Rated R 2005

Set in the small town of Berkeley, Australia, Undead initially seems like a pretty serious and melancholy movie, shot with cold blue and brown filters. Things liven up considerably when a shower of meteors hits, blowing gaping holes through people who then revive as snarling, white-contact-lens-wearing members of the living dead. Zombies alone would be bad enough, but there's also a sudden downpour of acid rain. And beams of light coming from the sky that occasionally levitate items upward into who knows where. Oh, and also some mysterious hooded figures who appear to be made entirely of bright light and are probably from another planet. The plot keeps you guessing and is constantly throwing the characters off track; only the camp factor keeps you from caring quite as much as you should. Initially artsy, then campy, then tense, it would have worked better if writer-directors Peter and Michael Spierig had kept everything serious and let the inherent absurdism of zombie attacks speak for itself without additional ironic comment.

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