Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse In Love changes the zombie genre back to when the zombie craze really got started by filming a black and white soap opera-stylized film on a shoestring budget about a zombie nurse who falls in love. The results earned the movie quite a few awards at the film festival circuit and garnered a cult following. Now, the movie is finally out on Blu-ray with new audio and video transfers along with some new extras. Recommended!
There has been an ocean of zombie films over the last 20 years that have come in all shapes and forms. From fast-moving zombies to a hit tv show, and even zombie grannies and beavers, the undead genre exploded for a number of years until the market became too saturated with those flesh biters. But right when that zombie craze started after Danny Boyle's 28 Weeks Later, a filmmaker by the name of Elza Kephart and her co-writer Patricia Gomez jumped on that zombie bandwagon and made a wonderfully, funny zombie film that went on to win a ton of awards at film festivals in 2003.
The trouble was, nobody really remembers it taking those horror fans by storm because Hollywood and their mass amounts of money started to create tons of big-budget zombie flicks with A-List stars, that included Brad Pitt stopping in to drink a Pepsi on screen in the midst of warding off those undead ghouls. 20 years later, Elza and Patricia's zombie movie Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse In Love finds a new audience with its grassroots filmmaking style that pays homage to tons of genres and styles that culminate in an ultra-original piece of cinema.
The title alone gives a hint on what to expect as far as tone here, but Elza manages to walk that fine line of dry comedy with some decent serious moments. Even the movie's character names are tongue in cheek with names like Patsy Powers, Dr. Dox, and Goodie Tueshuze and Graveyard Alive centers on Patsy, a shy nurse who is bitten by a patient that turns her into a more confident and sexy woman who is vying for the doctor's eyes and more. With elements of jealousy, betrayal, and confidence playing big parts here, along with blood, guts, and brains - Graveyard Alive is a satisfying piece of independent cinema.
The movie was originally to be shot as a silent film, but the filmmakers added a post-dubbed dialogue to keep the movie kitschy in a soap-opera universe that works wonders for the acting and narrative. There's no other movie like it and in a sea of zombie films out there, Graveyard Alive stands out for its sheer originality and the amount of fun that was clearly had making the movie. There is a reason, this little film won many awards at all the festivals in 2003, and now's the chance to witness it all individually.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse In Love heals its way to Blu-ray courtesy of ETR Media and Vinegar Syndrome. The one disc is housed inside a clear plastic case. There is reversible artwork that features the main nurse grinding up some meat on one side and more of an art print of the zombie nurse on the other. Both covers are red, white, and black heavy in color. There is a booklet that features musings about the movie too.
Graveyard Alive was made in 2003 and shot entirely in 35mm. According to the information on this set, this comes with a 1080p HD transfer and in 2.35:1 aspect ratio that is region-free. That's not the case though when watching the film. The film looks to be in Standard definition and is in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. It looks like the image has been Frankenstein'd and blown up out of proportion, which ultimately delivers some very soft and hazy visuals. The entire movie is black and white, but the color depth is mostly gray without any inky black levels are well-balanced white levels. It's not a great-looking image at all, which is probably the point, but why say something different on the case? The detail is continually soft without any crisp and vivid details. It's just one flat picture. There are some instances of specks, dirt, and debris as well that crop up. This is unfortunate because the cinematography for this movie is better than the standard affair for an indie film.
This release comes with a DTS-HD 2.0 audio mix. The dialogue is the first glaring issue. Most people won't be able to get through it because every piece of dialogue was over-dubbed after the fact and a lot of it doesn't sync up. It's like those old Kung Fu movies. It makes the movie comical for sure, but can be a distraction. The song cues and light sound effects sound decent though. There's not much to this audio track other than the hilarious English-on-English dubbed dialogue.
There are 35 minutes worth of extras here, none of which are for the movie itself other than the commentary track, which is somewhat informative.
Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse In Love is an original, fun, and wonderful indie film that stands out from the rest of the Hollywood blockbusters of its time. It's ambitious shoot in 35mm and having a black and white color palette was genius to go along with those old soap opera-like serials. It's a memorable movie for sure. The 1080p HD transfer here and its DTS-HD 2.0 audio options are less than desired. The bonus features aren't wonderful either other than a decent commentary track that should satisfy fans of the movie. This all being said, this comes Recommended for the movie itself, because there is nothing like it anywhere.