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DEAD ALIVE - 4 Slimes
Copyright 1992 Wingnut Films
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 8 November 2008 (updated)

The Characters:  

  • Lionel - He starts out as a serious twit, but eventually he gets a girlfriend, casts off his mama's boy yoke, and kicks some serious zombie butt!
  • Paquita - She has got that sexy "I am on the prowl for a man" look about her.
  • Nurse McTavish - Talk about the embodiment of stout healthcare. Unfortunately, she becomes a single mother after her head is ripped off, and the baby's father is the local Catholic Priest. When she disappeared from the film, I assumed it was out of shame.
  • Father McGruder - This is the most...awesome priest I have ever seen in my life. I almost want to convert to Catholicism, just because of this man. However, as much as I love kung fu, I also hate doing penance. A hundred Hail Mary's? Just for looking at another man's wife's moo-moos? Forget it.
  • The Mathersons - They are pompous, love custard, and think that the only solution to boredom is war. I think they are British.
  • Rita - A girl who survives longer than any of the other party guests.
  • Uncle Les - He is a cad, but no level of unconscionable activity could ever justify the degree of abuse to which his nads are subjected. His testicles are the target of no small amount of mistreatment. The genital crunching turns into a running joke; though I do not think Les finds it very funny.
  • Vera - Regardless of whether she is a rotting, citizen-killing zombie, or just an overbearing witch, her presence on Earth guarantees that Lionel can never be happy.
  • Void - Leather-clad tough who becomes a zombie. I tell you, if zombie Vera had not killed him, then dehydration would have. Mulched.
  • Zombie Baby - Okay, this is the one time you are allowed to laugh about a baby in a blender.
  • The Intestines - The last thing that anybody wants sitting on their face is a pile of animated, quite flatulent, internal organs.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

This movie is astounding! It contains multiple scenes that made me choose between revulsion and laughter, and it has a warped sense of humor that is truly inspired. If you like splatter comedy, then you must watch this film.

The story begins with a zoo employee and some local assistants capturing a Sumatran Rat Monkey. Before they can egress from the primitive area that is the species' natural habitat, a horde of natives surround them. The zoo dork tries to impress the tribesmen with some official papers. Of course, the primitives start throwing spears at the specimen-collecting party. The zoo fellow and his porters immediately run away. During the escape, the rat monkey scratches the zoo employee. I guess that is bad, because the assistants immediately cut off the affected body parts. Unfortunately, one of the scratches is on the man's forehead...

Not to get off track, but the world is filled with two kinds of people: those who think everything revolves around little paper documents, and those who carry spears. The spear bunch think that the document clique are nincompoops.

Despite the fact that even being scratched by a rat monkey necessitates immediate bloody amputation, the evil little creature is flown back to the New Zealand zoo. That is where the main characters, Lionel and Paquita, encounter the accursed animal. They are visiting the zoo on a date. In fact, they are visiting the zoo on their very first date. It might not be Paquita's maiden voyage on the good ship "Ikinnawannalayya" (it's Hawaiian), but the date is a groundbreaking achievement for the young man.

Lionel is what you might call a mama's boy. Okay, that is a complete understatement. Lionel is the poster boy for those men who never cut the cord. Before Paquita suddenly took interest in him, Lionel spent his days clumsily flailing around life, with no direction besides whatever demands were imposed by Vera's domineering nature. Vera does not like it that her pet son is interested in a girl. Who will mow the lawn, dust the staircase, and clean the drapes if Lionel suddenly develops independence? That jealousy is why Vera shadows the young lovebirds during their first date. Unfortunately, fuming over her son's dalliance with the perky trollop impairs the old woman's situational awareness; she strays too close to the rat monkey's cage and gets bitten.

Being bitten by a Sumatran Rat Monkey is bad, as we guessed from the porters' reaction earlier. Vera begins to literally fall apart as the toxins spread through her body. She still tries to keep up appearances, but a polite lunch with the Mathersons turns out disastrous. Along with squirting red pus into Mr. Matherson's custard (that he fails to notice as he shovels it into his gaping maw), Vera commits a social faux pas by losing her ear in her custard and then eating it.

