The Deadlights Podcast EPISODE 76 - “Dead Alive” (1992)

A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors. Directed by Peter Jackson Written by Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh Chapters: 00:00 Welcome to the Deadlights 00:51 Logline + General Thoughts 03:58 THE CAN 11:06 THE MEAT 16:48 THE COOK 21:05 THE THRILL 28:28 THE RIDE 34:28 Smashed Pumpkin Ratings @thedeadlightspod 🔔 Subscribe for more horror content just like this

The Deadlights Podcast

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[Music] [Music] deadlights pod welcome to the deadlights podcast I'm your host Sam and I'm the other host lesie and we're bringing you another week of [ __ ] horror movies hell yeah yeah hell yeah another week of horror we're loving it in this uh third season of ours so far so good so far so far so good yeah um you know we've had some interesting ones we've had some good ones we've had some bad ones um we've definitely started off the year going woo it's been a roller coaster yeah but I wouldn't
have it any other way um and this week I'd say we we jumped aboard a pretty fun roller coaster oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah well what the hell did we watch we watched Dead Alive from 1992 directed by Peter Jackson written by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh M A young man's mother is bitten by a rat monkey she gets sick and dies at which time she comes back to life killing and eating dogs nurses friends and neighbors oh my God they even had it on the logline yep Jesus wow I would say I mean I already sai
d it fun [ __ ] fun it was a blast yeah it was one of those movies that didn't take itself seriously at all it really just was like you know what we're just going to go super wacky and they committed 150% to The Wack they were mad goofing they were mad goofing mad goofing they they were just like let's just throw every idea at the wall and make it happen and they did wow and they did and they did I couldn't think of anything any other direction for them to go I mean they it's like they wrote dow
n a list of things that they wanted to see in the movie and they accomplished all of them and Beyond MH wow and this if I am not mistaken is Peter Jackson's directorial debut as far as feature films go and we might know Peter Jackson from a little movie called The Lord of the Rings which he wrote and directed and also Fran Walsh wrote Lord of the Rings with him as well wow I mean talk about a style change but I did see some Peter Jackson things going on in this movie that also were in The Lord o
f the Rings so such a completely different style SL tone SL genre slash everything yeah but still those uh Peter Jackson isms I could still see come through slightly I can definitely see some of the close-ups yeah the way that they like they highlight the expressions and emotions that that carry through yeah and also the the the Practical effects he Lo he's a man that does not like CGI and in this movie and in The Lord of the Rings almost everything as far as I'm aware is practically done uh whi
ch is extremely impressive I would not have thought this was his movie I wouldn't yeah his first movie his first one yeah really came out came out the gates swinging oh yeah so definitely kudos to Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh uh for making this film writing this film uh y'all clearly had some fun so and so did we so did we uh how about we get into it huh let's let's talk about the can let's do it let's open open it up talk about it um the can is it had this like almost 1950s yeah quality about i
t where everything was like super bright very soft lighting um kind of idic kind of look everyone's in these like 1950s clothes the cars the Greaser look the uh the es um it was definitely he was taking probably inspiration from a lot of the media that he loved as a kid growing up and it is what we're doing currently in this era of nostalgia of us being in you know 2024 now but still referencing 90s love the 9s it was like freaking next like it was almost 30 years ago yeah yeah oh god what the h
ell yeah no but you're totally right we see that now people still referencing I mean stranger things like referencing the'80s like so it's interesting how you see that progression and you can almost feel filmmakers growing up um and you can tell when they grew up and what kind of media they were consuming by the things that they're making so you could definitely tell there was a deep love of the 1950s uh science fiction kind of genre that was coming through from Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh a lo
t of very wide uh lenses where people's faces were super closed up and it felt like a fisheye lens a lot of movement a lot of camera movement almost every shot there was movement going on these close-ups make you feel like a kind of like we're we're we got your back yeah oh look at you you're trying so hard yeah a lot of uh High angles that make him look smaller of him a lot of low angles of his mother who's this very very overbearing mother to give her a bigger presence as well and everything a
