God bless you, Peter Jackson! After "Meet the Feebles," all is forgiven with "Dead Alive," a no-holds-barred-or-even-considered zombie flick/love story/Freudian drama/splatter-fest. I had heard so much about "Dead Alive" before I watched it that I was a little disappointed to discover that it's basically a zombie flick (the cinematic equivalent of a shoot-em-up videogame), but all disappointment fell away once I let Jackson's thoroughly corrupt and hilarious vision take over.
"Dead Alive" has your basic zombieplot (or zombie situation, I guess), but it has some wonderful twists - one, that our hero's mother, an evil, oppressive witch-with-a-capital-b, becomes essentially the head zombie, leading to a climax where our hero must face down his Freudian fears to defeat her. Two, there's a charming love story buried in all the gore. Three, Jackson finds some of the darkest, blackest slapstick humor imaginable, as his zombies - and their entrails - do that thing that they do.
And oh, the payoff! So many movies botch the big ending, but the final third of "Dead Alive" is an absolutely anarchic comic nightmare, as our heroes must defend themselves from scores of party-hungry zombies (including a zombie baby muppet - maybe a bit too much, but you can't deny Jackson his indulgences). Disgusting & corrupt? Oh, absolutely. A damned good time? You bet.
Oh, and "Dead Alive" has a satisfying answer to the eternal question: "How do you kill something that's already dead, anyway?" The logical answer: "Grind it to a pulp, that's how."