Undead (2003) 1 brain1 brain1 brain

Undead is a pleasant surprise for a low-budget zombie film. Directors/writers Michael and Peter Spierig obviously know the genre well, and although Undead borrows somewhat from past great films, namely The Evil Dead and Night of the Living Dead series, the Spierigs have their own ideas and bring some new things to the genre, and tell a good story while doing it.

Rene (Felicity Mason) is a small-town young beauty queen (Miss Catch of the Day) who has just inherited her parents farm, along with their debts. She's about to run away from all this with a slimy talent agent when meteors begin raining down on the town, and she's forced instead to fight for her life as the meteors begin creating the titular undead. She falls in with laconic hero Marion (Mungo McKay), who wields a triple shotgun and several pairs of spring-loaded pistols and seems to have been prepared for something like this to happen. They hole up in Marion's house/gun shop along with a young pregnant couple, Wayne and Sallyanne (Rob Jenkins and Lisa Cunningham), and two obnoxious and pretty useless cops (Dirk Hunter and Emma Randall). Being in a house attacked by zombies might seem like an overused plot device, but really, if your town were being overrun, wouldn't your reaction also be to get inside somewhere? At any rate, the Spierigs don't overuse this plotline, as the group decides to make a run for it when Sallyanne goes into labor.

The movie is done much in the style of Sam Raimi: campy and gore-splattered. The story moves along nicely (although there are some confusing parts), and the acting is just about at the level that it should be for a movie like this. Although not as polished as it coud be, Undead is far better than other zombie films with a similar budget, or even much larger ones. For fans of the genre, it's an entertaining way to spend a couple hours.