Them babies are NUTS!

Dead-Alive

Director: Peter Jackson

New Zealand - 1992

  Hoff! Hoff! 

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Back when I was living down in St. Petersburg, Florida, in the three-bedroom apartment, my future wife, George, came down to visit me from her school in Indiana. She’s a film scholar, and so naturally, she brought one of her cheesy horror movies along for us to enjoy: the infamous Dead Alive, widely rumored to Man, those Tony Alamo pamphlets are EVERYWHERE!be the goriest movie ever made. My roommate Heidi was on her way out of the apartment with her boyfriend, our friend Chris (no relation to Chris of Stomp Tokyo), with vague plans of seeing what movies were at the theater. Heck, we’ve already got a video, why don’t you watch it with us? "Oh, I don’t know… it’s just a video…"

About an hour later, Chris looked up at me from his reclining position on the living room floor, tears in his eyes, and said in the most sober and serious voice: "Skip, this is the best movie I have ever seen."

I’ll be damned if I didn’t agree.

Upon further reflection, I don’t know if I can say it’s unilaterally the Not exactly a zombie, but scary nonethelessbest movie I’ve ever seen, as I’ve never been able to pick a single favorite movie, ever, but it’s for damn sure the funniest zombie movie I’ve ever seen, and as far as I can tell, it lives up to its bloody legend. It even beats Starship Troopers, and with a much smaller budget. Obviously a much smaller budget! But that’s all part of the fun.

Welcome to the review of Dead Alive, one of the OTF entries into Crazy Baby Month. Why does it qualify for Crazy Baby Month? For that, my friends, you’ll have to read and see.

I do have to say that I enjoy previews, particularly to these kinds of movies. I mean, where else can you see a trailer for BrainSmasher: A Love Story? But anyway…

My screenwriting course always said that the first few images and lines of a film were supposed to set the stage for the rest of the story. For example, in The Piano, the first image you see is Holly Hunter covering her face, while she speaks in voice-over of when she stopped talking. Except she isn’t of course, but that’s kind of beside the point. So what does Dead I once saw a vision of Jesus in a pile of fallen Slim JimsAlive show us? Well, after the text, it’s a deep crevasse, and the caption "Skull Island (Southwest of Sumatra) 1957." An Indiana Jones-esque duo carries a rough cage down the canyon. Well, at least they would be Indiana Jones-esque if Indy was a fleshy New Zealander in khaki shorts and an inexplicable hat, and his sidekick was a scruffy guy with an unlikely Jamaican accent. Apparently, they’ve captured a rat monkey (a rat monkey?), and the sidekick is certain it means bad luck. Uh oh! He was right! Angry natives! Spears brandished! How will Indy get out of this one?

On a side note, it turns out the "Tribesmen" were played by the Fijian Rugby Club. Just an interesting happenstance. I wonder if they play painted up like that… I know it would intimidate the hell out of me. But then, rugby in general intimidates me, so I guess that’s not so special.

(pulls out paper) "Permit. Perrr-mit! Perrr-mit!" (natives grab permit, rip it up. Plan B. Indy pulls out a tommy gun) "I’m a New Zealand zoo officiPaquita checks out the goodsal. And this monkey is going to Newtown." (hail of bullets)

Nice save, Indy! After that close call, Indy and sidekick race down to the jeep instead of a seaplane, where, instead of fishing, Jock and his buddy (instead of Jock being alone) are playing cricket. Man, how New Zealander can you get? Oh no! Jeep hits a bump and the cage falls on Indy! His hand is bloodied. "The little bugger bit me!" Sidekick looks at it in terror. "Zingaya!" he screams.

