Undead (2003)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Genres: Horror, Horror Comedy, Sci-Fi Horror, Zombie Film
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Michael Spierig Michael Spierig
Peter Spierig Peter Spierig
Felicity Mason Felicity Mason
Mungo McKay Mungo McKay
Rob Jenkins Rob Jenkins
Lisa Cunningham Lisa Cunningham
Dirk Hunter Dirk Hunter

6.1 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: January 06, 2005
Our movie takes place in Berkeley, Queensland, Australia. Starting things up, we take a peek into the everyday lives of a few choice characters. There's Rene (Felicity Mason), the reigning Mrs. Catch-Of-The-Day for the town, who has just found out that due to her parents untimely death, she's now solely responsible for their property and debts. Apparently, they had racked up some sizable debts, as the bill collectors are taking her farm away from her. This prompts Rene to make the decision of leaving the town, and sets about doing so. Then, there's Molly (Emma Randall), the town constable who's starting her first day of work under Sheriff Harrison (Dirk Hunter). Her nervousness about the new job certainly isn't helped by the fact that Harrison is an obnoxious, foul-mouther asshole towards anyone he comes into contact with. We then cut over to a few other characters and their daily routines, including a father playing with some kids in the park... however, the games don't last too long, as meteors start falling from the sky, with one barreling through this man's chest. Unfortunately for the town, these meteors also cause the inhabitants of the town to turn into flesh-eating zombies. This fact is soon found out by Rene, who is driving along with a male friend and encounters a multi-car accident that is blocking the road while making her way out of town. The male makes his way over to the cars to see if anyone is still alive, and he becomes one of the first characters slaughtered by a zombie. As Rene is panicking and about to become seconds to the zombie, the town psycho comes out of nowhere and dispatches of the zombie with his triple shotgun contraption (a very bad ass weapon, might I add). He makes his way off into the woods, leaving Rene alone again... and some more zombies come out after her. Rene decides to leave some tracks in her hasty escape, and makes her way to a house out in the middle of nowhere. Surprise surprise, this house is inhabited by the town psycho. Marion (Mungo McKay) is his name, weapon-store owner is his trade. As they're trying to figure out what's going on, they get some company by way of Wayne (Rob Jenkins) and his pregnant girlfriend Sallyanne (Lisa Cunningham). After just a few moments, the aforementioned cops also show up, and the six decide to hole up in the house. That plan doesn't work out for very long, as the zombies quickly break through the door and attempt to make a meal out of the group. And so, our movie begins...

This is yet another foreign zombie film coming down the pipeline that should be getting a theatrical release this summer courtesy of Lions Gate, and just like Shaun Of The Dead, I'm predicting some big things for this one. However, with that prediction comes another... there's going to be a set group of people who love this, and another set that will absolutely despise it. The reason for this is due to the fact that this is far from your typical zombie movie; it certainly starts out that way, but it pulls out some huge twists midway through the runtime and starts to get downright bizarre. Personally, I enjoyed every moment of the movie, but I'd be willing to wager a few bucks that says there's going to be a good amount of bitching when this hits theaters due to those off-the-wall twists.

It's hard to believe that this movie was put together by two brothers with cash that they raised themselves, and with special effects done on their home computers. This movie is absolutely gorgeous when it comes to the visuals; with the exception of two very badly done CGI scenes, this movie has the visuals to rival any billion-dollar budget Hollywood film. The dark clouds in the sky that form before and during the meteor showers, the meteors themselves, and the general tone and lighting of the film all add up to one very aesthetically pleasing film. And of course, who can forget the stars of the show, the zombies. They look better here than they have in any of the recent blockbusters, with some downright nasty effects and makeup thrown on them. Also, the amount of gore and inventive kills that are found here far surpasses that of the recent Hollywood zombie offerings (hell, the recent Hollywood offerings period). For example, the triple shotgun makes itself a force to be reckoned with when it literally blows a zombie in half, leaving his upper torso laying on the ground while his legs and still-protruding spine shamble about. Rene makes use of an unlikely weapon in The Club (the anti-theft device) by hacking a zombie to death with it... and both of these scenes take place within the first ten minutes, with things only getting better as the movie rolls along. Sadly, I'm guessing that a lot of the particularly nasty scenes will be cut or considerably trimmed for the theatrical release, but it'll make an excellent special-edition DVD when the time comes.

Onto the meat of the movie, the storyline itself. There's a lot of genre mixing to be found here, but it works surprisingly well. There's the obvious horror with the zombies and all, but this movie also mixes in some comedy not unlike that of Dead Alive; the exchanges between Sheriff Harrison and Marion are the highlights of the comedy side of things, in my opinion. The two have a great chemistry together, and the directors seemed to realize this... therefore, the two get ample time to verbally go at one another, leading to a number of great scenes. That's not all, though... our fisherman hero Marion whips out a number of action sequences similar to those of The Matrix. While I still believe that that movie has had its sequences and effects raped far too much by other movies, this one manages to take inspiration from the film while putting a good deal of originality into its scenes. There's even some sci-fi action going on later in the film, which I can't really get into without spoiling the movie. Suffice it to say, it's there, it looks great, it works out nicely, and I enjoyed it.

As of this writing, this movie will be hitting American theaters in June. While I wouldn't be surprised if that date gets shuffled around between now and then, this will definitely be a ticket to purchase when the date does roll around. It'll also be a DVD to pick up, to check out all of the stuff that'll most likely be cut during the theatrical run. Don't miss this one if you're a zombie fan, it's well worth it. 9/10.
Ginose #1: Ginose - added 12/12/2006, 11:57 PM
If these brothers do not go on to make more zombie films I will be VERY depressed. 9.3/10
Cryptorchild #2: Cryptorchild - added 01/26/2007, 04:55 PM
Such a strange zombie movie. Really over-the-top but that's what makes it so great.
grain of sand #3: grain of sand - added 02/15/2007, 07:34 PM
I enjoyed this, but the way the people talked and their jokes kind of dulled things for me.
the gore and general storyline were good though, I'd like to see some sort of sequel continuing those end sequences, it could be pretty fucking gnarly
Dametria #4: Dametria - added 04/24/2007, 11:46 AM
Good as an entertaining backdrop but hard to pay attention to the whole way thru. Its got alot of cool action but dosent hold up very well all by itsself
effin #5: effin - added 11/27/2007, 12:02 AM
I actually have a shotgun that looks like this. Very hip take on a old idea. Wierd, Big fan of ausies. I liked it. Then again, I was raised in a trailor park.
Lucid Dreams #6: Lucid Dreams - added 04/26/2009, 11:02 AM
I couldn't get into this like everyone else, it was ok but that was about it. 6/10
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