Late To The Party: ‘Dead Alive’ (aka ‘Braindead’)

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“I kick ass for the lord!” says the kung-fu master priest in Peter Jackson’s crazy ass film Dead Alive. With dialogue like that what could go wrong? In the case of Dead Alive, nothing. This film is pure pleasure and I had an absolute riot.

I have a theory that horror and comedy share a lot of similarities. My wife stares at me strangely as I laugh when someone is impaled by a kitchen implement, run over by a piece of farming machinery, or blown up in a meaty explosion. These are elements that make watching horror films fun. Dead Alive possesses many of these “quality” moments. With a proper blend of horror, action and comedy Dead Alive is a tasty jambalaya of a horror film.

Dead Alive (formerly known as Braindead) tells the story of a search for the infamous Sumatran rat-monkey. The rat monkey, a legendary creature, thought to be the result of the breeding between tree monkeys and plague rats, inhabits Skull Island, where our adventure begins. The rat-monkey is eventually located and captured, at which time it proceeds to attack the leader of the expedition. After being attacked, the expedition leader receives a rather interesting treatment for the wound (you’ll have to see it to believe it). The rat-monkey is then taken to a zoo located in 1950s Wellington New Zealand.

Horror News: Conflict Looms Over ‘Evil Dead’

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Like a chainsaw arm to a zombie skull, the ugly demon of civil lawsuits has once again cut its way into the news. And this time, I’m fairly certain I know whose side we’re all on.

A legal battle has erupted over the rights to a fourth Evil Dead film. When Sam Raimi and Renaissance Pictures registered the mark for a fourth installment of the cult classic series, they found a nasty surprise in the dark, dank basement of the U.S. Trademark Office. Awards Pictures is claiming that they have also been planning a new Evil Dead, and that they maintain the rights to make the film.

Review: ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ Proves Horror’s Not Dead

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It was quite some time ago, so long I can’t even remember the exact date, that I came into possession of a mini-poster for a film I hadn’t heard of. The poster was tinted red, bearing only the image of an ominous looking cabin surrounded by a forest. The title brandished across the top was therefore far from enigmatic: The Cabin in the Woods. All I knew was that geek luminary Joss Whedon was involved in this apparent horror film and that a small, but audible buzz was building. Turns out it was co-written by Whedon and Drew Goddard (the director of Cloverfield), who would also be directing Cabin. My interest was further piqued.

Then the film slithered underground like some ancient monster, a studio fell apart, and Cabin in the Woods suffered a revolving door of release dates with no end in sight. Why is this tale of commercial woe at all relevant to this review? The longer Cabin sat unreleased, languishing in industry purgatory, the longer my expectations and desire to see the film germinated in the dank darkness of disappointment…like a mushroom? Whatever plant or fungus one may decide to adopt here, the point is that by the time I actually sat down to watch this film during SxSW, I began to fear that I had somehow built it up to much. I began to fret that my intense urge to finally bear witness to the film I had built up in my head had created an impossible expectation to which this film, by no fault of its own, would not be able to live up. Somehow, The Cabin in the Woods managed to exceed a two-year gestating hype and knock me completely on my ass.

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