Jock slams on the brakes. Indy gets kicked in the face, lands on his back. "You’ve got… The Bite!" Sidekick exclaims. The cure? CHOP! Goodbye, hand. Screaming Indy reveals a rip in his other arm. "Zingaya!" exclaims Jock. CHOP! Goodbye, arm. Freaking, Indy’s hat falls off, and we see a scratch on his forehead. "Zingaya!" the three guys say in unison, and as the axe falls, we get title in animated red. Oh, how sweet.Ooh, that's gonna need some ointment

Naturally, the guys bring the monkey to the plane, anyway, even though Sidekick has misgivings. But there’s money to be had. And so the venue shifts to Wellington, New Zealand. What is it with all these shots of transport? Sure, it’s old style planes, vintage cars, and trolleys, and so on, and so forth. Still, it’s like Bert I. Gordon’s walking sequences. Do I really need to see how the zookeeper shifts gears? Hopefully, it’ll pick up again soon. I mean, when you start off with Zingaya, you’ve got to keep the action going, right?

Ah, the lovely shopgirl, our heroine, Paquita Maria Sanchez (the lovely Diana Penalver). Oh, she’s boy-crazy, but the boys don’t seem to notice. Her gypsy-type grandmother (Davina Whitehouse) does her TarI've heard of being smothered by your mother...but jeez!ot reading, to see if someone is in the cards for her. Of course, her father (Silvio Fumularo) eats eggs or something at the same table. Why is it that ethnic men always seem to wear sleeveless undershirts with suspenders? I mean, come on.

Incidentally, once when George and I were in Rhode Island, we were walking through historic old Newport and we looked into the window of this fortune teller’s shop, and we saw the exact same Tarot cards laid out in the window! Now that was a fun moment. Back to the review.

Paquita will recognize her young man by the symbol of the star. But the card of Oppression hangs over the man in the reading, as well, something Granny doesn’t want to discuss.

And now we meet Lionel CMmm, there's always room for blood-soaked Jell-O!osgrove (Timothy Balme), the shy and awkward young man who will become our hero. Oh, Paquita doesn’t like him very much, but when the sign of the star shows up, the romantic music swells… and Lionel panics. Nearly gets run down by a trolley. Oh, how loveable.

Turns out young Lionel lives with his Mum (Elizabeth Moody), a domineering old biddy who wears pearls in the house, goes for Treasurer of the Wellington Ladies’ Welfare League, and orders her son around like a slave.

On the up side, Lionel’s chores introduce us to a character who will play an important part in the movie later: no, not Paquita’s dog, but Lionel’s lawnmower. Oh, yes, my friends, all hail the lawnmower, that king of household implements. But more on that later.

Paquita shows up, and almost immediately shows that she’s much cleverer than Lionel by maneuvering him into asking her out. I really do appreciaI'm afraid the ear is gonna cost you extrate it when movies reflect reality by showing women to be ever so much smarter than men. On the other hand, more men are in the film business, so I guess that’s why women tend to get the raw end of the deal in many screenplays. This development in the movie at hand does, however, set up two things: Paquita is determined to get her man, even if he is a bumbler (he’s a loveable bumbler, I guess), and she’s smarter than she sometimes acts. Determination and intelligence are always good things to have in a zombie flick, but she is a minority, so she’s got a strike against her. Then again, she’s the romantic interest, so she should survive.

Uh oh, Mum disapproves. Good thing Mum doesn’t run a hotel with showers and peepholes and such… ah, but she gets Lionel back into the house. Nothing like a good guilt trip to keep the kids in line. There’s some talk of Father… he was Taken From Them. Oooh, that’s got to be significant.

So soon we cut to the next day, which is a lovely day at the zoo for our young lovers, until Lionel freaks Did somebody say, "Zingaya?"out at the sight of water… Scary hand rising from the waves! Oh, wait, it’s just a flashback. To his father’s drowning death, apparently. Well, free-spirited Paquita comforts him, and then steals a kiss, and things are going swimmingly until the playful monkeys get too close to the… Sumatran Rat Monkey! Oh, it’s a horrible beast that kills the monkey in the next cage, dismembers it and pulls it throught he bars to his own cage! Oh, and it’s doubly horrible because it’s a wretchedly animated stop-motion figure. Still, it gets its, because Mum crushes it’s little head with a heel after it takes a bite out of her arm. Oh, she’s a vicious one.

Too bad there weren’t any scruffy native types to yell "Zingaya!" and chop her arm off! Ah, well, then we wouldn’t have any more henpecking. Nor a Mum to turn into a zombie! Because that’s exactly what happens. Oh, she gets gradually sicker, and starts, like, dropping ears in her pudding.

