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Undead

Year: 2003
Director: Michael Spierig/Peter Spierig
Writer: Michael Spierig/Peter Spierig
Cast: Felicity Mason, Mungo McKay
Much as made of this all-Australian splatter film, inspired by the films 9and methods) of the Romero's and Savini's of the world.

And it stands as an example of what Australian filmmakers should aspire to to get the industry out of the quagmire it's in as I write this review.

I actually interviewed peter Spierig, half of the identical twin writer/director duo, who said it was actually an easy sell to distributors, because it was a genre film. It's a leaf we can all learn from the US studio system - where the package is easy to sell because it comes with it's own marketing.

Far more people will go and see a movie where the star is 'zombies' than another lame Australian comedy with ex TV actors or stars-on-the-rise.

But it's the example filmmakers should aspire to not because it's a genre flick, not because it's a great movie, because it isn't. The Spierigs are better directors than they are writers - they bring a good command of the look to the screen and direct some good characters, but the whole thing falls down in the final act when the reason for the zombie infestation becomes known, a reason that's never fully explained but has something to do with the meteor shower in the beginning, an alien landing, and a huge wall put around the town in order to quarantine it.

It stars with small town beauty queen Rene on the verge of leaving town after losing her farm to the bank. At the same time, a meteor shower wipes out several of the residents, who stand back up and turn into flesh eating zombies.

Together with two cops (one having badly and riotously lost control of his fear), a young married couple with a baby due, and the local crackpot gun shop owner who's actually wise and resourceful after his own alien abduction (which was also somehow related).

The story isn't as important as the blood and guts effects and the presence of zombies though, and it almost would have been better without the alien subplot, instead featuring just the zombie takeover.

But nevertheless it was an audacious and well deserved success for the duo, being by far the most crowd pleasing movie to come out of Australia in recent years.

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