nd everyone feels like a caricature that's kind of I think what you're saying we're we're getting these like cookie cutters characters like greasers or like uh priests or the mother um the priest [ __ ] hell but then you know we throw in the fact that the priest is a Kung Fu Master stay back boy this calls for divine intervention cuz everyone is just turned up yeah 11 and not just the characters but the film making is also turned up to 11 to match that uh over dramatic style and we're getting a
lot of different colors Blues greens Reds a lot of it um to just again heighten the reality that we're set in and everything is just functioning with each other so well to be so over the top I yeah everything like Yeah The Script you know like I it wasn't written well but that doesn't even matter because it knew that it will not take itself seriously because of how heightened everything is so then the lack of the script just kind of added to just how absurd things were going to get cuz at one po
int we didn't even get any like no one was saying anything it was just action I'm a New Zealand Zo official and this monkey is going to New Town I go with the zoo oh no no no you want to go to the zoo yes please oh LOL your mother's good is the white one or green one green I was laughing the whole time and if not I was going to puke yeah I was in like laughing puking laughing puking yeah oh I almost did definitely I had tears in my eyes MH yes and to go back to the script it was like it almost f
eels like if this was if the writing was more grounded it wouldn't have worked it it wouldn't have added again to this like caricature esque style that we have so I'm kind of glad that I feel like it was probably a conscious choice on their part to be like let's just make these lines very rudimentary very uh you know like we're watching a retro 1950s yeah film because they would be talking in this like very overthe toop kind of melodramatic way there will be one romance and it shall last forever
it's just not possible not possible but we are ically entangled entangled there will be one romance I last forever practical effects the coloration the costumes too the costumes were great on point adding to that kind of 1950s Style you know there was a lot of patterns a lot of you know pakita was always in these very bright you know usually red colors to make her Stand Out amongst these people and um it makes sense she's the love interest um and then Lionel who is like the More Meek character
he was in these like more muted down colors until he started getting covered in blood then he was red as well so he was also dressed very similar to um Seymour in um Little Shop of for Little Shop of forest with the with the vest um and the shirt and the tie making him look more boyish yeah boy and like Meek and subordinate in a way because he's like shy uh cuz the mother was overbeing mhm very very much so where she was trying to get in between pakita and [Music] him that take me home why have
you deliberately gone out of your way to upset me I'm sorry it won't happen again all right let's get to the meat let's get speaking of the overbearing mother um let's get to it um it's a very ridiculous movie obviously as we said but you know there is a a message going on in this movie um and I think this movie is kind of about Lionel growing up growing up becoming his own person finding his independence from his overbearing mother um in a very over-the-top and zombie esque way he finds his jou
rney to becoming a man you must destroy them I can't oh M liono was trying to resolve this situation with tranquilizers he was literally just taming the Flames not willing to think outside because he wasn't ready yet to let go of his mom and so he just tranquilized everyone continued to that scene of him poisoning his mother and killing his mother it was an emotional scene for him he it took him a second to actually commit to doing that cuz you're right he didn't want to do that he didn't want t
o make that commitment to letting go of his mother he had been so used to having his overbearing mother his whole life that he would rather just tranquilize it and just not deal with the situation um but then poison still is kind of a like almost like a third- party way to kill someone because you're not killing them the poison is doing it so even him in that moment making the decision to kill her it was still kind of a roundabout way to do it and we see the results of that animal stimulant came
back to haunt him and he eventually did have to physically make that commitment to destroy his mother from within no one will ever love you like your mother look sometimes it is that rough M you have to fight through uh in order to to get away cuz some people just have their claw you know like especially a mother who had committed some crimes you drowned them both mom dad and that blond woman you CAU them together and you killed them didn't you more than just being an overbearing mother she is
also a murderer a murderer not once but twice yikes um daddy and his mistress oh yeah so she is willing to go all the way mhm to ensure her happiness and her way of living um and nobody was good enough for liono because she was his protector [Music] mhm such a good [Music] boy we understand fully so this is spoiler alert go and see it first um and then come back to us um but the rebirth of him literally getting sucked into her womb as she is now the mega mom Mega mom rap monkey zombie [ __ ] um
