Dead Alive (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead Alive (1993)

Dead Alive (1993)

Dead Alive




Critic Consensus: The delightfully gonzo tale of a lovestruck teen and his zombified mother, Dead Alive is extremely gory and exceedingly good fun, thanks to Peter Jackson's affection for the tastelessly sublime.

Dead Alive Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Director Peter Jackson's second feature cheerfully trumps the gross-out quotient of his splatterfest debut, the appropriately named Bad Taste. The tone is cartoonishly comic, and the premise is simple: The village dweeb (Timothy Balme) is trying to maintain a budding romance with the sweet Paquita (Diana Penalver) while concealing the fact that his overbearing mum (Elizabeth Moody, in an amazing good-sport performance) is a flesh-eating zombie. (She owes her condition to a bite from a "Sumatran Rat Monkey" at the local zoo.) Complicating matters even further is Les, a greedy uncle (Ian Watkin), who suspects that his sister has died and is eager to occupy her elegantly furnished Victorian mansion. The climax is a housewarming party Les throws to celebrate his "inheritance;" what he really gets is his comeuppance, thanks to his sister and her similarly afflicted zombie pals, who burst out of their basement prison to turn the guests into appetizers. Our hero finally cuts a wide swath through the zombie party crashers with the help of a rotary blade lawn mower, leaving the house awash in blood and body parts in order to save his romance.more
Rating: R (for an abundance of outrageous gore)
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Peter Jackson, Stephen Sinclair, Frances Walsh
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 8, 1998
Trimark Pictures - Official Site

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Timothy Balme
as Lionel Cosgrove
Diana Peņalver
as Paquita Maria Sanche...
Elizabeth Moody
as Vera Cosgrove
Ian Watkin
as Uncle Les
Brenda Kendall
as Nurse McTavish
Stuart Devenie
as Father McGruderombi...
Peter Vere-Jones
as Undertaker
Tony Hiles
as Zoo Keeper
Glenis Levestam
as Mrs Matheson
Lewis Rowe
as Mr Matheson
George Port
as Lawrence
Davina Whitehouse
as Grandmother
James Grant
as Tram Driver
Peter Jackson
as Undertaker's Assista...
Jim Booth
as Lionel's Father
Frances Walsh
as Mother at Park
Chris Short
as Customs Official
Jamie Selkirk
as Father at Zoo
Sarah Scott Davis
as Featured Party Zombi...
Ken Hammon
as Featured Party Zombi...
Tony Hiles
as Zoo Keeper
George Port
as Lawrence
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Dead Alive

Critic Reviews for Dead Alive

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (4)

The best to date from Kiwi gore specialist Peter Jackson.

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Top Critic

The finale, in which Lionel reduces a horde of flesh-eaters to a mulch of blood, flesh and offal with the aid of a flymo, is probably the goriest scene ever.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Because all of this looks blatantly unreal, and because the timing of the shock effects is so haphazard, Dead Alive isn't especially scary or repulsive. Nor is it very funny.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Horror films used to be primordial spook shows, tapping midnight-dark fears. Now they tap bodily goo: rivers of blood, dripping limbs, eyeballs that go pop in the night.

Full Review… | February 12, 1993
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Takes a few views to really appreciate, but Peter Jackson's blood-splattered horror masterpiece is a gory good time.

Full Review… | January 29, 2012

Lionsgate's visceral, albeit barebones Blu-ray package lets viewers really sink their teeth into Dead Alive.

Full Review… | October 20, 2011
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Dead Alive

Think Greg Kihn's "Our Love's In Jeopardy" video @ 200 mph. Fuck I dated myself.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Who would have thought that Peter "Lord of the Rings" Jackson started his career off by making campy, gory horror schlock films like this? This film, despite the copious and over the top amounts of blood and gore, is actually quite hilarious and enjoyable.

The plot follows a village dweeb who tries to have a budding romance, while also trying to conceal the fact that his overbearing mother is a flesh-eating zombie.

The tone of the film is deliriously cartoonish and over the top.I think that's what makes it surprising considering that it's also probably the goriest film I've ever seen, if not the goriest of all time. Seriously. I can't believe how gruesome and messy this film gets, and I actually feel even more twisted for finding it all so friggin' amusing. The effects are very well done, and really make you appreciate the effort that goes into this sort of thing.

The acting is also surprisingly really good, and there's some good lines, too.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Dead Alive Quotes

– Submitted by Thomas R (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Thomas R (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Thomas R (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Nick S (3 years ago)

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