Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Chris Kattan, Navi Rawat, James Denton, Brian Posehn
Directed by Glasgow Phillips
Distributed by Image Entertainment
I’m a cowboy … on a dead horse I ride … and I’m wanted … undead or aliiiiivvvvvveeeee …
Ahem! Oh sorry! I’ve been playing too much Rock Band!
Anyways, who would have thunk it? A zombie movie that takes place in the old West starring Saturday Night Live alumnus, Chris Kattan, and Desperate Housewives hunk, James Denton. Add in some splatter F/X from Robert Kurtzman and what we have here is a product that’s bound to have you asking, “What the fuck?”, before seeing it.
Turns out Geronimo(!) laid down a curse on the white man before biting the proverbial bullet. A curse that would end up making the dead rise and hunt the flesh of the living. When a drifting Army deserter (Denton) hooks up with a slightly feminine stooge of a gunman (Kattan) to escape an evil and crooked Sheriff they end up suffering the consequences of said curse. You see the now pissed off lawman is hot on their trails and he has a posse riding with him. The kick of it? The Sheriff and his hired guns are all zombies. Good thing our bumbling duo run into one of Geronimo’s ancestors along the way — an all too American Indian named, Sue (Rawat). Sue lays down the ground rules of the curse for them and together our trio must survive the undead, and each other.
Honestly speaking, Undead or Alive (billed as a zombedy) is a lot of fun at times. There’s some quirky dialogue and Kattan eats about as much scenery as the film’s zombies do flesh. Speaking of the zombies, in case you’re wondering they are of the Return of the Living Dead variety, meaning not only are they rotting but they’re also able to run, speak, and engage in rational thought. Everything works exactly as it should, but (there’s always a but) sometimes things get far too silly for their own good. Being campy is one thing, trying too hard to be funny is quite another.
In terms of extras we get a pretty standard package. The commentary with director Phillips, and stars Kattan, Denton, and Rawat is spot-on and at times funnier than the film itself. In fact, I think I liked the movie better with the commentary than without. In addition to that we get two featurettes. The first, From South Park to the Wild, Wild West, is a fourteen minute look at what it took for director Glasgow Phillips, who worked on Season Six of Comedy Central’s animated series, to make the jump from the small screen to a full-blown feature film. There’s no denying Glasgow’s a likable guy but he’s also the only one we get to hear from during this behind-the-scenes look. Next up there’s a twelve minute look at the film’s F/X entitled, Geronimonsters! The Zombies that Walked the West. Here’s where I expected to hear from Robert Kurtzman who (as always) came up with some great gooey gags. Guess what? Once again it’s Phillips who does all the talking. Sure the guy’s enthusiastic and has a lot to say, but come on! Give someone else a chance! Tack on the trailer and there you have it.
Undead or Alive is an amusing little flick. It’s far from a keeper, but is way satisfactory for a time killer. Check it out if you’re in the mood for some quickie zombie fun. Everyone else may want to take a pass.
2 1/2 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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