Undead or Alive (2007)

Genre(s): Comedy / Horror / Western
Image Entertainment || R - 91 minutes - $26.98 || December 11, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-12-14


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Glasgow Phillips
Writer(s): Scott Pourroy & Glasgow Phillips (story); Glasgow Phillips (screenplay)
Cast: Chris Kattan, James Denton, Navi Rawat, Matt Besser, Chris Coppola, Leslie Jordan


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director & Cast Commentary
  • From South Park to the Wild, Wild West
  • Geronimonsters! The Monsters That Walked the West
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Year in and year out, Hollywood never fails to amaze me at what they will give movie-goers. You’ve got your dark comedy, horror, action, adventure, etc and it’s always interesting to see the combination of genres. Well, I think this one takes the cake. Undead or Alive is, I believe, the first Western-Horror/Zombie-Comedy. Sure the zombie-comedy combo is nothing new as demonstrated in Shaun of the Dead, but to add that western flavor, brilliant. Too bad, as far as comedies go, it wasn’t that funny.

Undead or Alive is about an outlaw named Elmer (Denton) who collides with local schmuck Luke (Kattan) as they face a common enemy in the town’s sheriff. Little do they know that a plague is hitting the Old West brought about by Geronimo before he was sent over a cliff. On the run from the sheriff, who has been infected with this plague that turns anyone bitten into a zombie, the two meet Sue (Rawat), a woman who just so happens to be related to Geronimo and has an axe to grind with those who killed the her legendary relative. Zombies attack, kill and blood get spilled. The end.

Undead or Alive certainly had an interesting genre mutation but little about this direct-to-DVD was that good. Chris Kattan still isn’t that funny (otherwise he’d have a half-decent career like his ‘SNL’ co-star, Will Ferrell), James Denton does an OK job with that rugged Old West style, though it’s a role with little pizzazz and the lovely Nava Rawat is easy on the eyes but, like Denton, the role is pretty simple and you don’t get much of a performance. Rawat is an actress I’ve followed on “Numb3rs” and she is a good actress, but it’s tough since she was the only female in the movie (sans a couple throw-away parts).

This film isn’t something anyone needs to watch and even if you’re a hard-core fan of the zombie genre, it’s still not worth it. Undead was written and directed by Glasgow Phillips whose most notable work was on “South Park” during its sixth season (2002). Somehow, I don’t seem Mr. Phillips rising as the next great comedy director, but I could be wrong (wouldn’t be the first time).

To sum it up: rent it for Rawat if you’re a fan, otherwise skip it. What little potential the movie had was gone with an unfunny script and dull characters.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Director & Cast Commentary – Glasgow Phillips sits down with the main cast of James Denton, Chris Kattan and Navi Rawat. This track is entertaining if not a bit chaotic at times with each of the participants trying to talk over each other. Kattan utilizes some tired jokes throughout but it was a fun time, nevertheless.

From “South Park” to the Wild West (14:08) – Basically this is a long interview with writer/director Phillips talking about his directorial debut, getting advice from old friends and how the movie was shot. Other than Phillips, no one else chimes in.

Geronimonsters! The Monsters That Walked the West (11:58) – One would think this would feature interviews with those who actually worked on the zombie makeup but instead we get more insight from Phillips. There is the on-set behind-the-scenes camera that allows the viewer to get an idea on the work but it’s Phillips just narrates through the whole thing.

You also get a theatrical trailer even though, to my knowledge, this never even made it to theaters...



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The movie is presented in anamorphic widescreen, 2.35 OAR and also features a solid Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that shows off the zombie moans quite well. On a side note, I’d also suggest using your surround sound while listening to the commentary. It’s a bit easier to discern voices.



.::OVERALL::.

Undead or Alive may be the first western/zombie/comedy but other than that, there’s nothing else going for it. It could’ve been good campy fun but for some reason writer/director Phillips left out the latter. The makeup effects are solid enough and Navi Rawat is fun to watch, but I don’t see any reason to actually rent or buy this movie (unless you want to listen to the commentary). Wait for cable TV.