UNDEAD (2003) Reviews and overview

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‘Crazy has come to town for a visit’

Undead is a 2003 Australian science fiction horror comedy film written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig (Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built; Jigsaw; Daybreakers). The movie stars Felicity Mason, Mungo McKay and Rob Jenkins.

After losing her family farm to the bank, local beauty pageant winner Rene (Felicity Mason) decides to leave the small town of Berkeley. A number of strange meteorites are seen falling nearby, turning the local inhabitants into zombies. Rene and other survivors hide in the home of gun nut and alien abductee Marion (Mungo McKay).

The group ventures outside to scavenge, but encounter the zombies. Marion shoots one in the head and discovers that is the way to keep the creatures down. They try to flee, only to find a huge barrier surrounding the entire town, which Marion blames on the aliens that had taken him…


“When Undead sticks to the standard zombie-flick conventions, it’s a fairly successful (if not particularly unique) homage to Romero’s trademark sub-genre … but Undead also manages to wander deep into spacey sci-fi territory […] The end result is a movie that boasts several isolated scenes which stand out and command your attention, but it’s never able to congeal into a satisfying whole.” DVD Talk

” …I don’t think the Spierig brothers have adequately defined what they want to accomplish. They go for laughs with dialogue at times when verbal jokes are at right-angles to simultaneous visual jokes. They give us gore that is intended as meaningless and funny, and then when the aliens arrive they seem to bring a new agenda.” Roger Ebert

“Relatively minor quibbles aside, Undead was a full meal that train-wrecked zombie carnage, kinetic style and creative ideas my way. Tag to that, its 50s invasion, zombie and Spaghetti Western feel and you get an indie power house that I’m proud to call “honey bunny”. This one has “Cult Classic” and “Fun Freaking Times” written all over it.” Arrow in the Head

“It’s not that Undead is bad, because I don’t think it’s actually that bad. Its problem is that the directing/writing siblings are unable to understand the need for sympathetic characters. Not a single one of Undead’s cast is likeable. Not a single one.” Beyond Hollywood

not only does it refuse to explain itself: it also tries to mislead the audience, to fool it into thinking it’s going to play out the way a conventional zombie movie might. Any low-budget film that attempts this sort of misdirection is taking an incredible risk, but the result is a film that’s one of the most engaging and rewarding that the zombie subgenre has ever produced.” Braineater.com

” …it feels like two films, one a gore-drenched zombie movie with tongue considerably planted in cheek, and the other a puzzle film about alien abductions that takes itself seriously. The tone between these two aspects of the film is markedly different and never fully gels together or even explains much of what is happening until the very end.” Moria

Cast and characters:

  • Felicity Mason as Rene
  • Mungo McKay as Marion
  • Rob Jenkins as Wayne
  • Lisa Cunningham as Sallyanne
  • Dirk Hunter as Harrison
  • Emma Randall as Molly
  • Noel Sheridan as Chip
  • Gaynor Wensley as Aggie
  • Eleanor Stillman as Ruth
  • Robyn Moore as Officer in Locker Room
  • Robert Jozinović as Man in Office
  • Steven O’Donnell as Featured zombie


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