UNDEADLions Gate Films
2003
R

“They can smell us. They want to feed off us.”

In the small Australian town of Berkeley, it was a day just like any other day…until the meteorites started pelting the community, and turning its contingent into hordes of the undead. Now a handful of survivors have gathered together inside the farmhouse of a reclusive survivalist, and must stand together to make it out of the town for help. Standing in their way are the living impaired, really acidic and mysterious rain, and…an alien invasion. You read that right…

Holy crap. Your Uncle NecRo just had the best 90 minutes of his life, watching this little long-awaited import. Thanks to the fine folks at Lions Gate Films, this DVD has now hit Stateside, and I picked it up at Blockbuster for a look-see. I admit, though I am a big zombie fan, like most specialized sub-genre horror films, after a while the concept gets a bit stale. I mean, beyond the dead rising and lumbering around (or running around, depending on how modernized the film gets), there’s not much to build on. And while Undead doesn’t exactly reinvent the zombie wheel, it gives the genre a really good spin.

One of the things that makes this film work is the fact that it’s a zombie movie made by a fan for the fans. Great love (and a very minuscule budget) went into making this movie, and what results is truly astounding. From the makeup and gore effects, to the filming, right down to the CGI (which, I’ve come to learn, was all done on the guy’s home computer). This is what happens when enough time and love goes into a product, folks. But enough of me gushing…

Undead, aside from being a great zombie movie, also goes so far as to mix in other genre ideas. I would say that Undead is a deft mix of Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead, Raimi’s Evil Dead 2 (there’s a scene involving zombie fish that had me rolling in laughter), a Clint Eastwood western, a John Woo film (seriously), a bit of 28 Days Later (mostly at the end of the film) and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. The result is a fun horror flick that keeps you guessing and enthralled until the end. Mind you, it’s not perfect by any means, and some of the characters got on my freakin’ nerves (like that cop…I kept envisioning a chainsaw or an axe slicing through his melon), but for a low budget horror movie, this is a great time. You can do worse. Much much worse. Any zombiephile needs to check this out at least once…