Father Jon McGruder (Stuart Devenie)
Banned in Germany for its riotous celebration of blood and viscera, Dead Alive is a so-called “splatter-comedy” (splat-com?) about love in the time of zombie outbreak. Directed by Peter Jackson (two years before he wowed the world with 1994’s Heavenly Creatures), it’s a strange film—both buoyed and sunk by its shaggy good-natured vibe—that has to be seen to be appreciated. As befitting the manic tone of the movie, Stuart Devenie turns in what is quite possibly the definitive portrayal of the (inexplicably underrepresented) Zombie-Killing Parish Priest–slash–Kung-Master. His story has a bittersweet ending: After becoming infected himself, the now-undead priest mates with a zombie nurse, and, in true splat-com fashion, sires a little zombie bundle of joy (and horror).
Next Elmer Gantry