and then he had to fight his way through yeah and be reborn as a man I don't know actually where uh Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh got the inspiration from the story but it almost does feel like maybe one of them was going through the death of a parent um because we have this character who has an overbearing mother she dies you know uh but she keeps haunting him which you know I think for a lot of people who are very close to their parents when they die there is still those lingering feelings of e
specially if they're an overbearing parent you know having that little voice still in the back of your mind of your parent even after they're gone so for a lot of people the death of a parent can be you know it sounds bad like a liberating thing but still you have that them with you you know and for Lionel he was trying to shake his mother and her overbearing presence but he just couldn't and I don't think he really knew after his mother died I don't think he really even knew how to take care of
himself he kind of was at the beginning stuck in being a child for his old mother and I don't think he really knew how to live any other way this movie was his journey of how to fend for himself and live on his own L is thicker than water [Music] L all right let's get to the Cook yeah let's do it it up I think that we've kind of already said this before the cook of this movie is everything is over the top like they took every single part whether it was acting writing the effects the costumes th
e lighting the cinematography every single bit they just turned it up to 11 and I absolutely love that oh yeah I think that the cook of it they overcooked everything which somehow made everything great so it's that sense of understanding what elements you're adding so then you can start upping it and that's when it's successful if you're just doing a movie and just putting together whatever and not understanding where it's coming from um or what exactly you're doing with it that's when it's unsu
ccessful and it's just a mess and then you're just getting a movie that's just like terrible yeah you know it makes me think of Beyond the Door which we watched uh in this season where it was that like they didn't think about why they were making some of these moments experimental feel like music video and therefore the end product felt nonsensical and it felt like eight people wrote it yeah well and then it did um whereas this movie you're right they actually understood the rules of their Unive
rse like that set their rules and they set their look of the universe and then committed to that 100% which made for a successful yes overthe toop but successful movie like we weren't confused by any of the choices yeah they were insane but in this movie we weren't like why would they do that why we in beyond the door we're like what why what is going on why is there a long blackout scene in the middle of the movie why are we getting so many shots of Campbell pea soup every time they introduce a
nother element of the special effects it just became more and more and more successful and I just want to tip my hat to all the what are they even called meel um mechanics yeah robotics all the the Practical effects uh creators the there was a lot of robotic if that is even a word there's robotics there's makeup we have clation in there as well um electricians there was a point in where one of the zombies head went through a bulb that was just like attached to the wall and they were the whole fa
ce was lit up and the arms were [Applause] [Music] moving I just made this connection like there was a lot of burying imagery there was oh yeah we're in the graveyard uh he's you know buried his mother in the basement he buries all those zombies but they all end up coming back and that it's a again visual storytelling that we have going on burying things will not destroy them if you bury something it will come back I wrote down reap what you SE at one point in this and that's like your favorite
we're getting a lot of reaping what you SE last week lot of reing um lots of repping from the gecko from the season 3 that is like our it's our theme our theme this year right being what you s it really is and when people don't deal with the [ __ ] that they need to deal with and they just bury it or tranquilize it it's going to wake up it's going to come back I think we're really wanting to talk about it so let's get to the thrill yeah now we can talk about these zombies and uh effects that we
got so to kind of preface it the beginning of the movie actually has nothing to do with the ourain characters it is classic white classic white guys going to skull Island uh and picking up this rat monkey that he wants to probably take back and study but where does that lead uhoh someone gets bit at a zoo and that is Lionel's mother which Spurs this whole thing you know the effects just keep amping up through the movie and because she keeps getting worse yes and every the situation that Lionel f
