Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on November 8th, 2005
A series of meteor strikes hits a small town in Australia, turning its citizens into ravening zombies. A handful of survivors gather in the home of a survivalist who has previously encountered zombie fish and been abducted by aliens. The fight to survive begins.
There is a bit more to the plot than the above would suggest, but it mostly kicks in during the last act, so I shall not breathe a word of it here. The tone is very tongue-in-cheek, and many of the characters are caricature… designed for maximum humour (such as the hysterical cop). While lacking the wit, invention, and finely drawn characters of Shaun of the Dead or the frenzy of Peter Jackson’s early efforts, and it does outstay its welcome, Undead still has plenty of energy, enthusiastic gore, and belies its limited budget with some very impressive special effects.
Big, big sound for this inexpensive effort. The volume is high, and the surround effects are satisfyingly common and loud (explosions and thunder come off particularly well). The music is well served, and the dialogue is crisp and clear. Both 5.1 and 2.0 options are here, and this is one of those cases where the 5.1’s surround volume is as loud as one could wish.
The colour scheme here is deliberately monochrome, conveying both heat and night quite effectively. The transfer is never murky, and though there is some grain, it is kept to a bare minimum. A very solid presentation all in all.
Tons of stuff here. There are two commentary tracks. Peter and Michael Spierig (who handled everything from direction to script to FX and editing) are joined by DP Andrew Strahorn and make-up artist Steven Boyle. Their discussion is as technical as the cast track is filled with in-jokes (to the point of virtual incomprehensibility). The Behind-the-Scenes section has a raft of features all on its own: a Q&A with the cast and crew at the Supanova convention, a humorous making-of featurette, a featurette on the Midnight Madness screening of the film at the Toronto Film Festival, “The Zombies” internet featurette, camera and make-up tests, a video about “Homemade Dolly Construction” and animatic-to-film comparisons. The trailer section has the internet teaser, and the theatrical teaser and trailer. There are five extended scenes (including an alternate opening), five deleted scenes, an artwork and design gallery, and a preview for Saw II. The menu’s main screen is animated and scored, as are the transitions.
A fun little flick, and a disc top-heavy with features. A pretty good release, I’d say.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentaries
- Making-of Featurettes
- Cast and Crew Q&A
- Midnight Madness Screening
- Camera and Make-up Tests
- Homemade Dolly Construction
- Animatic to Film Comparisons
- Teasers and Trailers
- Extended and Deleted Scenes
- Artwork and Design Sketch Gallery