. Were it the first of its genre, it would be spectacular, but of course that is not the case.

Set in the small town of Berkeley, Australia, we focus on a handful of folks who wind up barricading themselves against zombies that are created when small meteorites fall from the sky. Whatever living thing the rock hits when it arrives in the Earth's atmosphere, that thing becomes undead. In one amusing flashback, it's a fish, and zombie fish are always good for a laugh.

The survivors are led by a weird rugged man named Marion (Mungo McKay), who I gather wants to be Ash from the "Evil Dead" movies. There's also a skittish cop (Emma Randall) enduring her first day on the job, and a local beauty queen (Felicity Mason), among others. They do a lot of screaming and shooting and arguing and running, and then later, some aliens show up. I crap you not, aliens.

The style of comedy employed by brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, who wrote and directed the film, is not one that I find successful. It involves a lot of exaggerated reactions and steppin' and fetchin', all the regular people behaving almost as stupidly and cow-like as the monsters they flee. It's that obsession so many Australian filmmakers seem to have with their own country, finding it just a wacky, wacky place, and just look at how wacky we are! Fine, we get it, you're a bunch of kooks whose Christmas is warm and whose August is cold. Now cut it out.

Still, the Spierig boys can be inventive with the special effects and assemble a witty exchange of dialogue when the mood strikes them. I was impressed several times, in fact, with the quality of the gore on what must have been a paltry budget. If an application were required to break into filmmaking, a videotape of "Undead" be a fine thing for them to include with their resume: not something you'd ever release, of course, but something that shows they've got skills.

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originally posted: 07/26/05 17:52:36
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2004 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
For more in the Australian series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sydney Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sydney Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 San Francisco Horror Film Festival. For more in the 2004 San Francisco Horror Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Minneapolis/St.Paul Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Minneapolis/St.Paul Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/20/07 Ozma What a hoot !!! 4 stars
5/10/06 sweetgrrl1972 Very creative and super funny 4 stars
12/12/05 gray could have been better 3 stars
11/17/05 Indrid Cold Moderately entertaining, with an original idea or two. 3 stars
11/10/05 ShadowFace5 No hot chicks are devoured by zombies. Complete rubbis actually. 1 stars
11/05/05 malcolm half of it was pretty good, but then got stupid. had some good jokes 2 stars
10/13/05 Johnny Cake Not great, but still a total blast...WAY better than SHAUN OF THE OVERRATED DEAD. 4 stars
7/27/05 Evil One Not scary, not funny, not good. Bloody awful. 1 stars
7/11/05 3 stars
6/11/05 C Hernandez Godawful. I don't get what everyone sees in it. 1 stars
9/15/04 Nik Mladenovic Bloddy Awesome 5 stars
8/06/04 Jeremy Kick ass funny! 5 stars
7/25/04 Pure RAGE... UNDEAD 2: DEADER! 5 stars
7/20/04 SLEDDOG_17 Absolutely awesome Zombie made. Can't wait for the sequel--hope it includes Felicity Mason. 5 stars
7/12/04 "Meth Lab" for Dummies WAY BETTER THAN, "Resident Evil" & "Evil Dead"! NEEDS A REMAKE THOGUH...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/29/04 Ryan the movie is good.. hope next tym i could see the uncut of it. 5 stars
3/02/04 travers lee brillent 5 stars
2/10/04 Roberto D'Onofrio Innovative, great for the money they had 4 stars
10/25/03 Jean-Philippe Ruest Kitch at it's best! Reminds me of Braindead... 5 stars
10/17/03 Hellstrom Totally badass and wounderfully original 5 stars
10/08/03 Jonathan Holmes Good stuff. 4 stars
9/24/03 Danno the Movie Manno Why would the aliens clean GRASSHOPPERS before humans?? 2 stars
9/19/03 Zombie hunter Not as good as Romero's zombie films, but on par with Braindead. worth a look 4 fans 4 stars
9/18/03 Kieran Shanley Saw the film last night - have to say it was brilliant ! B grade black humor + horror = 5* 5 stars
9/16/03 Undead overrated If it hadn't been made locally, it would be a stinking pile of poo. It still is. 2 stars
9/12/03 Mr Creosote B-grade genius 5 stars
8/12/03 scott Way cool! 4 stars
8/02/03 Dickhead debate moderator This is a great film and just to note that I'm truly disturbed at the low (6.6?)imdb score 5 stars
7/27/03 Francoise you ARE a dickhead if you see this "movie" 1 stars
7/25/03 izy i read the review, and take this from it, altered: "youd be a dickhead not to see Undead " 4 stars
7/07/03 Hayley Brilliant - A must for all fans of the genre 5 stars
6/19/03 Matt Absolutely kick ass! You MUST see this on the big screen! 5 stars
6/17/03 Jeff fantastic black comedy.. instant cult clasic 5 stars
6/16/03 Tyrone Noonan Fantastic 5 stars
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  01-Jul-2005 (R)
  DVD: 11-Oct-2005



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