inds himself in keep getting worse and that was my concern going into this movie and seeing how it was starting I was like okay how are we going to keep one upping the last effect that we saw there is so many effects in this movie like every scene there was an effect going on MH we're not going to be able to talk about every single effect because there is so many Happ you have to go and see it you got to see it I'll try to include as many little Clips as I can in this episode but to really take
in the amount of effects going on you got to watch it so I think probably the best thing for us to do is what's your favorite effect that you saw are one or two of your favorite effect moments um that that breakfast scene was truly wild it wasn't just like nasty for nice nasty sake it was showcasing Lionel's caregiving in how much he had done for his mom so he's willing to not see them as monsters and just be like oh you guys were in a terrible situation let me just take care of you MH that dinn
er scene this is kind of going back to the cook slth meat of it of how you know Lionel is trying to figure out how to live on his own and he now has these like zombies that he has to take care of which are kind of teaching him caregiving way you know that's what pets are for that's what pets are for to teach you how to take care of something don't take care of zombies don't take care of zombies but he was doing a pretty good job he was feeding them he was you know trying to keep them safe in the
basement and keep himself safe and then the other part what was it I don't know the whole end the whole end the whole end I thought it so much in the party so funny that lionels weapon of choice was the lawnmower potty's [Music] over I love that use of the lawn mower as the weapon because earlier in the movie we see his mother nagging him about mowing the lawn so the lawn mower is very much a a symbol of how tied to his mother he is oppressed he is oppressed by his mother um and then later he u
ses that same tool to take the power back and to destroy the zombies a [ __ ] lawnmower dude a lawn mower man that [ __ ] is heavy gez um one of the most hilarious scenes I thought was so the priest and the nurse zombes bone and instantly there's a zombie baby that comes out of the nurse ugliest baby I've ever seen of course ugly very durable baby it's being thrown around kicked around but that scene of him taking it to the park which again like that is a moment of him actually like learning how
to take care of a baby he's looking at the other mothers there and like seeing how they like rock the cradle and interact with their B he's like trying to you know imitate that too but of course he's got a zombie baby who's trying to run a Muk he's a monster and so that whole scene of him trying to grab it and using the playground equipment and oh God it's just so funny it's so hilarious it was so funny we have this other very despicable character who's the uncle of Lionel and he comes in when
the mother dies because he just wants the money in the house at least he's well provided for yes well the cosgro were hardly popers he'll be the so beneficiary I like that his character was in here because he was another obstacle for Lionel to overcome um and to take more charge of his life his uncle comes in is very much pushing him around for the majority of the movie and then at the end Lionel finally felt like he could overcome his very shitty uncle but when his uncle does become a zombie he
his spine is like ripped out of place but his head is still on the top and so he his upper torso is like slumped over because there's no spine yeah but the spine is still straight up and his neck his head is on top of his spine it's like coming out of his [ __ ] or something that's what it looks like yeah whoa what the hell what a great way to actually perent who he is yes through now him being a literal monster M he was already an internal monster but like how would he look like if he was oh y
eah his spine would be coming out of his [ __ ] because he's an [ __ ] yes spineless [ __ ] another moment that I wanted to highlight we got these haunted guts running around too the lung monster very the thing very the thing but I loved how it like looked at itself in the mirror and like became aware of itself it was like oh my God that's me it's like when people tell you when you're doing mushrooms don't look in the mirror cuz then you're just G to get lost and you're just going to be like who
a that's that what it look like what that's not me that's and then at the end when right before Lionel gives him the final lawnmower blow he's like the lungs are like praying they're like please don't kill me and then finally I just wanted to highlight Mega mom really really creepy and a great boss a great boss battle cuz again we're just trying to think how are we one uping what we just saw and then for them at the end to have mega mom then consume Lionel through her womb which is what where sh
e wanted Lionel all along um just a great ending just a great ending character and set piece let's get to the ride let's get to the ride I mean roller coaster of fun I would say this movie I was having fun the entire time didn't didn't feel like a slog at all like wow I was so afraid it wasn't going to be good because of what we were getting fed but it was so stylized that you you no I'm just kidding just in general you in general we understanding what it was trying to say yeah and then it just
