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Dead Alive (1992) * Weird & Wacky *
Genre: Comedy Fantasy Zombie Horror (New Zealand)
Starring: Timothy Balme, Diana Penalver
Overview: Mom gets bitten by the rare and dangerous Rat Monkey. The infection it causes makes her rot and mutate, and none of the infected ever die!
Terrible. Peter Jackson, of Lord of the Rings fame, in his earlier years was more obsessed with having people act like caricatures and goofs. I don't care how funny this is supposed to be, I still hated the main character and his dumb-ass girlfriend. Mom, and the custard couple and the priest and the nurse on the other hand, I found quite entertaining.
The camerawork, especially at the beginning, is rather shoddy. It distracted, big time. Like in his other 'brilliant' Bad Taste, this gorefest is more about setting records in latex and corn syrup than picture quality. When it comes to the special effects though, it's ever present. I thought the monkey was gross. I thought the custard was gross (and it is... Oh nasty), but when we get to the lightbulb, the nurse, the lawnmower and especially Mom at the end, it stops being so gross, because we're overloaded with so much gore that we just lie there, our eyeballs sunk into the back of our heads, gasping for air, begging for freedom from the rivers of blood. This is a classic in gore, and the ultimate in splatter. Why they don't make these anymore I don't know. Bring it back!
The writing isn't particularly intelligent. Did you expect that? No. The writing isn't even all that explanatory. Forget the science behind the monkey bite, forget the motivations explained. Just know that there's transformations taking place, and people either want to run, kill or eat. The only person with some decent lines is good ol' Mum.
The plot is almost non-existent. First the rat monkey, then the rat monkey in the zoo. Rat bites mom, mom mutates, the epidemic and gorefest. There's no plot, no story besides survival. Somehow, the undead creatures have more exciting character development than the main characters. I will admit though the way the story goes is very compelling. You thought you saw it all, then a monster punches through the back of some girl's head, grabbing at someone else through the hole. And that mutant baby? Twists and turns!
This is one of those movies that depends one one thing and one thing only and they deliver like you can't imagine. It goes from "Ew, gross" to gagging on gore and being overwhelmed by the feasting madness. It's weird all the way through and it's gross, gross, GROSS! It's really grotesque...I don't know how to explain it but with this rating...
Overall Rating: 66% (Low on Smarts, but High on Looks)
This Peter Jackson classic gore film is a trendsetter, unfortunately no real trends have been set by this splatter genre. I really appreciated FINALLY seeing it, and the scenes are really original. I'd recommend this to any cult horror fan, but they've already seen it. This is a very hard movie to rate, because it's all about the context. See this with your gore-loving friends and you'll at least have a good laugh, for sure, but definitely not for those who aren't willing to swim in the stuff.