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Dead Alive



When her skin begins to peel, her loving son gets out the mucilage. Pretty soon, she dies, only to become a bloodthirsty zombie. Then everyone she bites becomes a zombie, too, while Sonny Boy keeps all the herky-jerky corpses rounded up in the basement as best as he can.

The final half of 1992's "Dead Alive" is an all-out blood-and-guts assault as a party turns into a feeding frenzy, with all the guests falling prey to the monkey bite. Our hero saves himself and his gal pal by fetching the lawnmower; use your imagination. Then double it.

Director/co-writer Peter Jackson — yes, "The Lord of the Rings" Peter Jackson, a decade before minting Oscar gold — pulls out all the stops to make the ultimate cartoony marriage between horror and comedy. Limbs fly. Heads roll. Intestines slide.

The best scenes involve a mischievous mutant baby, while the most interesting supporting character is the karate-chopping priest who declares, "I kick ass for the Lord!" You really have to admire a film that dares to go this far, then goes even further.

Not to admire: The new Blu-ray edition offers only the trailer in terms of extras. —Rod Lott


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