Morbidly Beautiful

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A gorefest Ozploitation film relying on literal cheap tricks to pull off the entire production, from digital special effects to reusing sets.


Meteorites turn a small town in Australia into zombies. Let’s dig into 2003’s UNDEAD, directed by The Spierig Brothers!

As I See It

The ingenuity and go-getter attitude displayed by the Spierig Brothers on this film helped them land a few studio jobs, including the vampire flick Daybreakers which starred Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, and Sam Neill, as well as the eighth film in the Saw franchise: Jigsaw.

We’ve got ourselves a zombie flick with a science-fiction lean.

The plague is caused by crashing meteors, and there is an implication that it’s more of an alien thing than some organic infliction.

It’s super cheese and gore, and the sense of humor can be summed up with the title of the farm stand, “Elvis Parsley’s Grapeland”. The graphic effects look homemade (they were), and the actors seemed new or amateur (they were). But you can’t deny the heart and howls nor fault the brothers for making a fun pic with no shame.

I’m not sure you can say you’ve ever seen someone get raptured in a zombie film unless you’ve seen this one.

It’s not easy to like any of the characters. And besides those little sci-fi additions, there is nothing new here to add to the subgenre. But I do give them a solid golf clap for their effort.

Famous Faces

I don’t recognize the Aussie actors from any other Ozploitation films that I’ve caught, but Mungo Mckay (Marion) did feature in Daybreakers.

Of Gratuitous Nature

When you’re finding, filming, and bleeding for your own film, tons of compromises must be made to complete the film. Not sure I could pick out a specific gratuitous moment that seemed grotesquely out of place.


Felicity Mason’s (René) eyes are ice blue, and it’s hard to buy a sort of goth as a mainstream model, but I personally would rather the former. She’s pretty good at acting in peril, and her big blue orbs are extra expressive.

Ripe for a Remake

It’s the charm of the Spierig brothers’ DIY style that makes this film what it is and elevates it past the cheesy nineties direct-to-video film that it feels like. It reminds me of the nineties direct-to-video classics like Prehysteria and other Full Moon Pictures films, with the gore of Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive added in.


No progeny to report.

Where to Watch

Umbrella Entertainment released a Blu-Ray as part of their “Beyond Genres” series, and it included a CD of the soundtrack and an ample amount of BTS and making of content. You can stream it on Shudder, AMC+, or Tubi.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 1.5

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