Horror Comedy - Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver and Elizabeth Moody. Directed by Peter Jackson. (1992)
A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.
How can I sum up Dead Alive in one paragraph? It’s nearly impossible, but I’ll try my best. This horror/comedy flick, directed by Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings), is simply about a boy and a girl that are apparently destined to be together, an overbearing mother, a Sumatran rat monkey that bites said overbearing mother, turning her into a flesh eating monster, and an insane amount of blood. We are talking gallons…literally.
Lionel Cosgrove, played by Timothy Balme, is your typical mama’s boy with a slight Oedipus complex. He’s oddly likeable as is his equally awkward love interest, Paquita Maria Sanchez, played by Diana Penalver. Elizabeth Moody is perfectly cast as Lionel’s overprotective, woman hating mother. Quite frankly I was a little overjoyed when the monkey at the zoo attacked her. After all, she was asking for it. There are several supporting cast members that made the film interesting, but they remained mostly in the background. The one exception was Lionel’s extremely creepy and perverted uncle.
You absolutely have to take Dead Alive for what it is. The sole purpose of this film is to gross the audience out in a big way. There is a whole list of disgusting, yet delightful details that I can rattle off. Of course my favorite parts of the movie were the zombies and the ridiculous amounts of blood spewing all over everything and everyone in the film. But, I can’t forget to mention the zombie sex, which led to, yes…a zombie baby. There was also a lot of face eating (minus the bath salts), half bodies walking around, zombie spinners, a zombie press, and my personal favorite, zombie baby punching. Want to know what the hell I am talking about? Then you have to see this movie. If you’re not a fan of gore, then you might want to run far, far away.
Dead Alive is definitely not award winning material, but it never pretends to be. It is what it is and I personally feel that Peter Jackson, director and writer, as well as Stephen Sinclair and Fran Walsh (also writers), did an excellent job. This is not your typical zombie film, which is why I loved it and will recommend it over and over. If you only remember one line from the movie it should be this…”I kick ass for the Lord!”
Rating 4 out of 5
By Debbie Lord
5th July 2012