It may be a little obvious after the brevity of my last two posts, but I’ve really started to burn out on this. It’s been a blast, I love watching these movies, but after a month of it I’m ready to move on to something else. Something cute and pink and cuddly. I dunno, I’m thinking about retreating to My Little Ponies or Carebears or something once Halloween is over.
I do love Halloween though and last night’s costume party was pretty epic. Everyone showed up in such wonderful costumes! And Margie made my hair look rad.
Also today! Quick shout out to Wrong Opinions About Movies and today’s podcast on In Time & Logan’s Run. I was once again a guest and it was super fun! Even I’m the only person ever who loves Logan’s Run. J/K guys. J/K.
Check it out! It’s great. And also check out my last guest appearance when I rambled on forever about Alien.
It’s time now though to talk about one my favorite horror genres and one of my favorite films in the genre. I’m talking about ZOMBIES! And I’m talking about Dead Alive.
Dead Alive – New Zealand, 1992. Dir. Peter Jackson. Starring Timothy Balme, Diana Penalaver, Elizabeth Moody.
If you happened to see my Top Ten Zombie Movie List then you’ll know that this one has been a favorite for quite some time. I don’t really remember anymore when I first saw it though I think it may have been my boyfriend in college who shared this wonder with me. (Even if I’m misremembering this one, James still gets mad credit for all of the zombie movies we watched together: Fulci’s Zombie, Wild Zero, Biozombie… the list is extensive).
If you missed my Top Ten List, this is what I wrote about Dead Alive at the time:
Curious to see how Peter Jackson got his start? Watching this, his 4th film, it may be hard to see exactly how he ended up directing Lord of the Rings. Or it may not be. Known as Dead Alive in the states and Braindead elsewhere, the story begins with the capture of the cursed rat monkey of Skull Island. It’s brought back to a New Zealand zoo where it bites our hero Lionel’s overbearing mother. While the monkey is squished, Lionel’s mother now carries the curse and as she begins to bite the blood begins to flow. Lionel’s love interest Paquita realizes that there is something very wrong and comes in to save her man. The tone is tongue in cheek, the blood flows freely and there are too many disturbing moments to count. I’ve heard that the ending was the bloodiest scene ever shot (by the amounts of fake blood used. I think Kill Bill may have since past it but I really have no idea). I still get crap from friends for forcing them to watch it without first warning them what they were in for. I’m not going to warn you either. Just go watch it. Right now.
This movie is ridiculous. Seriously so. There are so many moments where the thought going through my brain is simply “WHY???” It’s absolutely gross, gory, and completely goofy. I adore this movie.
As far as scariness goes, Dead Alive isn’t terribly frightening. There are a few scenes here or there, like when Lionel first enters the basement, but for the most part this movie is so absurd and over the top that scares are not what it achieves. Not that Peter Jackson was necessarily going for the scares though. He wasn’t. He was going for the gross and he was going for the laughs.
If you can stand the gore, this movie is genuinely really, really funny. It’s full of one liners and slapstick comedy. As disgusting as disembowelment can be, when the organs take on a life of their own and start checking themselves out in the bathroom mirror, it’s hard not to giggle. One of the highlights may be the scene when Lionel takes Selwyn to the part. It makes no sense, it stops the plot dead, and it just so happens to be one of the funniest scenes in the movie.
I won’t say anything else about Selwyn. That’s one surprise I really don’t want to spoil.
There are a lot of things I really don’t want to spoil in this one.
I don’t know why I feel the need to subject all of my friends to this one. Maybe it’s because of the comedy. It’s probably because of the blood. It’s definitely because of their reactions. Watching this movie with someone who has never seen it before is like double the fun. Not only do you get to watch the movie again, you get to watch their faces as they see it all for the first time. Reactions to the custard scene are usually particularly good.
I have one friend of mine who still gives me shit for making her watch this movie, nearly a decade later. “Gah, and then you made me watch that awful movie with the giant rat lady. Those tits!” These are the reasons my friends love me.
It probably doesn’t help that the only warning I usually give them is something like “Oh yeah, it’s a zombie movie and it’s hilarious. They use so much fake blood!” That doesn’t quite cover what happens here. It might be an understatement.
So yeah, go check it out! And maybe send me a picture of your face as you watch the custard scene…
Only one more day to go! Can you guess what the last movie is going to be?