(1992)

Critic Reviews

54

Metascore

Based on 7 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
78
The "Citizen Kane" of Oedipal zombie-cannibal-right to death-comedy-love stories... So gleefully over-the-top that it's decidedly hard not to gag while you're laughing yourself incontinent... Sick. Perverse. Brilliant.
75
Entertainment Weekly
A gonzo splatterfest from New Zealand that manages to stay breezy and good-natured even as you're watching heads get snapped off of spurting torsos.
70
Variety
Technically, this is Jackson's best to date, with state of the art creature and gore effects by Richard Taylor and prosthetics design by Bob McCarron. There's any amount of dismemberment, disembowelling, beheading, and the like, all of it handled with bloody conviction.
70
Time
There is good, broad humor amid the very gross gore effects. And when the Living Impaired stalk our hero's home, it's a family reunion out of your bloodiest nightmares. [8 Feb 1993, p.83]
60
An almost unrelenting barrage of gore, Dead Alive is also a constant assault on the funnybone, a film in which the graphic blood-spilling is taken so far over the top that it becomes hilarious instead of disgusting.
50
Ordinarily I don't care for this kind of thing at all, but something must be said for Jackson's endless reserves of giddy energy; perhaps because this is so clearly meant to be silly, he generally avoids the calculated mean-spiritedness of more prestigious directors like Spielberg and Renny Harlin.
20
The New York Times
Because all of this looks blatantly unreal, and because the timing of the shock effects is so haphazard, Dead Alive isn't especially scary or repulsive. Nor is it very funny. Long before it's over, the half-hour-plus bloodbath that is the climax of the film has become an interminable bore. [12 Feb 1993, p.C16]

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