Oh, there’s such a high gross-out factor in this early stage. Not just thInsert "face-lift" joke heree monkey’s skull-crushing, or the weird, big-toothed pictures of Lionel’s relatives, but she’s always oozing pus, or growing big pustules on her forehead, or having her skin flake off… Of course, she can’t miss her tea with the president of the WLWL, so Lionel has to literally glue her back together. Oh, my. We so rarely get to see someone degenerate into zombiedom so slowly. And seeing prim and proper mother degenerate into snatching food off another’s plate… the joy. And shooting pus into another man’s custard… that’s absolutely putrid. At this stage of the movie, it’s still enough to gross you out. Just wait, though…

Okay, so when Paquita runs in to warn Lionel that "Dark Forces are massing against you!" it’s a welcome change to normalcy. Well, relatively speaking. Paquita’s dog Fernando runs up to visit Mum, and when we get up there, Fernando’s tail is sticking o...and while you're at it, insert "dogfood" joke hereut of her mouth. Oh, yes. Lionel yanks out a hunk of fur, leading to one of the lines that sticks with you long after the rest of the movie fades:

"Your mother ate my dog!"

"Not all of it…"

It seems like Mum is not long for this world. When the nurse (Brenda Kendall) can’t find a pulse, Lionel is heartbroken. Ah, but we, the audience, know that Mum’s just starting, and soon Nurse McTavish is killed, and joins her as a zombie. It doesn’t seem to require biting to turn a body to a zombie, but then again, the rules don’t really get explained much. Lionel tricks them into the basement, andThough I would never question a Registered Nurse, I don't think that's the proper application of the Heimlich maneuver tries to keep them secret from Paquita, turning up the radio and pretending to listen until she leaves. Oh, he’s a really bad liar. "We’re all fine… here… now… how are you?" "Uh, negative, negative, reactor leak, very bad…"

It becomes necessary for Lionel to figure out how to control Mum. So he visits the local veterinarian, rather a gross-out experience in himself, and similarly hilarious. Animal tranquilizers are the answer, it seems. And even though zombies don’t seem to have a circulatory system, injecting them seems to work.

There’s more to Lionel’s repressed memories, actually, than his father’s drowning: something about a blonde woman. He goes to see Paquita’s grandmother, and while she "Tranquilizers I do have."reads his cards, Mum breaks out of the basement and lurches down to the shop, after Lionel… right into a trolley. Ah, flying zombies. It’s not everyday you get to see one of those.

After tranking her up some more, Lionel can’t keep Mum from being buried. We meet Uncle Les (Ian Watkin), and the no-nonsense priest, Father McGruder (Stuart Devenie). Oh, Mum’s just looking worse and worse, and believe me, a botched embalming doesn’t help. The embalming scene does give the director a chance to appear in his own film, as the undertaker’s assistant (who retrieves his sandwich, regardless that it’s been spewed upon by embalming fluids). Come to think of it, the same guy could have been playing the Indy guy from up at the front of the movie, and the veterinarian. Of course, the vet isA creature unknown to even the Crocodile Hunter -- The Sumatran Rat Monkey credited as Brian Sergent; oh, well, so much for that theory. Still, the end credits don’t have a title for the explorer guy, unless they gave him a name and I didn’t hear it. Lionel has to keep shooting Mum up with tranks, even just before the funeral.

Paquita stands by her man, but he’s got a dark secret. And he has a further complication: Uncle Les wants a cut of his family wealth.

Apparently, Lionel has to dig up Mum to give her the injection, and she’s interrupted by 50s greaser types, all leather jackets and greased hair. Very disrespectful to the dead… until the dead fight back. Soon, two of the greasers become walking dead, and advance on Lionel. The priest, Father McGruder, appears above hiTonight on FOX: When Zombie Moms Attack!m, atop a mausoleum.

"Stay back, boy… this calls for divine intervention!" he says, then leaps into action.

You know, I’ve always wanted to see a movie with a kung-fu Catholic priest fighting zombies. The immortal line, "I kick ass for the Lord!" is merely a bonus.

Still, even the Lightning Fists of God can only last so long. Father McGruder gets nipped (by the head he just kicked off, by the way), so when he later dies, he’s transformed.

You know, it’s been shown that even dismembered zombies keep goSay, is that TV's Frank?ing, but they never talk about the other greaser that the priest kicked to pieces again. Hm.

Anyway, Lionel is soon running a Group Home for half-drugged zombies. Mum, Nurse McTavish, Father McGruder, and Greaser (named Void, it turns out, played by Jed Brophy) are all semi-mobile residents. Feeding time for zombies leads to a number of humorous, if gross, gags, and Father McGruder figures that death must release him from his vows, as he and Nurse McTavish are soon going at it. Of course, Uncle Les is vying for some cut of the inheritance, which means Lionel can’t stop them from pounding out a Zombie Baby!

Oh, yes, the Crazy Zombie Baby! Perhaps the demented heart of the film. Like so many monster babies, it develops and is born in record ti"I don't think my chest is hairy enough to sport that!"me. Soon, its twisted little prune face is making the cutest expressions as it tries to gnaw off Lionel’s legs. What a scamp!

Anyway, Lionel takes the zombie baby out for a stroll. Perfectly reasonable behavior. Trying to keep it from nibbling on passerby, he tries to normalize it. Of course, when you have to put barbed wire up on the inside of the pram, your chance at normalizaiton is pretty much gone. When Baby gets away, however, it does lead to some pretty damn funny baby combat. Heh. Is it wrong to enjoy watching a zombie baby get beaten up? Sure! But we love it anyway.

Uncle Les finds the drugged-out zombies, and uses this to blackmail Lionel into giving him run of the house. Of course, Uncle Les calls over all his deadbeat friends to have a swinging party. Lionel runs out of tranquilizer (oh, the classic raA pre-zombie motherke gag!) and can’t go out for more, because of Uncle Les’s demands on him.

You know, all the New Zealand girls seem to be really nicely pretty. Kind of wholesome-like, as opposed to Hollywood glamour pretty. But all the guys seem to be unremarkable, or have oddly shaped jaws or teeth. Perhaps that’s just the British Isles ancestry, but who knows?

Paquita comes over looking for Lionel, stumbles across the zombies! She’s recourceful, though, and manages to fight off Void long enough for Lionel to find her (oh, the rake gag! Slightly modified, true, but still…). True to her archetype, she figures it out, and doesn’t freak. "Dark Forces surround him," she whispers to herself. Lionel finDon't askally has someone to open up to, and she’s there for him. Of course, she gives him the advice that he doesn’t want to hear. "You must destroy them."

Well, heck, if it was that easy, we wouldn’t have a zombie problem in this country, now, would we? Geez, like the solution is that simple.

Well, he does have a bunch of poison handy. He bids a tearful goodbye to Zombie Mum, and then turns to deal with the rest of the clan. Paquita and Lionel bury them, and go to leave. But Uncle Les is off his rocker, now. He throws Lionel back down in the basement, and drags Paquita into the kitchen. In the basement, Lionel realizes that on the other side of the poison bottle are the words "Animal Stimulant." And zombies rocket up through the ground.

You know, if more movies had rocket-propelled zombies, and kung-fu priests, I think the world would be a better place.

So now the zombies are all set on Turbo! Even the baby! And thThe Pee-Wee Herman look is always a hit with the ladies!ey’ve got a whole house-full of party guests as canapes. The zombies soon reproduce, by biting rather than by making the Zombie Beast with Two Backs, and they’re after Lionel and Paquita. Thankfully, zombies aren’t known for their dexterity, and it turns out they can be momentarily deterred with a well-thrown lawn gnome.

They do get really creative around this time, though. I mean, between dismemberings, gnawings, various pullings and strippings, it just gets outrageous. And then they throw in a running-in place gag! That’s when the ludicrousness sets in. I mean, it gets so damn over-the-top, you just can’t help but laugh. And they’re playing the violence for humor, so it’s hard to take it very seriously.Can I give you a hand? Or perhaps a mandible?! (Ha! I slay me!)

