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At the beginning of the movie, there is a shower of asteroids falling to earth. These asteroids are presumeably from some far off planet which is completely consumed with this deadly infection that causes death and then bloodthirsty reanimation. These asteroids, which are entirely contaminated with the disease, infect anything they come in contact with. Humans, animals, bugs, even the air.
A ways into the movie, the infection becomes airbourne. So, people can get sick just by breathing. You notice after a while that everybody is sick and coughing. That's because they're infected. The sickness eventually leads to death, and after they die, they are reborn as undead zombies, thirsty for brains.
Through most of the movie, the rain is believed to be harmful. As if it's an alien weapon. Perhaps used to spread the zombie infection. However, it's eventually learned that it's in fact a cure for the infection and can heal wounds. The smoke emitted from fabric is an apparent side effect. It's not ACTUALLY a harmful acid rain. It's a tool that the aliens use to help the humans.
The aliens are thought for most of the movie to be responsible for all the horrific events taking place. It turns out later in the movie that this is actually not true. They're here to help.The aliens have aparently been tracking these asteroids that are infected with the deadly virus that spawns the walking dead. When they saw that some of the asteroids came to earth, they came down and used their crafts to create a giant wall around the infected area. They have a special sort of chemical rain that cures everything of the infection. Once somebody is cured of the infection, they are abducted into the sky above the clouds and quarantined until the infection below is neutralized.
The aliens are here to save earth. Not destroy it. They see the infection headed towards earth by way of asteroids, so they came to neutralize it before it spreads. We don't know where the asteroids or the actual infection came from. Supposedly some far off planet in space. The aliens weren't responsible for it. They came to stop it.
Wayne escaped the aliens' quarantine by way of his airplane. He hadn't been entirely cured yet, and all that the aliens aparently saw was that everybody inside their ring had been cured. So when they picked up and left, thinking that they had solved the problem, Wayne was, in fact, still on his way to becoming one of the undead. Once he finally died and became reborn, he spread the infection again, starting with Marion.
The aliens haven't come back because, as far as they know, they've cured everyone who was infected. They didn't know that Wayne had escaped their barrier. No more asteroids have come to earth, so they have no reason to believe there are any undead at all. It's unknown at this point whether or not they will ever come back.
No, this movie isn't a parody. Many people seem to think this is the "Scary Movie" of zombie films, but it's not at all. This movie was not made to be a comedy, per se. It's a horror film, intended to be fun, cheesy, and campy for the audience's benefit.Think, for example, of the recent popular Hong Kong film "Kung Fu Hustle" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373074/). It can't be compared with Steve Oedekerk's "Kung Pow! Enter the Fist" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240468/). KPETF was made as a blatent parody of Kung Fu movies; particularly the 70's Hong Kong film, "Tiger and Crane Fist" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075167/). There was nothing serious about it at all. On the other hand, KFH was a genuine Kung Fu film. It was extremely silly and cheesy, but it was not intended to mock the genre. It was intended to stand out from the genre.The same thing applies to this movie. The Spierig brothers wanted to make a real zombie flick, but they wanted it to stand out and have comedic value. (Much like "Evil Dead 2") (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092991/)
The Spierig brothers are currently in the conceptual stage of a movie called "Daybreakers" which features a futuristic world over-run with a race of vampires. There are very few humans left in the world and the vampires are dying out of starvation. This causes a struggle of survival between the last of the humans fighting off the vampires, and the starving vampires in need of blood. The film is supposed to have a much darker, more serious feel than the over-the-top cheesiness that is "Undead". It will have a much bigger budget and will be a Hollywood produced film with an American cast. It is once again being released through Lion's Gate Entertainment.The Spierigs have also spoken briefly of a screenplay that they're writing for a feature-length movie based on a short film they did called "The Big Picture", in which a girl is somehow able to watch her own life unfold on television. I've not personally seen the short film, but they've said that it's a project they have in mind and it will be an intriguing story with several twists.As far as the "Undead" sequel goes, the Spierig brothers have said that they DO want to do one, and they left the ending of "Undead" open-ended for a reason. The question is one of money and time. My personal guess is that the production of "Undead 2" will rely on the success of "Undead" DVD sales as well as the overall success of "Daybreakers".If you're interested, read this Fangoria article where the Spierigs discuss "Undead", "Daybreakers", and aspirations for "Undead 2": http://www.fangoria.com/fearful_feature.php?id=4892
Also, check out this Phillyburbs interview where the Spierigs discuss "Daybreakers" and "The Big Picture": http://www.phillyburbs.com/spierig/spierig2.shtml
Or visit the highly premature "Daybreakers" page here on IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433362/
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