Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

“I guess there’s no accounting for taste” is a statement my blessed late mother would often make, usually followed after being introduced by whatever slag I would bring home and proclaim to be my girlfriend. That is until she met my wife in which I believe she said that statement to her in relation to me this time. But here it relates to my affinity towards one Chris Kattan. Kattan is largely considered the least talented of the Saturday Night Live primetime players who have branched off to do other things, and this is a list that includes Jimmy Fallon, Rob Schneider and Chevy Chase, but nonetheless the dude always seems to make me laugh. Sure ‘Corky Romano’ was a fairly crappy flick but I thought Kattan was funny in it though, same as ‘Night at the Roxbury’. If you ever had the misfortune of seeing the flick ‘Totally Awesome’, I apologize, but Kattan doing Swayze cracked my ass up. I have a friend who I could say ‘boo’ too and he would fall on the floor clutching his gut, though he’s the only person on the planet who finds me even mildly amusing. This is the relationship me and Chris Kattan have. Don’t let ‘em keep you down Chris! I think you’re one funny cat.

Thanks to Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg we now have a new genre in films called Zombie Comedies, or a zombedy as the director of ‘Undead or Alive’, Glasgow Phillips, has termed his film. ‘Undead or Alive’ though takes it to the next level with a Zombie Western, know what I’m saying? A zombie western comedy. However you may feel about it, I don’t think there are too many of those out there in movie land. To justify why we have funny zombies in the old west, we are given a story about Geronimo in his last days hitting his enemies with the ‘White Man’s Curse’, not to be confused with the ‘Black Man’s Kryptonite’, which turned some dude into a zombie who eats his wife and young daughter. Yes, it’s a comedy though that might not seem too terribly hilarious at the outset, but you know it’s a comedy because the zombie

dude (Brian Posehn) steps on a rake which raises up and busts him up in the nutsack. Now THAT’S comedy. Anyway, across town an army deserter named Elmer (James Denton) floats in town and plays piano for the local saloon whore who happens to be the girl of cowboy Luke (Kattan). They fight, get thrown in jail by the evil sheriff (Matt Besser) and his stupid deputy (Chris Coppola).

Just so you know the zombie who ate his family is in the cell next to them. Regardless, they break out, steal the sheriff’s loot and head for the hills. The sheriff and his deputy are zombie infected by now and gather a zombie posse to get his loot back. Elmer and Luke then run into a hostile but beautiful injun woman named Sue who happens to be a descendant of the Great Geronimo and has a plan to kill the United States Army for destroying her people, or something. Stuff happens which largely includes zombies doing what they do in gory fashion leading to a conclusion which leads me to believe that they kinda ran out of money or James Denton had to get back to the ‘Desperate Housewives’ set or something, then the credits roll full hilarious line flubs.

As far as things in movies go, like cohesion, continuity, pace, narrative and things like that ‘Undead or Alive’ was a miserable failure of a film. The story jumped all over the place, but it was so painfully simple and juvenile that it could actually afford to do this and get away with it. There are little plot points introduced, along with some characters who were simply forgotten and left by the wayside, but since you didn’t give much of a damn about them anyway, they weren’t missed too much. Since comedy, I’m told, is largely about timing, there are some uncomfortable long lulls between jokes and dialog in general that seemed to be waiting for the laugh track to kick in or something. Actress Navi Rawat has a spectacular rack... spectacular rack… but delivered her lines as if there were cue cards off screen which she could barely see and James Denton had to be pinched a couple of times to make sure he was still awake in some spots, but I largely dug his performance for the most part though.

Chris Kattan however was more than funny enough in this for to recommend seeing it. The dude is just funny to me. I understand he might not be funny to you, and if I’m saying the only reason to see this is to watch Chris Kattan and you don’t think he’s funny then there’s no reason for you to watch this now is there? But on more than one occasion I laughed out loud at some of the stupidity that came out the man’s mouth. ‘Undead or Alive’ is flawed, almost critically so, but it’s branded as a comedy, and it made me laugh so in my eyes it succeeds in what it was trying to do. It’s no ‘Shawn of the Dead’ by any means, but I was marginally entertained by this flick and sometimes that’s enough.

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