A woodsman is up to no good foraging through the grounds of his backyard forest. He shows up at the local hospital with an axe casually stuck in his head, and his face not looking too good either. He is placed under the care of handsome Dr. Dox and homely Nurse Patsy. The woodsman expresses his attraction to Patsy by biting her on the arm, inciting a slowly-spreading zombie contagion in the hospital. In true horror film fashion, Patsy's human to monster transformation comes with a symbolic side effect. Once a perennial black sheep among the cliquish nurses and invisible to the Casanova Dr. Dox, Patsy's makeover includes a severe attitude change that turns her into the hospital sexpot. Written by
Yes, there are better zombie movies out there. However, there are also much, much worse. Graveyard Alive has a lot of heart and humor behind it, which sells it despite its shortcomings and sets it apart within the genre. Keeping in mind that the budget for this movie was very small, the money was spent where it should have been - on actors and actresses who primarily worked in stage productions and had a strong control of their expressions, on securing a real hospital as a set, and on a decent technical crew. The editing and cinematography are actually pretty pro, and when your genre is so infested with hand-held camcorder affairs in backyard fields, you appreciate a good sense of lighting and photography.
The movie is also notable for the fact that the zombie starlet is your main, sympathetic character - something we don't often see done with zombies, even zombie comedies (and this movie was not intended to scare you, so if you're looking for a frightfest you really should have looked more closely at the description). You find yourself rooting for her transformation, and you want her to succeed - if only so that you can see what she does next.
It's campy, flawed, and I strongly recommend it -- especially to genre fans who have seen one too many disappointing, cookie-cutter low-budget zombie movie in the hopes of catching something different. This is definitely different, and definitely worth a watch. And don't be afraid to smile at the overacting and odd, sparse dialogue - you're Supposed to.
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