Graveyard Alive (2003)
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Critic Reviews for Graveyard Alive
The whole thing views as a bit of a filmic exercise -- stylish and crisply shot, but a bit of a bore.
You suspect that Kephart & Company could not make a real horror movie, so they have no right to mess around with the form.
Graveyard Alive is a feminist indie that just might make you believe that zombies need love, too.
Audience Reviews for Graveyard Alive
Subtitled "a zombie nurse in love", this budget movie tells the story of a mousy nurse who finds her sexual calling after being bitten by a zombie, and infects the rest of the hospital. Filmed in black and white, with poorly synched dialogue added later, this shows some talent and style but ultimately the blend of horror, comedy, camp, and arthouse visuals fails to work.
Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse in Love startled me. I expected it to be one thing, took its early moments to be something else, and came to see it as a third thing by the time I finished.
1. A titillating stupid zombie movie. The netflix description of the movie used the phrase "sex kitten." It's hard to think this film will be anything but juvenile sex jokes. The decolletage and come-hither smile on the poster doesn't undercut that feeling.
2. Early on, the style of the film is pretty disconcerting. Graveyard Alive is shot in black and white and the entire soundtrack is looped, making the early scenes seem particularly amateurish. The early scenes also have a mysterious monster that eludes the camera--another element that makes the film seem a bit off. The acting style plays into this as well (see below).
3. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that the cinematographic style (lingering, odd angles, crisp shadows) and the dreamy quality of the sound (enhanced by the Caligari-like soundtrack and the looped dialog) are being used intentionally. The effect of the film hypnotizes and mesmerizes, much the same way good silent film does. The relatively small amount of dialog in the film amplifies this effect.
A few more thoughts:
* All the actors overplay their emotions in the ways silent film actors used to. This is somewhat amplified by the studio-perfect sound effects that sound dubbed and give the film a disconnected aesthetic.
* The zombies in this film have an interesting quirk -- they only rot if they aren't eating human flesh. They also have an increased libido, which makes them more inclined to spread the zombie-ness.
* One of the characters, Goody Tueschuze, starts out the film as a jerk whom we hate. As the film progresses, we still don't like her, but more and more of the narrative shifts to her perspective. It's a weird phenomenon you don't see much in American movies (but it seems like I've seen it in Japanese movies a lot).
* Facial cream helps hide the unsightly blemishes of zombiehood.
* This film doesn't have a very positive view of men--the guys at the hospital go ga-ga for nurse Patty when she dons black stockings and unbuttons her nursing uniform. At one point, it shows her emerging from a tryst in a closet with a doctor. He seems happily disheveled and unconcerned about the gaping wounds on her cheeks and neck.
* I have no idea why the film has this title. It should just be Zombie Nurse Falls in Love or something.
In the end, I wasn't amazed by the film, but I'd grown to appreciate it for its scope and shape, in much the same way I felt about Call of Cthulu.
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