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Undead
Written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig
Lions Gate, opens July 1

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A true hole in the head, the new Aussie zombie farce Undead revisits, yet again, the Romero template by way of early Peter Jackson: a small outback town, glowing meteors, growling mobile corpses, acting and writing conceived and executed as a form of gargoyle vaudeville. Quickly, the various characters are collected into a bickering mini-mob (including two warring beauty queens, a couple of gun-crazy cops, and a mysterious cowboy who shoots two-handed while doing flips), which retreats into a survivalist bomb shelter and then backs out again. As always, the walking dead are eliminated via head wounds—after 37 years, Romero's afterthought has come to have the immutability of a physical law. The most is made of the low-budget decapitations, if that's your idea of how to spend a ten-spot, and the tone veers from genuine attempts at Romero-ness to post– Dead Alive lampoon. Watching it is a smidgen like listening to the same monkey-walks-into-a-bar joke for the 105th time, but for the Spierig brothers, it is clearly a demonstration of fast-cheap capabilities and a one-way ticket straight out of Queensland. MICHAEL ATKINSON

 
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