REVIEW: Undead or Alive

It’s so hard to find a good zombie movie these days… and even some of the more independently produced zombie flicks have their downfall but I came across a pretty decent zombie flick called Undead or Alive. I enjoyed this movie, and I had a blast watching because it was one of the only western/zombie crossovers that actually was worth watching… which is saying a lot. The plot follows a stage performer, an outlaw, and a female gunslinger that fight tooth and nail to survive a zombie outbreak after an old Indian chief cursed the land. There were a number of things I enjoyed about this movie but it had one major flaw in it.

Let’s briefly look at the acting; again, Chris Kattan has a great performance and we all know he can do horror movies with his surprisingly good performance in House on Haunted Hill. James Denton as the outlaw Elmer did  a fantastic job as well as Lew Alexander as the Geronimo did pretty good as well. I would expect a movie this goofy would have had laughable acting but the actors and actresses took it seriously.

The zombie effects were pretty good and the makeup was top notch as well as the blood and the gore. You cannot go wrong when a bunch of zombie strippers tear apart a priest and eat his spine out; good gory fun. This was something that was bugging a bit about this movie: the people slowly turn into zombies and when they become zombies they talk and act like normal people, at least with Return of the Living Dead the zombies still kept their characteristics. Maybe I am just picky but it was something that bothered me a bit.

This movie has one of the best opening scenes and some of the screwball comedy is pretty funny. I even enjoyed the fact that the townsfolk think that the zombies are just deranged lunatics. It was a clever way of introducing a modern concept into old world history and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the original War of the Worlds when giant mechanical tripods attack a town in the 1800’s. It’s initially the same thing. Also, this movie had around 3 different ending and it was getting annoying; just when you thought everything was over it would cut to another scene and you’d think that would be the ending but it’s not! I wanted it to end already.

But, the one thing that bothered me and led to this movie’s somewhat downfall was that this could have been a good, serious zombie movie but it was layered and layered with comedy, bad puns, overacting and slapstick jokes. I am all for zombie parodies but to parody a crossover of westerns and zombies, an idea that is relatively new, isn’t a smart idea. I think this movie could have had so much more potential of being a good zombie flick, with real characters as well as a characters study… but it fell on its knees. The actors had more potential and all I wished for was that they could have made this a serious film and not a joke.

Overall, this movie was gory, it was good in parts, I loved the photography as well as the makeup and plot but this movie could have been so much more and could have been compared to the Romero flicks. If you are a zombie lover, you can’t miss this film because despite its slapstick… it’s not all that bad. You just have to look past that but if you are a hardcore Romero or Fucli fan than you might want to avoid this movie. I had a blast watching it from start to finish but there is always room for improvement. 

Available at Amazon