Undead Spierig Brothers

Undead is a courageous piece of filmmaking made by two of the most creative minds to come from Australia's film industry. That's about all of the positivity that can be mustered up for Undead though. Indeed, those Spierig brothers have more enthusiasm in their pinkies than most directors have in their whole bodies, however, the final product they've given us is way too ambitious, misguided and slipshod. They would like us to believe that they've made a satirical zombie film, but as soon as you get comfortable with the flesh-eating walking dead terrorising the outback they do a total 180 and turn their project into a sci-fi flick complete with aliens, which completely changes the focus and removes any understanding you may have had. The plot is pretty simple and familiar, just Australian: five people meet at a desolate house where they strive to survive the zombie onslaught. They run, some die and then the aliens come to, well, confuse the hell out of the viewer. The film fails in producing the sort of satirical humour it's aiming for. There are obvious attempts to take the piss out of a serious moment, but they rarely hit the mark. And yet, as bad as the film is, the Spierigs and their crew serve up some great looking effects, such as a torso-less body walking around aimlessly with an exposed spine and yes, even some of the alien scenes look good. Rarely has a film been upstaged by its DVD featurettes, but here we are and Undead easily falls victim to its far superior "making of." Within this 35-minute documentary is a ho-hum explanation for the film's genre mucking, but further along it expands into everything you want to know about how they made the film. Remarks are given from unpaid, overworked but sickeningly jolly crew members, all of the obstacles and dangers they had to go through to finish the film (sugar glass, what's that?) and a breakdown of how they accomplished the great shovel-to-the-head, face-ripping scene. Plus: commentary, TIFF footage, camera and make-up tests, deleted scenes. (Maple)