Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse in Love

Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse in Love
Director: Elza Kephart - Starring: Anne Day-Jones, Samantha Slan, Karl Gerhardt
Updated: 09-28-2004

When you think of chick flicks, you probably think of weepers like Beaches, or romantic comedies like Sweet Home Alabama. You generally don't think of horror movies, and certainly not zombie horror movies. Produced, directed and written by women (co-written by Patricia Gomez, and all of the above by Elza Kephart), Graveyard Alive is a feminist indie that just might make you believe that zombies need love, too.


In the dark comedy / shock horror tradition of Sam Raimi and George Romero, this no-frills black and white film tells the story of shy and plain Nurse Patsy (Anne Day-Jones), who is secretly in love with Dr. Dox (Karl Gerhardt). Alas, Dox's heart (and other vital parts of him) already belong to blonde and buxom Nurse Goodie (Samantha Slan). But when Nurse Patsy is bitten by a zombie and becomes infected, she unleashes her inner wench -- as well as her inner cannibal. It's quite a paradox. What's a girl to do… kiss him, or consume him? As Nurse Patsy infects patients and co-workers in the hospital, she becomes strangely alluring to the still-human Dr. Dox, who drops his fiancee like a bad habit. Nurse Goodie does some bad things as she struggles to win her boyfriend back and rid the hospital of the ravenous undead.


Graveyard Alive's zombies are not the mindless automatons you've come to expect; aside from a few little problems with creeping rigor mortis and rotting, sloughing skin, these zombies can pass for whatever is normal in Kephart's world. They function quite well, and thanks to the morgue in the hospital's basement, they never miss a meal.


Parody at its peak and certainly spot-on spoofy, Graveyard Alive is a well done concoction of several genres (horror, comedy, romance, and soap opera to name a few). The dialogue -- or lack of it -- is rather interesting. Some reports state that it was meant to be a silent film and then voices were dubbed in much later, while others say it was intentionally dubbed in, slightly off-kilter, to heighten the camp. Whatever the cause, the sparse, oddly mismatched dialogue actually works to the film's advantage. The cinematography is above par for a low-budget indie, while the acting quality and special effects are about what you'd anticipate. However, this plot and these characters tend to wear awfully thin in a very short time. You really have to be in the mood for this kind of quirk to thoroughly enjoy Graveyard Alive: Ideal viewing atmospheres would include midnight movies, or an at-home party with a big group of horror-fan friends.



(by Staci Layne Wilson)

Latest User Comments: