Graveyard Alive

It is refreshing to see a horror flick written, produced and directed by women and includes female characters as the lead roles. The fact that women dominate the making of this film is worth it alone to watch Graveyard Alive. I am a huge horror movie fan, but I am well aware that the genre is dominated by men. I guess watching people getting cut up and mutilated in movies is not a dainty, gentile typical hobby or career for most women to be passionate about. So to see Elza Kephart so zealous about horror movies is just plain awesome. This is the first movie directed by the Canadian filmmaker. Be prepared that Graveyard Alive is a feminist approach to horror movies.

First off, don’t watch Graveyard Alive and take it too seriously. The film is the epitome of a B-rate comedy horror movie and it is trying to be a bad one. The movie has a 70s horror movie feel, Graveyard Alive is in black and white, the script is terrible and the soundtrack is completely off. The voices look completely lip-synced and ya normally in a big horror picture that would be roll your eyes stupid, but Graveyard is meant to be like this. It is so bad it is funny.

The story tells a tale of Nurse Patsy (Anne Day-Jones) who has never gotten over a broken heart from former beau Dr. Dox (Karl Gerhardt). Dr. Dox is now engaged to Nurse Goodie (Samantha Slan) who taunts Nurse Patsy constantly because Patsy is frumpy, shy and hides behind really terrible glasses.

One night, a woodsman with an axe stuck in his head, is admitted into the hospital under the care of Dr. Dox. While in the hospital the woodsman displays an attraction to Nurse Patsy and bites her and inflicts her with contagious zombie disease. In the true spirit of classic horror movies, we see a symbolic transformation with Nurse Patsy’s both with her physical characteristics and her personality after being bitten. While Nurse Patsy was normally an introvert, the disease spreading in her makes her become more extroverted and her sexuality comes to dominate her. She becomes a horny nurse who is interested in blood and sex.

In the spirit of movies like Zombie Strippers! (2008), Nurse Patsy’s frumpiness is transformed by getting rid of her glasses, cutting her uniform short and wearing seductive lingerie. Nurse Patsy starts exploring her sexuality and is able to talk to men now. Her attitude has changed, she is no longer a goody-to-shoes and men are lining up to date her. She is the new popular sexpot at the hospital. And all it took was to become a zombie.

I love the fact that even though Nurse Patsy’s behaviour becomes more and more bizarre by stealing body organs from the deceased to munch on and her physical appearance starts to deteriorate as she becomes more and more zombie like, men still want to get with her.

As Nurse Goodie starts to get jealous that Nurse Patsy is getting more attention than she is, she starts to realize that there is more to Nurse Patsy than just a physical change. As she starts to become aware that Nurse Patsy is a zombie, more and more of the hospital staff are killed off and or turned into zombies. The dénouement of the film includes Nurse Goodie being chased by poorly acted zombie’s and taunted to join the rest of them.

Graveyard Alive is as B rate as you can get. It is a dark comedy with horror elements to it. Be prepared to have to get past the campy vibe and the slow moving story. The movie does not go at light speed, but it definitely delivers. The second time I saw the movie I appreciated it a lot more than first, because there are so many comedic layers to it. The fact that the there are scenes with body parts used that are clearly plastic is just plain awesome. There is no roof in parts of the hospital and is clearly a basement. The signs, like to the morgue are obviously painted and poorly as is. Dr. Dox’s university degree was hand printed and written out, and clearly phony. Everything is so cliché and is attempting to be so off the top. The more you watch the film, the more you find these hilarious, elements of the sets and costumes that are meant to look bad and fake. Of course a lot of this is to do with the fact that it was a low budget film that took four years to make, but the filmmakers embrace their handicaps and work with what they have and make it funny.

My final thoughts on the film, all every woman really wants, whether she be nurse, senator, mother or zombie is just to be loved.




~ by exploitnation on May 28, 2008.

9 Responses to “Graveyard Alive”

  1. Take that you male dominated genre!

  2. oh i’ll take it.

    if you know what i mean.

    (i mean like fucking)


  3. by taking it — do you mean penetration?

    Isn’t there something inherently sexual about zombies? I mean biting and penetration!?

  4. well…zombies do love “eating out.”

    also, rising from graves is a bit of an innuendo if you think about it.

  5. On the same thought – then are vampires quite sexual..they like biting young supple necks and rise out of coffins!

  6. vampires have far too many innuendos to get into.

    let’s just say…they suck liquids from people and they’re killed by phallic-looking penetration.

    the end.

  7. Warewolves?

  8. Vampires and zombies may be sexual, but werewolves are definitely the most horny, if you ask me. They are, after all, reduced to nothing but the most primal urges: killing, eating and fucking. The sexual angle of the werewolf haven´t been explored successfully yet. “Ginger Snaps” did a great job when it used the transformation as a metaphor for a young woman´s puberty. Other than, I´d say that Coppola touched on the subject with his “Bram Stoker´s Dracula”. Remember the rape scene with Dracula as a wolf-like creature?
    But back to “Graveyard Alive”. This is what I love about this site: I´ve been obsessed with horror since I was seven years old and thought that I knew about every horror film known to man but you guys manage to bring out the obscure titles that I´ve missed out on. Kudos to you, my fiends! I´ll definitely check it out.

  9. I totally rock.. !

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