Maybe you think that the worst thing about losing your ear in public is that it would fall off in the first place. Well, just ask your grandmother what she thinks. I can guarantee you that, back in her day, stuff fell off people all the time, but nobody did that sort of thing in public.

Eventually, Vera dies - but not for long. She comes back as a zombie and immediately rips Nurse McTavish's head most of the way off! This is bad, really bad. I think that McTavish is the only nurse in town (though nobody ever seems to miss her). Pretty soon, McTavish is the only zombie nurse in town. Poor Lionel feels responsible for the whole mess, so he keeps it secret and locks the two rotting women in the basement where he keeps them sedated with animal tranquilizers.

I can also guarentee you that, if you ask your grandmother what to do if she kills her nurse, she will ask you what you want to keep quiet. Unfortunately, old women are forever stuck with the monetary value system of their youth, so she is likely to offer you a pittance as a bribe. Grandma still thinks that a nickel will pay for a movie, popcorn, and a bottle of pop. Telling her how much a gallon of gas costs would give her a heart attack.

You might laugh, but the only thing standing between the world and inflation is those crazy old women and their nickels. Every time a grandmother falls down the stairs, Alan Greenspan cries.

A fortunate streetcar accident involving the shambling, rotting corpse that used to be his mum finally gives Lionel a reason to bury Vera, but he is still worried that she will return from the dead. So he attempts to dig up her grave in the middle of the night. Void and his mates catch the well-intentioned graverobber in the act. Before they can steal Lionel's wallet, the hoodlums fall prey to Vera and become zombies. Not good; Lionel is suddenly badly outnumbered. The ruckus in the graveyard brings Father McGruder running. The priest is a kung fu master! He leaps into action and kicks one of the zombies to pieces! Sadly, during his duel with the devil, Father McGruder is bitten and killed. He comes back as a zombie, and so does Void.

Lionel takes care of the zombies (and keeps them stuffed with tranquilizers). His little zombie hospice effectively sidelines the relationship with Paquita, but Lionel has a bigger problem on his hands: a zombie baby, the product of undead McGruder and undead McTavish (talk about a Scottish kid). Now, Zombie Baby is more like "mutant demon zombie baby." It is not the sort of thing you take for a Sunday walk in the park, even if the stroller is reinforced with barbed wire. Well, Lionel does just that. The little monster gets loose! Lionel has to beat it against a swingset as a bunch of flabbergasted mothers look on!

Following that horrendous episode, Lionel keeps the little beast locked up in the basement with the rest of the zombies. Every parent has had a day like that with their child(ren); and most probably wished they could lock the kid(s) in the basement until they were fit to join society.

Another problem Lionel has is Uncle Les. The moocher starts sniffing around after Vera's death, and thinks that he smells something (this is not surprising, Lionel does have four rotting zombies in the basement). When Les uncovers Lionel's secret cache of cadavers, the corrupt old bugger blackmails the young man into signing over his inheritance. Les suddenly has access to a magnificient house and a pile of money; he invites all his moocher friends over for a party.

With the party in full swing, Paquita finally catches up to her morose boyfriend and convinces him to end the zombies' nature-defying existence. Unfortunately, what Lionel uses to poison the reanimated corpses turns out to be animal stimulants. The invigorated zombies burst out of the cellar and crash the party in a huge way. What happens in the next twenty minutes is absolute carnage. Faces are ripped off, rib cages are clawed out of screaming victims, a man's legs are gnawed down to the bone, and a lawn gnome is embedded in a headless torso. Lionel and Paquita get separated during the gory mayhem. Lionel winds up in the attic, where he discovers a chest that contains compromising pictures of his deceased father with a blonde floozy (seeing a picture of your dad feeding a fat knockwurst to a woman not your mother would be...distressing). There is something else in the chest: the skeleton of the blonde floozy; meaning that Vera killed her, and killed her husband as well. Maybe mum was not all sugar and spice and tea and biscuits after all.

Did you hear that loud *SNAP*? That was the sound of Lionel finally cutting the cord. He could take the pestering, the controlling, and even her looking like a "Star Wars" action figure that was cooked in a microwave oven. Drowning dear old Dad in the tub because he was playing the field is too much to forgive.

