Zombie Movie Review: Undead Or Alive

Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/)

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I had to check once or twice that I didn’t already own this movie, as it seems suspiciously similar to one of my previous films ‘The Quick and the Undead‘. It shares a similar looking sleeve design, a Western setting, a terrible pun title and was also a cheapo supermarket-shelf bought DVD, but no, this is a different movie. Whether or not it is any better is debatable though.

I have mentioned before how I loathe the Portmanteau ‘Zombedy’, but at least that was only used by writers as a shorthand description for a zombie-comedy. However, when films start to use that term in their own opening credits then I know that I’m not in for a good thing. It is particularly annoying when the comedy present is about as funny as it would be to wear cowboy-boots with the spurs on the inside. Maybe I can coin my own term of “Painfulny”, or ‘Painfully-Unfunny’, for that is more accurate. Never before have I watched a film that tries with every single word uttered to be amusing, but fails so miserably it almost becomes unbearable after the first 10 minutes.

It’s not just the script that is disgraceful, but the comedy set-pieces too. A guy gets invited into a lake with a young lass, so cue the Benny-Hill sped up footage as he undresses! A zombie gets his foot stuck in a bucket and then stands on a rake which whacks him in the face! The heroes end up in a dark basement so to be able to see they light a match, only to hilariously discover there are loads of Dynamite barrels down here! Wow, it’s like Elmer Fudd humour here.

Anyway, the plot. Well a cowboy has somehow been infected with Geronimo’s white-man curse which caused him to turn zombie and eat his family. He gets locked up by the Sherriff, but managed to bite a few people in the process. The two heroes of the film have just escaped from this jail and the Sherriff and co try to track them down but get infected before even leaving town. The rest of the film follows these zombie sheriffs chasing the two heroes across the plains as they try to get somewhere or other. Oh yes, there’s a private-schooled Native American woman along for the ride too.

Without the painful comedy this would have just been a rubbish zombie movie, but the humour is so bad that it drags the whole film down by several notches. There is some potential here – a zombie sheriff who can track by smell and never slows, never stops until he catches his prey could be a genuinely unnerving movie – but that’s not how it pans out here. It’s just utterly painful from start to finish. The gore is mostly rubbish (when someone does get bitten the camera flashes and cuts so much that you barely see anything), the soundtrack is cheesy beyond belief (and not in a good way – we’re talking heartfelt ballads here) and it’s all just irritating. Maybe we’ll get a good zombie western sometime, but judging by this effort it’s probably a long way off.

Gore Score C
Norks Score D
Originality Score D
Overall Score D-


2 responses to “Zombie Movie Review: Undead Or Alive

  1. Pingback: Feature: Is 28 Days Later a Zombie Movie? | Devouring the Zombie Films of the Living

  2. Pingback: Zombie Movie Review: Cowboys and Zombies | Devouring the Zombie Films of the Living

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