Bizarro Masterpiece Theatre: Undead or Alive

Film: Undead or Alive (2007)

Director: Glasgow Phillips

Starring: Chris Kattan, James Denton, Navi Rawat

Written by: Glasgow Phillips, Scott Pourroy



Chris Kattan is the best cowboy/zombie hunter ever.  Let’s cut the crap: Undead or Alive is little more than Corky Romano jittering around the Wild West like some zombie apocalypse grandson of Don Knotts.  But is that in any way a bad thing?  NO!

So there’s some badass cowboy guy with a troubled past, and he finds himself teaming up with Chris Kattan once the dude zombies get out of hand.  He’s clearly not pleased about the prospect of kicking ass with Corky, which makes him a bit of an entitled dick.  Eventually in the course of their undead-murdering spree they cross paths with a magical Indian chick who threatens to further divide their manly bond, but Kattan holds tightly to his code of bros before mystic hos, and all is well.

And that’s about it.  Agent Adair from Upright Citizens Brigade shows up as a blustery, almost Snidely Whiplash-like villain who caught the undead plague and is slyly spreading it to the townsfolk.  (Of course, despite the fact that he’s now a cannibal, most of Mr. Villain’s victims survive to join his evil posse.  Zombies don’t really eat much, do they?)  I’d have liked to see more interaction between Kattan and Matt Besser (the true identity of Agent Adair), as both of these guys have the same type of keyed-up nervousness that would explode brilliantly if smashed together.  Unfortunately, this is more of the manhunt sort of Western, so even though they rule separately, Kattan and Besser don’t get much time together.

Really, it’s just Kattan’s show anyway, and everyone else is just filling a role.  But that’s more than okay.  I actually like what little I’ve seen of Chris Kattan in horror films; his sullenly doomed caretaker was one of the only good characters in the remake of House on Haunted Hill (alongside Geoffrey Rush’s spectacular doppelganging on Vincent Price).  Yeah, Kattan isn’t exactly playing with the same sort of gravity here, but I’m pretty okay with that.  Corky Romano wasting zombies in the old West is just fine with me.


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