Elsewhere in the house, Paquita and Uncle Les have been fending off the zombie horde. Uncle Les cleans house! That man can chop up some zombies when he needs to! He makes a mistake by chasing Zombie Baby into the basement, because he runs into Vera, and she looks like something out of a horror film. Imagine what would result if a Morlock and a dinosaur had a baby, then the Morlockosaur died, and the remains were left to rot in a swamp for three weeks. Yeah, it could be said that Vera needs a makeover. Anyway, giant zombie Vera gruesomely ends Uncle Les' life.

Meanwhile, back upstairs, it looks like the zombies are finally going to kill Paquita, but Lionel charges to the rescue with a lawn mower! Buckets of blood (well, tomato paste - I think) and body parts go everywhere as the hero puts the spinning death machine to work against the zombie mob. With them taken care of, Lionel has just one more chore to accomplish. He has to confront Mum; he has to face where he came from.

Let me just say that you can never go back, and, in fact, you do not want to.

Watching "Dead Alive" was an amazing experience. The moment I thought that the film makers could not possibly go any farther "over the top" than they already had, something else happened that made me stare at the screen in astonishment before falling out of my chair laughing. This is the mother of splatter comedy. I have lost count of how many times I have watched it, and it never fails to make me crack up. Quite a bit of the humor is crude and disgusting, but crude and disgusting can be incredibly funny.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • There was another streetcar named "Abstinence."
  • A man's sexual activity is inversely proportional to his mother's health.
  • Septic is the medical term used to describe when a wound is full of Pepto-Bismol-flavored pudding.
  • Rubber cement is a first aid product.
  • "Shuriken" is Japanese for "porcelain duck."
  • Embalming machines are nearly indistiguishable from a cotton gin.
  • Zombies can get knocked up.
  • Afterbirth causes radio interference.
  • ALWAYS read the ENTIRE warning label on a bottle of poison BEFORE you give it to your mum.
  • The best defense against the undead is a well-deployed lawn gnome.
  • Electrical wire should never be used in lieu of bungee cord.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 5 mins - The plane in the Universal Pictures logo just keeps getting bigger and bigger...
  • 8 mins - Is that a Wonder Woman tarot?
  • 11 mins - It must have been one bloody whopper of a beetle.
  • 27 mins - Dude, gross!
  • 34 mins - Are the cries of the damned keeping you awake at night? Try NyQuil.
  • 63 mins - She kneed him in the balls so hard that his toupee fell off. OW-WOW-OUCH!
  • 70 mins - That looks like it is going to require a staggering number of band-aids.
  • 73 mins - Something tells me that this man is not really a dentist...
  • 88 mins - Might be time for you to finally buy a new lawnmower. Looks like that one is on its last legs.
  • 90 mins - Really? She scares the crap out of me.


  • Paquita: "Your mother ate my dog!"
    Lionel: "Not all of it."
  • Father McGruder: "I kick ass, FOR THE LORD!"
  • Vera: "Nobody will ever love you like your mother."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note deadalive1.wav Vera: "Lionel! There's a beetle!"
Lionel: "Heh?"
Vera: "There, under the fridge! Horrid little creature scuttled right in front of me. I thought I told you to spray this house! The place is infested with vermin!"
Lionel: "I'll get onto it straight away, Mum."
Green Music Note deadalive2.wav Lionel: "Look, I'm really sorry about the zoo, Paquita. It's just Mum...she' know."
Paquita: "We go out again, to a movie?"
Lionel: "Look, I'd like to, but it's's just not possible."
Paquita: "Not possible? But we are romantically entangled!"
Lionel: "Entangled? Look, look I don't know what you're thinking, but um...I just can't see you any more."
Green Music Note deadalive3.wav Uncle Les: "There's thousands of them! What the Hell's this?"
Paquita: "Leave her alone!"
Uncle Les: "She's been bitten! You know what that means: she's going to turn into one of them!"
Rita: "I won't! I won't!"
Green Music Note deadalive4.wav Paquita & Rita (surrounded by zombies) gasp in surprise.
Lionel: "Party's over!"
This is followed by what it sounds like when a zombie comes into contact with a lawn mower.
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipdeadalive1.mpg - 5.4m
Father McGruder kicks some ass FOR THE LORD!

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