31 Days of Horror, Day 2. Undead.

Posted: October 3, 2016 in Cinema / Film, Horror, Reviews

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The 2010’s have become an era in the horror movie industry I’ve dubbed, the age of zombies. The brain-dead bastards are everywhere, thanks in part to the rabid success of AMC’s The Walking Dead, and in this writer’s opinion they’ve more than overstayed their welcome.

These eras of over-saturation are common in the industry. During the sixties it was the creature-feature, the eighties the slasher, the early two-thousands found-footage, and so on.

There was a time however when the zombie-genre was a relatively untapped resource, following the success of George A. Romero’s breakout classic Night of the Living Dead, in 1968, and its subsequent sequels, Dawn, and Day, (we’ll pretend that the others don’t exist). The terror of Romero’s Living Dead series didn’t spawn from the monsters themselves, but rather the political subtext in his films, strength in numbers, segregation, isolation, and government malfeasance, something the current strain of zombie films seem to have forgotten, in favour of cheap scares, and drama so thick you can spread it like cream cheese.

Now, I’m in no way a zombie hater- I love the grey-matter-munchers as much as the next gore-junkie -I’m just exhausted with the same, Government does something stupid, outbreak occurs, and a ragtag group of survivors band together after being overrun, and get trapped inside an abandoned -insert token horror location- story. I understand the comfort of tropes as much as the next guy, they’re like the worn out couch cushion on your favourite sofa, you know the one that stinks like a mixture of stale Doritos and decades of ass sweat, but trust me, you can buy a new sofa, and keep the memories of the old one alive. Watch Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later as examples of this. Or you can venture a little further into the ludicrous, and check out 2003’s, Undead.

Directed by the Spierig brothers Michael, and Peter, Undead is a sci-fi, comedy, horror mashup that falls squarely in the so bad it’s good category.

The plot revolves around former beauty pageant winner of the small Australian town of Berkley, Renee, who finds herself in the company of gun-nut, alien abductee Marion after a meteor shower starts turning locals into zombies. After a scavenging mission gone awry our heroes are introduced to aliens, acid rain, glowing hooded figures, and a strange barrier that enshrouds their town a la Stephen King’s Under the Dome.

It’s the best kind of bat-shit.

Undead relishes in its absurd campiness. This is a film where the protagonist wields a quadruple shotgun. Yes, you read that correctly, and yes it’s as awesome as it sounds.

Unsurprisingly, the film released to buckets of bloody critical vitriol, and did less than stellar at the box office, but that didn’t dishearten the Spierig brothers, who’d go on to direct another unique take on a stagnant genre, (this time vampires) in 2009’s Daybreakers.

Undead is a lot like canned cheese. It tastes awful, is made from questionable ingredients, we know it’s bad for us, but we spread the shit on triscuits anyways.

That’s all for today skiddies, but stay tombed for tomorrow’s entry in my, 31 Days of Horror extravaganza!

…Say, do any of you out there happen to have any crackers?

Stay scared!

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