Then they start to play with the ideas of what zombie physics can do. I mean, there’s half a head being kicked around, eyes still moving. At one point, a person’s legs and hips are walking around, kicking at the live guy. How do the legs sense their prey? I’ve heard of guys thinking with the wrong head, but I mean, come on. It’s not like there’s a radar apparatus set up or anything. And then get this: animated organs. That’s right. When your heart and lungs start acting like a face and hands, you know you’re completely disconnected from reality. And, all things considered, it’s ironic that the greaser zombie had the name Void.

And that’s when it really transcends, I think.

Lionel escapes to the attic, where he makes a chilling discovThe party doesn't begin until The C+C Music Factory hits the stereoery about the truth of his father’s death, and what his mother was capable of in real life.

Paquita, hiding out in the kitchen with this other girl, has been holding her own. She pinioned some zombie girl to the wall by putting the hole in the back of her head over a lightbulb, providing a cheery Halloween-style glow throughout the kitchen, and the two of them are shoring up the barricades and staying out of the trapped zombie’s reach, when who should pop out of the cookie tin than… The Zombie Baby! Yay!

Oh, Zombie Baby, your antics bring joy and serenity to us all. In your psychopathic, Loony-Toon-esque frolics, you give voice to the evil undead demon-child urges we all keep deep within us. In your honor, I now compose this haiku.

Undead toddler child,

Hopped up on stimulant drugs,    

Bite that girl, bite her!

Thank you. And now, back to the movie review.

Yes, Paquita takes on the Zombie Baby, and boy, does she sock it to him. Frying pain, foodYeah, now I'm pretty sure that somebody indeed said, "Zingaya." processor… the only time she takes pity, and almost doesn’t switch on the appliance, he has to go and spoil it by pulling a Linda Blair. And to wrap it up, she punches him out a window. Oh, yes, my friends, it really has to be seen to be believed. Rent it! Rent it now!

No, wait, better finish reading about it, first. Then go track it down.

Again with the lawn gnome. Uncle Les jams the gnome into a zombie’s neck stump, and throughout the rest of the movie, there’s this zombie with a gnome-head running around. I guess the head acts as his eyes, but then how was he tracking Uncle Les, anyway? Again, zombie physics provide no convenient explanation. I mean, when a zombie’s own internal organs can rise up and chase you…

Oh, yeah, Lionel. He’s re-living the truth of his father’s death, and his mother’s evil (now, we all knew she was going to be evil, right?) and almost forgets there’s a bunch of intestines and organs that are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore! He falls through the attic roof, foot caught on a wire, and ends up hanging like a pinata at a zombie birthday party. Psychotic Uncle Les starts going ginsu in the kitchen, and for some reason that seems to work… maybe it’s only zombies hopped up on animal stimulants that can have independently Yup, more ointment.animated organs.

Come to think of it, you’d think the organs would be done like the stop-motion Rat Monkey, but they seem to be more of a puppet sort of thing. Kind of works better, really.

Oh, gross! Lionel has to resort to extreme measures to get free. I don’t even want to talk about it. I will say that the poor zombie who was walking below him when he fell back down found out the hard way that even fresh zombie skulls are much more fragile than real live human heads. I’m beginning to think that Lionel has an Ash Head. You know, from Evil Dead 2: Ash (Bruce Campbell) could withstand just about any blow, provided he took it on his noggin. Maybe Lionel shares that ability. Bruce does spend a lot of time in New Zealand, what with Jack of All Trades and such… Coincidence? But anyway.

Ewww… I just saw the end of the Garden Gnome Zombie. And then Zombie Baby kicks Uncle Les in the family jewels. With someone else’s leg. It’s that kind of movie.

Suddenly, we’re reminded that we haven’t seen Mum in all this mayhem.

Lionel does a swinging thing and ends up swinging completely out the window. Paquita is on her last legs, surrounded by zombies, when the doo"Aw, nuts..."r kicks open… well, it’s one of those Cool Moments, but it’s so unlikely, that you just have to see it. Somehow, it does fit in with the rest of the movie, but at this point, they could have a dinosaur wreck the house, and I’d buy it.