got so ridiculous that you're just like this is so much fun give me more I I wanted more and they gave it to us and it's so fun like I said there was very little left on the table for me to think of what they could do like they had fuing put a hand through someone's [ __ ] oh my God that was awesome that was so good so many splitting of [ __ ] bodies and then yeah like the the baby split someone's face open and it was like I think controlling their body at one point wow what legs just walking ar
ound with no top sure why not oh my so many limbs the uncle chopped everyone up and then he was like in a pile of Limbs yeah there is a reveal at the end that the mother killed the husband and the mistress that he discovered this is kind of like a moment that lional finds these pictures in the attic and he realizes oh my God my mother killed my father and his mistress to me that was the one moment where I was like I don't know if we necessarily need that we've seen enough to hate the mother do w
e need her being a murderer I guess we in the sense that I guess we didn't want to leave the mother completely being a bad guy and the dad being the tragic hero sure because he was told that his dad died from saving him right and turns out both of them were terrible right so I guess yes if we want to talk about in the sense of like generational trauma it was done by both because the Dad could have had the self uh uh just respect for him and his wife um and he chose to cheat yeah and then the mot
her chose to murder them Fair um but but I don't think it was necessary yeah I I do actually do I like that point that you just made of you know cuz he kept getting flashbacks we kept getting flashbacks of what we thought was Lionel drowning and the father saving him but what it turned out to be was actually Lionel remembering his mother drowning his father and his mistress um and kind of it does go back to that like psychological contr control that the mother has over Lionel of like she actuall
y is controlling his memories now of his father and of that situation um so I guess it does kind of add to her manipulation and then on top of it making the father he's not perfect either you know he made mistakes and his mistakes definitely affected the mother and Lionel in the future I was just it to me it kind of a little bit came out of nowhere but now that we're kind of talking about it and digesting it more I do understand what they were trying to do I think just initially I was like why d
id we need that why did we need that moment also it just speaks to how demented the mother is to have done committed such a terrible thing as murder in front of her child didn't even bother closing the door didn't even bother making sure that he just wasn't in the house she was so blinded with rage and that in itself is a form of control that she's needing to control the situation at all times yeah that she just like has the blinders on yeah and he got to witness horrible horrible things o and t
he M of his father and his father's mistress was only the beginning of his him witnessing horrible horrible things but in the end kind of feels like Lionel's gonna be okay me he has pakita he's got pakita who will forever love him because the tarot cards said that he was the one thank you tarot cards there was this kind of element of Destiny through this movie cuz it starts with that of pakita getting this tarot reading of your you will find your love you will recognize this man by the symbol of
the star and of the Moon it almost a little bit at one point felt like Lionel's Destiny too to overcome his mother so there was kind of this element of like fulfilling your destiny and Lionel definitely did that through so much blood and guts so much blood and guts so much wow Dead Alive Dead Alive 1992 what a ride Wow Let's Get to these smash pumpkins huh pum let's see what we got to smash up do you have a number um I think I do I I I'll go I'll go I think I do too um no for sure this movie is
it's an interest it's an interesting kind of critique because I think that this movie absolutely delivered with everything that it set out to do and that was to be over the top a lot of elements that you might think that we would harp on in a movie overwritten um bad acting all these kind of things actually make it better so it's kind of this crazy critique that we have to do with this movie um really my only thing that I didn't think worked that that well but now he talking about it it kind of
makes it feel better is that element of the mother killing the father that almost didn't feel necessary but that really is about it every other element of this movie works for me the over-the-top nature of it the effects of course um the message works for me too like there is a through line in this movie while it is over the top it's still there I think I got to give this movie A 4.5 oo nice um my number is that 4.7 wow I enjoyed the hell out of this movie even though you almost threw up and a
