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:: Undead

If you’ve never seen a Sam Raimi film, from Evil Dead to The Quick and the Dead, Undead will seem like an original zombie horror/comedy. For those who have, it will be a case of been there, done that.

The Spierig brothers wrote, directed, produced and did most of the visual effects for Undead, a film set in the small town of Berkely where a meteorite shower causes the town’s inhabitants to turn into slow moving, brain eating zombies.

The few survivors band together, led by the mysterious, Marion, a grizzly man with a three pronged shotgun. There follows the usual blood and gore fest with the addition of some aliens, acid rain and a flashback involving zombie fish. There’s a constantly swearing policeman, his rookie female partner too nervous to do anything, the town beauty queen who only wants to leave, last year’s beauty queen, nine months pregnant and her husband. The cast is all new to feature films and it shows. Mungo McKay, in particular, is a let down as Marion. He looks great, but the moment he opens his mouth, it’s all down hill.

The special effects are impressive, particularly as some of them were done on the Spierig’s home computer. There are definitely some very funny moments, some inventive gore and a great running gag about Marion and his constant supply of guns, but if you’re looking for great performances, any character development whatsoever or any real scares, look elsewhere.

Undead has been an unqualified success. Self funded and made on a miniscule budget it has already been sold to over twenty countries and won the FIPRESCI award at the Melbourne Film Festival. The Spierigs are off to Hollywood, no doubt to follow in the footsteps of other low budget moguls like Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez.