Reviewed By Dead Kev
IN THEATERS JULY 1, 2005
The wait is over zombie fanatics! What wait you ask? The
wait for the next great zombie flick! I've waited many
years, since Romero's Day of the Dead, for the
next zombie film to come around and blow me away...and
it's finally happened. It doesn't surprise me that Hollywood
couldn't do it. Just like Romero, it took an independent
spirit to pull it all together. That spirit came from
twin brothers Peter and Michael Spierig in Australia.
And the culmination of their passion, sweat, and lots
(and lots) of blood has given all of us horror fans an
amazing film, appropriately titled...Undead.
Speaking as a self-proclaimed zombie aficionado, it's likely
no movie will ever surpass the brilliance of the original
Night of the Living Dead, but Undead may vary
well take its place right behind it at #2 on my all time favorite
zombie films! Yes, it's that good. Does it exude the subtle
social commentary that the 'Dead' trilogy did? Probably not,
though it does challenge the notion of stereotypes a bit.
What it does give us is an amazingly original story, great
characters, dazzling special effects, superb acting, and just
the right amount of humor.
The story sounds simple enough, but trust me when I say all
is not what it seems. The small town of Berkeley has been bombarded
by meteorites that bring with them a plague to end all plagues.
The townspeople aren't just dying, they're coming back to
life to feast on the living! Six locals find themselves together,
and in a frantic battle with the undead. I'm not going to
go into too much depth about the plot because I don't want
to spoil any of the cool twists. All I'll say is that you
haven't seen anything like this one before.
Great performances are the norm for the film, with nary
a weak link to be found. The characters are well thought
out, endearing, and thoroughly a joy to watch. It seemed
effortless for everyone, and consequently made for a very
believable experience. The town's newly crowned "Miss Catch
of the Day," Rene (Felicity Mason), is just trying to get
out of town when she's forced to take refuge in the house
of Marion (Mungo McKay). Marion's the town's resident loony,
who's been alienated because of stories of abduction and
zombie fish. Wayne (Rob Jenkins) and a pregnant Sallyanne
(Lisa Cunningham) are the young couple expecting their first
child, literally at any moment. Local cops Harrison (Dirk
Hunter) and Molly (Emma Randall) try to keep the peace,
each in their own way, in this obviously out of control
situation. Harrison's abusive ranting, Sallyanne's jealousy,
Marion's sense of calm, Molly's timidity...all were fun
to see play out on screen.
This is the feature film debut for the Spierig Brothers. Trust
me, though; you won't be able to tell. The directing is top
notch! Together with cinematographer Andrew Strahorn, they
provide the audience with a lot of truly amazing, and unique,
visual shots. They seem to have a great eye, calling for just
the right shot to get the most out of a scene. Not to be outdone
was the great job done by composer Cliff Bradley. Very cool
music sets the mood throughout!
I don't know the total budget of the film, but if they were
lacking funds, you won't really notice. These are some of
the best special effects I've ever seen for an independent
film. The effects aren't there to make the movie, just to
compliment the story, and they do so in impressive fashion.
I'd go as far to say that they'd stand up to just about any
big-budget production. The zombie make-up is also done very
well, and make for some really kick-ass zombies!
So are there any complaints about Undead? No, I can't
say that I have any at all. I was impressed from beginning
to the very end. Now if I were forced to dig for something
to criticize, and I'd have to dig pretty deep, the only thing
at all that I would consider changing is the ending. Not really
change it, but cut off the last minute or so, and end it a
bit short. That's something I've debated with myself, whether
or not it would be a more powerful ending if it was shortened
by a minute, and I've made cases for both ways. Don't misunderstand me, the
ending is great and certainly didn't disappoint, but I told you that I had to dig deep
So there you have it. A phenomenal debut film from two guys
who know horror, and who know their zombies. I've watched
Undead twice already and still I can't wait for its official
release! Those who like a little splash of humor in their
horror will enjoy it more than those somber horror fans out
there, but I believe that all zombie fans should enjoy this
one and many will put it on their all-time favorites list.
Maybe not quite as high as I put it, but it will be there.
Oh, before I forget, I want to see a sequel!
|Undead is a brilliant, must-see movie! You
won't be disappointed!
|1. Watch out for falling meteorites. If you see
a bunch...get outta town!
2. Don't judge a zombie before you've walked a mile
in its shoes. <I have no idea what that means>
|-"When I was a kid, we f*ckin' respected our parents,
we didn't f*ckin' eat 'em!"
-"I'll f*ckin' finish you off faster than a f*ckin'
birthday cake at a fat chick's f*ckin' birthday party!"
-"I was almost eaten by their killer fish."
|• Undead was the winner of the
'Fipresci Award' at the 2003 Melbourne International
Film Festival, "for daring to be everything that
Australian films are not supposed to be - part of
a popular, disreputable genre. We commend it as an
entertainment that is also political, while showing
the pleasure of hands-on filmmaking."
|• Undead has been a work in
progress for over 3 years, from the time the Spierig
brothers developed the script, to getting principal
photography underway in August 2001. Post-production
was completed on September 8 2003.
|• Undead was a work in progress
for over 3 years, from the time the Spierig brothers
developed the script, to getting principal photography
underway in August 2001. Post-production was completed
on September 8, 2003.
|• It is the first feature film written,
produced and directed by twin brothers Michael and
Peter Spierig. Undead is an independent production
shot entirely in Queensland, Australia.
Poster - Australian
Poster - Spain
Poster - Japan
With Michael & Peter Spierig - Arrow in the Head
With The Undead - DVDown Under
Gate Films (US/Canada)
Imagine Entertainment (AU)
Tot Media (Spain)
|COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
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