Alive Or Dead (2008)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
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Overall Rating 31%
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Ranked #6,495
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Ann Henson
Ann Henson
Angelica May
Angelica May
Gretchen Busenitz
Gretchen Busenitz
Flint Esquerra
Flint Esquerra
Diego De Vargas
Diego De Vargas
Review by Chad
Added: April 13, 2012
Whenever I browse through my Netflix queue and see that a movie is about to expire, I try to make it a priority to hurry up and watch it. Yeah, I know that I could buy the DVD later or find it through illegal methods, but in my eyes, Netflix has made torrents obsolete and I hate blindly purchasing DVDs. So, I discovered that Alive or Dead was about to expire and I bumped it up to the top of the queue, and today, I sat down with visions of a fun slasher running through my head. Now that the film is over, I realize that maybe I should just start letting these damned things expire.

The story begins with promise, as we find Maria (Ann Henson) driving down a lonely stretch of highway while engaging in phone sex with her boyfriend. She soon passes a bus that is stranded on the side of the road, and oddly enough, somebody has written "Help Me" on the window in some sort of red liquid. Maria pauses to check it out, decides that this sounds too much like the introduction to a shitty horror movie (her words), and is just about to leave when something pops both of her front tires.

Now stranded as well, she is forced to investigate the bus and finds Sarah (Angelica May), a masked young lady who is covered in blood and chained to one of the seats. As Maria is trying to free her, the driver of the bus shows up with another body in tow, and - oblivious to his new passenger - takes off into the night. They eventually arrive at a castle in the middle of the desert, and there, Maria and Sarah will have to do battle with cannibalistic mutants and a neanderthal serial killer (L. Flint Esquerra).

Though far from original, this plot could have provided us with a fun little slasher / sadistic horror flick. Throw in some chase sequences, some grisly murders, and bam - we have ourselves a typical but mildly amusing movie. What we got instead was a whole lot of chasing, but not much else. You see, once the characters arrive at the castle, the filmmakers apparently realized that they had about an hour's worth of movie to make in order to hit feature length status, but they only had about ten minutes of script left. So, the vast majority of the running time consists of "serial killer chases women, women run and hide, killer finds them, they run some more." Yawn.

It sounds like a simple storyline, even if it is heavily padded, but the writers somehow found a way to insert countless plot holes. Who was the guy originally driving the bus? What the hell was going on out at that castle, and what was the deal with the lizard man? How did a 300+ pound man run faster than a bus, especially when the driver of said bus had been driving all night? Where did the vengeance-driven monk come from? The girl's dad was involved in this...? Maybe I was a little too intoxicated before popping this in, or maybe I wasn't quite intoxicated enough, but this shit just didn't make any sense.

Minimal gore, a heavily padded plot with countless holes, and a way-too-tight tank top that steals all of Ann Henson's scenes provides us with a movie that I can in no way recommend. The ladies play their roles decently enough, I will give them that, but the writing that they were given was wretched; I mean, seriously, one asking the other if they would like to go clubbing while a killer is chasing them? Really? The only positive thing that I can say about the movie is that I liked the song that played over the credits ("Grind" by Ana Lovelis), so just look up that song, forget about this movie, and call it a day. 2/10.
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