lot that's where those points get deducted wow because I don't like throwing up I don't like seeing things that are going to make me puke but uh so like elements like puss oh that was puss oh we didn't even talk about her little puss blowing into the guy's pudding that's the part that like I and the way the way that he was eating the like already Custard in itself is not something visually pleasing and he was eating it with such Gusto and just like oh that the pus going into the custard the pus
already looks like the color of the custard you know there's so many Els I I didn't like that part but despite that you gave us a 4.7 I gave it a 4.7 cuz it was a lot of fun I love seeing all the Practical effects all of them all of them all of them all of them wow this is a movie that I really I wish we did did this for a live show I feel like watching this with a I loved watching this with you obviously but having like a group of people to just take in all of this together wow what a fun time
that would be it is like the movie that you want to show other people but not quite Human Centipede you know yes there is a serious seriousness to Human Centipede and this is is so the opposite but still with elements of like grossness um but yeah yeah yeah it's just such a fun time it's just such a fun it's like a great example of a movie that feels like just such a fun roller coaster ride um and I just want other people to experience that too you know and I want to be with them while they expe
rience it so please go watch this movie if you haven't seen it wow highly recommend it fun I am so shocked that it was that good just because of the log line oh the hair coming out of the oh my God I forgot to mention that she ate the dog and then he pulled the dog out of her throat ultimate hairball ultimate hairball and then this guy the these Peter Jackson and Fran wals turn around they make the Lord of the Rings wow whoa what a [ __ ] success story Dead Alive Dead Alive woo fun times wow awe
some well [ __ ] well [ __ ] what are we going to pick next week I know is it your turn I think it is all right here we go God there's so many here's one no we only have like two in there only two here we go okay here's the log line oh here we go bunch of bunch more writers on this one oh no we'll see what happens oh no in 2027 a chaotic World in which women have somehow become infertile a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at Sea um no babies h
ere no babies here what is it called I know Children of Men Children of Men from 2006 Alonso coron I do remember seeing the trailer and lots of things about this but I have yet to see it you have not seen this this is a great movie this is really really good very dark and very depressing I mean I feel like it came out around the same if not year maybe like a year or two after um I Am Legend and it had that kind of like tonality of like end of the world apocalypse and I'm a man and I survive it w
as it's very it's a it's heavy it's heavy it's depressing as long as there's no [ __ ] dog that dies God damn it couldn't tell you that that's true but I don't know I'm not I can't think of a dog dying in this movie but I haven't seen it in a second so we will see next week Children of Men cuz I don't know why but these movies love to kill German Shepherds they really do they really I don't think a German Shepherd dies in this as far as I know don't quote me fing hope not um but just before we g
et out of here it just is funny that this movie came out in 2006 we are currently in 2024 and the setting of this movie which was in the future is 2027 so we're only 3 years away from when this futuristic movie takes place almost 21 years 21 years that's crazy that is wild well tune in next week for Children of Men Children of Men well in the meantime you can go and follow me at color mesle follow me at bbpr T you can also follow us at the deadlights Pod and you guys can give us a call too pleas
e give us a call 773 669 667 we love to hear from you we love to hear your movie suggestions your reason why you love horror just any anything at all anything yeah call us to tell us you love us I I'll take it yeah also if you're in the Chicago land area don't usually plug this but if you're in the Chicago land area we do a monthly horror movie trivia night uh the last Fridays of every month at hex Coffee Company there're a awesome awesome coffee shop uh in the awesome people in there yeah in Ch
icago and we have been so lucky to team up with them uh to bring you horror movie trivia so if you want to test your luck at that always awesome prizes to be won um and I think we have a pretty good time too doing we've met such lovely people may who was guest on the season we met through doing it so she is a beast at freaking answering these questions so she is one to absolutely look out for yeah get her on your team yeah get her on your team if recruit her befriend her she's amazing yeah um so
if you want to check us out please you can follow us on the deadlights Pod and see updates on that check out the hex website I'm sure you can find information on there as well oh yeah but until next time yeah let's get get [Music] spooky oh God



The first time I watched this was through my fingers the whole time.