Lionel uses his trusty friend, the lawnmower, as weapon and defense. Holding it as a shield, the wirring blades make short work of fragile zombie limbs and bodies. You know, at times they seem to have superhuman strength, but at the same time, it’s not like you can take a normal human and pull them apart like you can a zombie.

It’s a ballet of blood and gasoline fumes. They even have ballet-style music. Paquita, in the kitchen, is dealing with the others… she even spits in a zombie face! Rock on, Paquita! Give me a girl like this in a pinch over any Stallone or Van Damme.

And the Baby is still going! Can’t figure out how he pulled his latest trick, but it’s for damn sure it’s funny!

Okay, Mum finally makes an appearance, a giant, bloated woman parSuper Zombie!ody. The house is on fire, thanks to Paquita’s last-ditch effort to save herself from the Zombie Baby (goodbye, Zombie Baby! You’ll live on in our hearts… or not live, considering). Up on the roof of the burning house, Lionel confronts his mother, the bitter accusation of her lifetime of lies. And, in opposition to all expectation (i.e. being a zombie the longest, and further metamorphosing into a giant hideous costume-puppet), she responds.

"How dare you speak to me like that!"

Yes, Mum is up to her old tricks, treating Lionel like crap and taking it out on Paquita. She’s not content with dismembering Lionel, or chewing him up or whatever… No, she has to send him sliding down the roof and into her distended belly, which opens into a big fleshy cocoon. Yes, womb imagery, all sick and twisted like the rest of the movie.

I want to take a moment here and make a brief comment about symbolism and such in horror movies. Now granted, this kind of thing is pretty damn heavy-handed, but it still showed a great deal more thought than most horror movies out there. It seems like many HollyZombie Potty Humor: A comedy bit not often seen nowadayswood horror movie writers seem to share the viewpoint of many Hollywood science-fiction movie writers: plot doesn’t matter, as long as you give them special effects. How many horror movies have you seen that set up the rules of how the monster works, and then break the rules later? (I’m particularly thinking of Vampires, you f*ck! Sorry, the spirit of James Woods as Jack Crow moved me for a second there… But anyway.) Same thing for science fiction. There are too few smart movies in the speculative genre, and the percentage goes way down when you factor in direct-to-video releases. Each year, there’s maybe only one or two movies that you can say were good, smart genre movies. The Matrix, The Sixth Sense… very few others last year that were without major flaws. Granted, this doesn’t mean they aren’t successful, or good, but I just wish there was more thought involved, you know? On the other hand, the fact that there’s so much crap out there makes us appreciate the gems even more. So perhaps it’s not a completely bad thing… I mean, if every movie had rocket-propelled zombies and kung-fu priests, then they wouldn’t be so special, would they?

So as Mum is toying with Paquita, and her face is falling apart, Lionel escapes with the help of this talisman that Paquita’s grandmother conveniently gave him early on. And Mum falls back into the burning house. Last we see of her is her big flabby butt and tiny freakish feet. Okay, not all that tiny, actually, but cThe true hero of the film: The Lawnmowerompared to the dimensions of the rest of her body…

Paquita and Lionel survive, but as they’re leaving the scene of the carnage, they’re shot by the police… no, wait, different zombie movie.

Oh My God! I just saw the Zombie Baby crying in the burning wreckage! Perhaps the firefighters save him, and adopt him as their own! You know, a little like in Time Bandits. But we didn’t actually see that, I guess, the adoption and such. Well, suffice it to say, there is room for a sequel. You know, something like Dead Alive 2: Revenge of the Zombie Baby. Or perhaps the musical, Zombie! Or maybe I need a nap.

During the credits, I also note that Forrest J. Ackerman plays a character called Forry. Now, I know the name, and I know Forrest J. is a well-known person among certain circles. I just can’t place him, and quite frankly, I have no desire to. I had no clue until I was watching the credits that there was even a character named Forry, so I guess we can tell how much of an impression he made.

