After a tragic car accident kills his wife, a man discovers he can communicate with the dead to con people. However, when a demonic spirit appears, he may be the only one who can stop it from killing the living and the dead.
Michael J. Fox,
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.
Deep in the lush jungles of the isolated Skull Island lies the habitat of the elusive, yet endangered and utterly vicious "Simian Raticus", or better known as by its common name, the Sumatran Rat-Monkey, a hideous mix of a virus-carrying slave-ship rat and a tree monkey. Presently, back in New Zealand's Wellington, the oppressed Lionel Cosgrove who lives with his despotic mother Vera, has finally found his soulmate, Paquita, but sadly, his world will rapidly change when after a stroll at the local Zoo, a live specimen of the rare species will bite Vera. Now that she's got the "bite", with the infection spreading and turning Vera into a festering, puss-squirting living dead ravenous for flesh, things are bound to get out of hand, as an ever-growing collection of stiffs and other stimulant-enhanced zombie misfits detained in Lionel's house basement will demand immediate action. Poor Lionel he needs to step up and clear up the mess, but above all, summon the courage to confront his ... Written by
Peter Jackson's gore-fest "Dead Alive" - AKA Braindead- is a very funny, very bloody film. The story is pretty simple, but includes some ingenious plot elements - such as a budding romance between two very likable characters (Balme and Penalver), a psychologically distressing relationship between Balme and his mother and well scripted dialog.
Balme plays Lionel - a troubled, more or less housebound young man who has been forced to spend most of his time taking care of a domineering and psychologically damaging elderly mother. Penalver plays Paquita - his romantic destiny. Paquita is a charming young woman for whom English is (perhaps) a second language. Soon after they meet, Paquita notices some odd quirks in Lionel's behavior, and slowly begins to realize that there is something besides the usual male fear of commitment. Perhaps Lionel's cannibalistic zombie mother is to blame? Soon enough Balme is babysitting a whole family of living dead who he has to constantly inject with animal tranquilizers, and trying to fend off a despicable uncle who is trying to muscle in on his inheritance. Then the fun really starts. It's the Dead Alive Series with extra gore, infused with brilliant slapstick and just a pinch of Monty Python.
Balme is amazing! - an excellent physical actor with great slapstick pacing and manic anxiety. And Penalver is delightfully pretty and sincere yet gives a nice campy performance. Dead Alive is one of the films in which Jackson began to blend detailed ecstatic and fantastic elements into his plots and cinematography - later culminating in the disturbing Heavenly Creatures and the spectacular LOTR trilogy. In Dead Alive, he finds his formula and makes it work without a tremendous budget. The film is well shot and grotesque, but remarkably amusing.
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