Dead Alive
(1992)











Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 1 Hour and 37 Minutes


Reviewer: Dale
Grade: B

Like it or not, "Dead Alive" entertains you. You may cringe. You may even vomit. But you can't quite bring yourself to turn the film off, or even to look away, no matter how grotesque the proceedings become. It is a film filled with scenes of indescribably gory violence, yet you don't find yourself becoming squeamish. Not quite. Because it seems always to have its tongue planted firmly within its cheek.

I don't mean that literally. Literally: the tongue is crawling across the floor.

"Dead Alive" takes the typical horror plot of a bou fighting an army of zombies, and gives it all sorts of strange little twists. The film opens with a hilarious scene that involves two men trying to get a monkey off the island of Sumatra. The natives try to stop them, knowing the terrible potential that the monkey has. But the zoologist is determined, despite the fact that his guide has "de bad vibes, mon". The zoologist gets the monkey off the island, losing his arm, one hand, and his head in the bargain. (Just watch it okay, don't ask).

The scene then shifts to a young man named Nigel who lives with his domineering mother. To say domineering is putting it mildly. This woman makes Norman Bates' mom look like June Cleaver. A beautiful girl from the market is expressing interest in him, but his mother will not allow him to have any part of it. She wants to be the only woman in her little boy's life.
So when the boy and girl go on a date to the local zoo, she shadows them. While she is doing this, she is bitten by the Sumatran rat monkey (almost forgot about him now, didn't you, see how it all matches up) and soon becomes a blood-thirsty zombie craving human flesh. Not that it's much of a change. But Nigel is such a devoted son that he doesn't report her to the authorities or anything like that. He puts her corpse in the basement and does his best to curb her blood lust. Although it must be mentioned that his best isn't that good.

Complications then ensue.

I can't go through with this review without mentioning one thing: this is the goriest movie ever made. If that appeals to you, then what are you waiting for? If you like your bloody horror films to have a sense of humor, then this film is right up your alley. In one hilarious scene, a vicar ninja kicks a group of zombies while saying: "I kick ass in the name of the Lord!" Again, if that appeals to you, don't wait a second longer before renting this movie. To wait any longer would be a tragedy. It also features zombies having sex, a dead baby, an intestine that attacks a man like a jungle snake, and Nigel strapping a lawn mower to his chest and slicing a room of zombies to shreds. All of these things cannot be described, they must be seen to be fully believed. Director and co-writer Peter Jackson sees the "Evil Dead" films and raises them on the gore front. Much of it is disgusting, yet thoroughly hilarious. And the movie has an odd (and I DO mean "odd") sweetness and cleverness to it, despite the body count.

Just don't watch it too soon after eating.