Coming from Australia is one of the coolest and most original zombie flicks in years, Undead. Undead is the debut film by the Spierig brothers, in which they both wrote, directed, produced and edited. The film has reviewers raving and this has caused Lions Gate to pick up the rights, you’ll get a chance to see this beauty in early 2004.
The movie opens in a small town named Berkeley where an onslaught of meteorites hit the town and cause flesh eating zombie to attack the villagers. During the attack, even weirder things develop as the lead character Marion (Mungo McKay) is convinced that this is actually an alien invasion!
When the movie first started, I couldn’t believe how bad it looked; I was scared it was going to be horrible. The music was cheesy as hell, the camera work was simple, I thought I was watching a made for TV movie. But once the meteors hit (and you don’t have to wait long) things kick into high gear and stay there! Once that happens you understand the humor in the opening scenes, because Undead is far from a made for TV flick. After about five minutes I was saying “holy bloody crap!”
The lead character Marion, plays a character like Reggie (Reggie Banister) of the Phantasm series and Ash (Bruce Campbell) of the Evil Dead trilogy. He’s tough, stern, and has a full arsenal of weapons (his trademark, a triple shotgun), what else would you expect from an ex-guns store owner? Between Marion and the other characters blasting bullets galore into zombie scum, and the buckets of blood used, made Undead uncanny!
Like I always say, just squirting blood from every orifice and having tons of half-blown off heads doesn’t make for a good movie, you need something of a script. The story is awesome, it’s a very fresh idea thrown into a classic zombie flick. I really want to avoid explaining, because knowing the situation could ruin the surprise for you. Lets just say there are some fantastic twists that will leave you wishing for more. Even the script was fun, with lines like, “We might not have respected our parents, but we didn’t eat them,” you couldn’t ask for more!
The FX was probably the best part of this film. The zombies looked phenomenal, and scary as hell. The shots of heads exploding and zombies walking with half their heads blown off was mind blowing and the zombies getting cut into millions of pieces had your mouth watering for more.
The directing job was extraordinary, the Spierig brother have a huge future ahead of them, I hope they stay in horror. They had some really cool shots like one scene Marion is hanging upside down from this doorway with his heel spurs clenching deep into the wall. He swings back and forth and is beating up zombie left and right and the camera work during that scene is kick ass. Another great shot is when Marion throws up tow guns in the air and we get a top view of the guns flying up as Marion pulls out two more guns unloads them into some zombies and then catches the guns he threw in the air, super cool stuff!
There were only two things that really bugged me during the film. First, was the score, which was a blatant rip-off of Jaws; the music worked well in 1975, but not in 2003! Second was the acting of Harrison (Dirk Hunter), I know he is supposed to act like a crazed overpowering cop, but damn did he over act, my ears felt like bleeding. Besides Dirk, the acting was phenomenal.
If Lions Gate could convince the Spierig brother to change the score, this could easily be a theatrical hit here in the States. Overall, Undead is a wild ride through the trenches of classic zombie flicks with a unique flavor added to the mix. When this baby hits theaters in July, make sure you don’t miss it!