A lost zombie-gem: Brian Posehn in Undead or Alive

An actual film
An actual film

Sometimes I view a sub-par (or downright terrible) zombie film that still has a redeeming aspect or quality to it–a performance, or special effects sequence, or cameo that I think is just great–despite being in the middle of a lousy film.  Such is the case with Brian Posehn’s performance in the 2007 Chris Kattan and James Denton straight-to-DVD zombie western, Undead or Alive.

First off, it’s not a terrible film.  But neither is it Shaun of the Dead.  I’d give it about a 5 out of 10.  It’s got a few good jokes, and Kattan is all right.  (I always liked his “Mango” SNL character in small doses, and his “Gay Hitler” was funny, even if it was just one joke.)  James Denton gets some of the funniest lines, actually.  Navi Rawat is ridiculously good-looking as the love-interest, but doesn’t really add to the comedy.  The real highlight, however is Brian Posehn!!!

I’ve liked Posehn for a long time.  I never watched him on Just Shoot Me!, but I thought his bit-parts on Mr. Show were awesome, and I’ve always liked his stand-up comedy.  If you don’t know his name, Google him, and you’ll probably find you’ve seen his face before.

Born to play a zombie
Born to play a zombie

Anyhow, Posehn is born to play a zombie.  His natural, lumbering gait is perfectly suited for the living dead.  His zombie mannerisms–whether attacking, startled, or biding his time–are just excellently rendered.  My only complaint is that there is not enough of him in the film!  In the opening sequence of Undead or Alive, the Posehn-zombie decapitates a chicken.  Then he’s featured a little more in the introduction, and then again at the very end of the film.  Alack!  If only he could have been the main character!

Anyhow, watching Posehn’s excellent performance made me think about other actors whom I would like to see play zombies.  Here is my list (What’s yours?):

  • Udo Kier (Has already played every other monster there is)
  • Steve Buscemi (Unwisely chose to be in 28 Days instead of 28 Days Later)
  • Sigourney Weaver (Could use natural toothiness to her advantage)
  • John Cleese (Seems to have a zombie-gangliness about him)
  • Johnny Depp (Just to see what the hell he would do!!!)
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One thought on “A lost zombie-gem: Brian Posehn in Undead or Alive”

  1. I have to admit that the whole zombies attacking animals as well as humans bit has never really made much sense to me. I can understand a Zed’s motivation for eating human brains, but what exactly do chicken brains do for them? Weird…

    Nice shout out in the Chicagoist, btw.

    Have you ever read the Walking Dead by image comics? pretty good stuff.

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