Dead Alive
Trimark // Unrated // $24.99 // August 8, 1998
Review by Phillip Duncan | posted October 18, 2002
M O V I E
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
I had wanted to watch this film for some time, but just recently got around to it. First off, was everything it was supposed to be. The cover heralds it as the goriest film of all time and I agree. The amount of blood in this film was unbelievable, but before you stop reading because you tell yourself I don't like those types of movies I'll tell you this isn't one of those movies.

Director Peter Jackson, Heavenly Creatures and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, crafted a irreverent and amusing tale of a mothers overpowering love for her son. Lionel's life is completely controlled by his mother, so much so that it is the only thing he knows. When a young girl named Paquita, who believes the fates have destined them to be together, falls in love with him he doesn't know what to do. Slowly Paquita starts to pull him away from his jealous mother. As Mother becomes jealous she follows them to the zoo. While spying on them from the bushes she is bitten by a Sumatran Rat Monkey. For unexplained reasons, the rat monkey's bite not only causes death, but also causes the victim to become a type of zombie. Through a hilarious process Mother continues to create more zombies that Lionel tries to keep hidden and sedated. Things continue to snowball until they reach a climax near the end of the film. The last twenty minutes are some of the most intense and visual moments in a horror film I've seen.

I don't want to describe to much on the small chance some may want to see this themselves. If I had to compare it to any other film I would say it is most like the Evil Dead Series. It has over-the-top humor combined with the most graphic effects I've seen. This is not a movie for the squeamish. It's not Scream or The Sixth Sense, nothing is left to the imagination. That is definitely the case in some of the ways that people die. Again this is all tounge and cheek type stuff and should not be taken seriously. Watch it to have a good time and you will. The plot is not overly complicated and the characters are mostly exaggerations of their obvious characteristics. The funniest by far the Zombie killing priest that "Kick's ass for the Lord."

Video: A bright and colorful Anamorphic transfer brings out the details in the gore. The vivid colors and rich warmth look great on the print here. There are few noticeable flaws, but nothing that can't be overlooked.

Audio: A basic stereo transfer is adequate enough for the film. A full blown surround would have been nice, but the stereo mix is capable and the vocals are crisp throughout.

Extras: A trailer is included. Perhaps with the success of Lord of the Rings, a full blown special edition will be released.

Pick this up and it will definitely be a film to remember. The ending alone is strange enough, but when combined with innovative use of a push-mower it becomes something else all together. Not for the squeamish or faint of heart, it packs a lot of puch. It also stands as an interesting and obvious director who has gone on to do such films as Heavenly Creatures and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The latter films show his beginnings and the increasing depth and subtlety that he has gained. The Lord of the Rings should turn out fine in the hands of a director so capable of blending the fantastic and realistic. I strongly encourage you to watch Heavenly Creatures if you have not seen it. A strangely disturbing true tale of two young girls that have trouble distinguishing the real world and a world of their own creation.



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