There’s also a bunch of credits to "Featured Party Zombies." There’s a term I never thought I’d hearMake no butts about it, this movie is strange! (sorry): Party Zombie. Woo Hoo! Break open the keg! The party zombies are here! In truth, I don’t think zombies would be much fun at a party. I saw a Star Trek cartoon once, with the Borg at a cocktail party. "Your cocktail weenies are irrelevant." "Your conical paper hats are irrelevant." "Your complete collection of Elvis Costello is irrelevant." Kind of brought the whole party down, you know, besides all that assimiliation stuff. Come to think of it, the Borg are just Space Zombies with better communication skills. That’s pretty much how they were played in First Contact, too, when they made them all oozy and splotchy, and used nano-machines injected into the body to start the process. Not as bloody as a zombie bite, but then again, Star Trek has always been very sanitary. But I’m getting off-track.

Post-film, I’m impressed with how well Peter Jackson managed to pull off a sweet-natured love story amidst all that carnage. And how he took such violence and turned it into comedy. It’s not that that hasn’t been happening for years (take the Stooges, just for one of the early ones), but still, you run a terrible riThere has *got* to be a better way to take your insulin!sk when you increase the violence and corresponding yuck factor to such a degree, and try to make it funny. But I think that’s really the key. It’s not that we get numb to the blood and gore, it’s just that after a bit, you can’t take it seriously. I mean, it’s not as if it’s played straight, or anything.

I always find it interesting to see the justification for zombiedom. Here, it was a curse wrought by taking the Rat Monkey out of its home. Other places, it’s a voodoo curse. Other times, it’s Gummint Experiments. Or just some kind of disease. Regardless, making the dead walk has rarely been played for so many laughs. Well, there’s Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town, and Dead Men Don’t Die, but let’s leave my personal collection out of this. Besides, George has to share the blame for some of it.

Jackson went on to do such great works as Meet the Feebles (disgusting Muppets, basiExclusive Zombie-Wear now available at the GAPcally, which I’m not sure of Scott of Stomp Tokyo has managed to watch all the way through), The Frighteners (his twisted afterlife humor continues!), and Bad Taste (sort of a Men in Black thing, before Smith and Jones did their turn). I have yet to see Bad Taste, but I’m dying to find it. Not literally, of course.

Regarding ratings: If I enjoyed the movie so much, one has to wonder why I give it two Hoffs. Well, it’s too cheesy of a movie to rate only one Hoff, and I have to say, I’d have liked to have seen Hoff as a zombie. If you look at it in the terms of celebrity zombie cameos, I’d give it four Hoffs, but as it is, I think two is enough to convey its specialized niche in the cinematic universe.

Okay, now you can go out and rent it! Obey me!

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These are the times of which to cherish...

 

-- Oh, the gripping Gear Shifting Scene!

Paquita

Paquita’s winning smile: ain’t she a cutie!

-- What the heck is Lionel so afraid of? If Paquita was looking at me like that, I wouldn’t hop on the streetcar! But then again, I don’t live with Mum…

-- Ewww… projectile pus!

-- Lionel pulls a "disappearing as a streetcar passes" trick that always looks so cool, but then he’s found out. I wonder if that happens to Blade, or Chow Yun Fat, or Batman?

Dentistry made easy!

Uncle Les pulls out Zombie Father McGruder’s teeth with a pair of pliers! This is one sure way to keep a zombie from eating you! Then again, Mum didn’t eat Nurse McTavish, and that freaky zombie mojo still worked on the nurse, so zombie physics confounds me again.

-- You really have to be disturbed to view a wriggling pile of zombie parts as a job well done. But that’s just the kind of guy Uncle Les is.

Click here for more Crazy Baby tomfoolery!

The Zombie Baby, one last time, crying in the night, just looking for a hand to hold… or to nibble on… Farewell, sweet prince.

-- In the credits, there are two separate credits for Baby Selwyn (those credits being Morgan Rowe and Sean Hay), and a separate credit for Selwyn’s Voice (Vicki Walker). Could the Zombie Baby be Baby Selwyn? Only Peter Jackson can tell us!

Click here for even more Crazy Baby fun!

-- Copyright 2000 by E. Mark Mitchell

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