Imagine Bruce Campbell with a beard and overalls in 'Pleasantville', taking on zombie's as part of an alien invasion- aussie style! That's what you get with the Spierig brother's 'Undead'. This movie is just plain cool. Now, before I get any nasty remarks concerning my comparison of Mungo Mckay to Bruce, let me just cover my tracks and point out that I use the comparison loosely. When 'Undead' opens, it feels a little goofy. The campy feel is lost, however, with the introduction of the zombies (which were the after-effects of a meteor shower, naturally). When Mungo Mckay's character (Marion) gets into the fray, this movie shifts into hyper-cool mode. Marion is perfectly fit for the alien/zombie invasion scenario for three reasons. 1: He's got his own weapons business (Marions World of Weapons). This comes in handy when legions of brain-eaters are knocking down your door. 2: He's a badass with his weapons. 3: He's a wellspring of witty one-liners. I can't say enough about how cool Mckay was in this movie. His character wreaks major havoc on zombie skull! There's enough intestinal spillage and brain splattering to make George Romero proud.
What I like most about 'Undead' was it's unorthodox approach to the zombie film. Zombie films have a small group of people from different demographics that band together to stay alive. That group of people finds a safe haven- lock and load, kick some ass, then realize they have to leave their fortress and relocate (usually under the guise of 'finding help'). You get close to the characters- then one by one they get infected with zombie juice and end up craving gray matter instead of pizza. Ok, that's the typical zombie flick; 'Undead' had that- but there was so much more. The comic relief was fun without bursting the horror core of the film. Where this movie seperated from the zombie mold was it's bizarre affiliation with an alien takeover. The alien aspect of the film was purposefully vague without feeling like a cop-out. The duel layer approach reminded me of 'From Dusk 'Till Dawn'. The first half of 'Undead' mimicked the stereotypical zombie storyline, albeit executed better than most of the other brain-eater flicks. The second half is where you begin to realize that you truly don't know what's going to happen. It's very rare that you can find a horror movie- especially a zombie movie- that doesn't spell out the ending thirty minutes into the action. 'Undead' meanders, then leaps away from the norm halfway through, and never looks back! I get excited when I see something different. So many producers and directors piggy-back previous successes with remakes and pseudo-remakes that it's nice to just see something totally off the wall strange. I had a really good time with this one! OJO gives it two paws way up!