“Undead or Alive: A Zombedy” is the sort of overplayed and under-written trifle that too often results when tongue-in-cheeky filmmakers purposefully set out to make a “midnight movie.” Drearily unfunny pic tries to wring laughs from a spoofy mash-up of Western cliches and horror-thriller tropes, but winds up being far less amusing than the inadvertently hilarious ’60s double bill of “Billy the Kid Meets Dracula” and “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter.” Undiscriminating genre fans and connoisseurs of camp may place the DVD edition in their Netflix queue. Few others will take notice.
Writer-director Glasgow Phillips (working from a story co-written by Scott Pourroy) relies heavily on anachronistic allusions, gross-out gags and wink-wink movie “quotes” — including, briefly, a modestly clever reference to “Brokeback Mountain” — while pitting an Army deserter (James Denton), his overcompensating would-be sidekick (Chris Kattan) and a resourceful Native American hottie (Navi Rawat) against a relentless posse of zombies. The undead antagonists are turned into flesh-eaters as the result of a curse from a vengeful Geronimo (who just happens to be the hottie’s dearly departed uncle). Unfortunately, this slapdash pic moves even more slowly than the zombies stagger.