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May 28, 2024
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
Dead Alive

In This Episode

Halle and Alison try not to barf from all the gooeyness of ruining Dead Alive.






[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, hello. Welcome to Ruined! I’m Halle.


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison.


Halle Kiefer: And this is a podcast where we ruin a horror movie just for you.


Alison Leiby: Just for you, Halle. Checking in. How are you? What’s new?


Halle Kiefer: What’s new? I’m good. I realized our last, episode we just recorded was for Patreon. So I just do want to say again, shout out to all of these student protesters.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: At every university. You’re doing the right thing in case you needed someone else to tell you, you know you are.


Alison Leiby: Endlessly impressed.


Halle Kiefer: You know you are. You know. And that’s all I just want to say. I.


Alison Leiby: Nothing else new. Truly nothing.


Halle Kiefer: I got nothing. I would, but I have. I’m having some, bodily issues. If you want to know more about that, you join the Patreon. Okay.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Patreon is where we’re going to talk about what’s happening with us internally.


Halle Kiefer: Honestly, it should be like, listen, yeah, if you want to find out more about our many medical and mental health problems, take it to the Patreon baby.


Alison Leiby: Yeah take it to the Patreon. All right. Cool.


Halle Kiefer: How are you doing?


Alison Leiby: I’m good. I, I started swimming again, and, I’ve. Sometimes I feel like I get water stuck in my. Like, I do get water stuck in my ears, which, like, over time, normally comes out like I sleep on my side a lot. Like, it usually just kind of, like, drains out, but, like, sometimes for, like the hour or two after I swim, which is what we’re in now. I’m just like, I like, I feel like I just got off a plane a little bit.


Halle Kiefer: Oh. Okay. Yeah.


Alison Leiby: So.


Halle Kiefer: Could you wear, earplugs, or is that, is that—


Alison Leiby: I’ve never found that. I know some people do. Like, I in all my years and years of swimming, I’ve never, like, effectively done that because they don’t really stop all the, like, all you need is a little water to get in your ear.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah.


Alison Leiby: It’s just like once it makes it past a certain point, then it’s kind of hanging out in there until it either evaporates or drains out. So, yeah, I also just like don’t. Want to deal with earplugs. So.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah.


Alison Leiby: Where I’m at.


Halle Kiefer: Thank you for telling us. I get, I have plenty of fluids coming out of my body. But again.


Alison Leiby: As we all do at all times, I assume it means you’re not, yet a, husk. And I think that’s nice.




Halle Kiefer: We are going to keep it moving. We have, another entry in our mommy month.


Alison Leiby: Mommy.


Halle Kiefer: And what an entry this is. This is, of course, a film that I have, you know, as a horror aficionado, heard about, obviously, and finally saw for the first time for this recording, that movie is Dead Alive, also known as Braindead. It is, Peter Jackson’s 1992 New Zealand zombie dark comedy. I would say.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: And had I’d heard a lot about it, I’ll be honest, I didn’t know the plot, and I didn’t know that it involved a truly monstrous mommy. So it is a delight to finally, fill things in. And, we we always like to take it. We always like to start with the trailer. Alison, what did you think of the trailer for Dead Alive?


Alison Leiby: Very silly. Certainly stepping into horror. Also like very 1992, like very, that I’m getting the whole, like. It’s like at any point, it felt like the the movie could just take a turn and be an ad for Pizza Hut. Like, I don’t, do you know what I mean?


Halle Kiefer: Yes. No. A hundred, like, there was a, there was a ten year period where, like, the Crypt Keeper could just show up.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Anywhere, at any time. And this has that same vibe.


Alison Leiby: Yes. Right. It’s like kind of an anything goes situation, which is terrific. But there like there is a moment where, like, you see, I, I’m sure I know it’s in the movie. It’s certainly in the trailer where, like, the woman’s like, your mom ate my dog.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Incredible.


Alison Leiby: And like, someone just like a hitting, a tombstone with their head, and it break it like there is a lot of, like, stuff that made me laugh. But I also say, like, for a lot, you know, a lot of the movie. We’ve done a lot over the years of mommy movies where it’s like, mom is bad or mom is a central evil force. It’s nice to see such an older mother be.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah—


I feel like so often is like, you know, new mother. And it’s like, of course there’s so many horrors in new motherhood and recent birth and all of that, but but to to center it an old mom.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Really, really feels kind of fresh.


Halle Kiefer: I completely agree. I love to see more older women. I mean, just put a character actress in any movie about a horrifying older woman. You’re least getting the girls and the gays in there.


Alison Leiby: It’s true.


Halle Kiefer: I also want to shout out that the other screenwriters are Stephen Sinclair and Fran Walsh, who also worked, with Peter Jackson on the Lord of the Rings, movies.


Alison Leiby: Oh.


Halle Kiefer: Fran Walsh, is also won, three of the Academy Awards for, Return of the King. So they are longtime collaborators with Peter Jackson.


Alison Leiby: That’s fun. And fun. Great to see the joie de vivre in this film. There is a lot of love here and a lot.


Halle Kiefer: There is.


Halle Kiefer: Ooze and a lot of goo.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Seems gooey.


Halle Kiefer: And yeah, again, this is much more of a horror comedy, as you can see from the trailer, though, I will take a baseline scary. How scary do you find the concept of never wanting to leave your son alone.


Alison Leiby: Oh, very, very. I mean, overbearing mothers in gen, like, just kind of that, like all the way. Yeah. I don’t like that.


Halle Kiefer: I think that it is. I of course, I’m watching this now that I’m a humorless lesbian, I am like, well, the the look, the castrating mother is also born of patriarchy. They’re not two different things. The the mother who cannot let her child leave home, who, who, who grips to them like a zombie reaching out of the grave is simply part of it. But, what a great character to make a horror movie about.


Alison Leiby: Absolutely.


I just want to say, Peter Rainer. His Los Angeles Times review of this movie said it is the most hilariously disgusting movie ever made. It makes something like Re-Animator seem like a UNESCO documentary about Mother Teresa.


Alison Leiby: Woah. Wow.


Halle Kiefer: Which I think is a great way to put it because I’m ob—


Alison Leiby: And Re-Animator was, gooey.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, very much so. And so I will say I’m going to do the best I can to describe the goo on screen.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: But this is a movie. You’re going to have to see it to believe it. If you.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: If you’re someone who is fine with gore. But as long as it’s silly, like it’s more of an Evil Dead, you know, like there is—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that I think I can fuck around with.


Halle Kiefer: That being said, I did almost vomit during, one of the scenes and was concerned about the rest of the film, but it really was just that first one. And so we are going to get into it. But before we do, Alison, would you like to guess the twist in Dead Alive, aka Braindead?


[voice over]: Guess the twist.


Alison Leiby: Is there a twist in this film?


Halle Kiefer: Mmm.


Alison Leiby: Do we find out. Like what’s up? Like do we ever. Do we get. Is there is it a film that has answers? Or is it just kind of like, I don’t know, just happened?


Halle Kiefer: Yes. It is a more traditional, film. It does kind of remind me of Re-Animator, where, you know, it’s going on the entire time.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: And you’re sort of walked there sort of, you know, H.P. Lovecraft styled. You find out the beginning where this originates. I guess the question then is what happens? What happens at the end?


Alison Leiby: I think that she turns the whole town into zombies somehow. She. She’s a zombie. It starts at home and, you know, eventually, it’s just like everyone has to succumb to this. There is no. And it’s just like a town. Then it kind of goes back to like, yeah, now we’re all kind of fine because we’re all undead.


Halle Kiefer: Perfect, I love that. What a great ending.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. So they’re kind of nice and focused on community.


Halle Kiefer: Let us begin. Ruining Dead Alive, also known as Braindead. We open on beautiful Skull Island, southwest of Sumatra in 1957. It says it on the screen. I’m not just guessing.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: You see two men, one a caustic, cruel white anthropologist, and the other one of his three guides that he is hired to help him retrieve, of course, an exotic specimen. And his guide says to him, as they carry a creature in a box, you ever see, like a box on handles, so sort of carrying between them as they walk down these cliffs on Skull Island. And the guide goes pretty Jamaican with his accent.


Alison Leiby: Okay, that’s a choice.


Halle Kiefer: He says. I got the vibe. I’m not going well. I got the vibe. This thing is evil, man.


Alison Leiby: A great start.


Halle Kiefer: Sorry. And I will be doing quite a number of voices because this is a very voice heavy.


Alison Leiby: Excellent.


Halle Kiefer: Film. The white, man in this situation is Doctor Stewart McAlden. He is, of course, a anthropologist slash zoologist. He is there to, find this oft spoken about creature and return it, of course, to a different country, which is the best thing to do when you find an animal. You don’t really think about it. So take it immediately to a different environment where it can wreak havoc on a small town.


Alison Leiby: Smart, smart.


Halle Kiefer: The guide, drops the, case and the doctor turns and says, it’s only a bloody monkey, for Christ’s sake. Now pick it up. And he’s threatening the man. He says, if you know, you don’t pick up the cage. You get the, you know, get the big dollars. Okay? So we know this guy is going to end up dead.


Alison Leiby: I hope so.


Halle Kiefer: Or at least brain dead. Suddenly, Alison, a painted tribe of ostensibly, indigenous Sumatrans emerge from the cliff and with spears. And they say, and the guide has to translate. The rat monkey must be set free. You must leave here and never come back, or evil spirits will enact their revenge. Of course. In response, the white doctor reaches in his bag and brings out a permit. He said, I have a permit.


Alison Leiby: Great.


Halle Kiefer: Of course the tribe takes it, looks at it, and tears it up. Because I don’t care about your permit. You and you are going to learn about your own hubris, your own overweening pride. If you take this rat monkey to a different area, of course, Dr. McAlden takes out a gun and threatens everybody and says, I am a New Zealand. I’m a New Zealand Zoo official. This monkey’s coming with me. He then starts firing his gun in the air to scatter these tribespeople. He then grabs the rat monkey cage in his arms and says, move it! And he and the guide run down to where there’s two other guys waiting with a open, what do you like a Jeep? Like an open Jeep near a riverbed. They start it up and there’s a, a tense scene. The doctor gets on to the truck and then his guide trips and he’s chasing. The tribesmen are chasing them. Obviously, we know the tribesmen are trying to stop them from taking this animal somewhere.


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes.


Halle Kiefer: And everyone’s screaming. The guy manages to jump on to the Jeep. But in the kerfuffle, in the chaos, the doctor is put his arms around the box containing the rat monkey and he screams. The rat monkey has bit him in the hand. He says, oh my God, it bit me! The guides slam on the brake and one of them says to him, you’ve got the bite.


Alison Leiby: No that’s not good.


Halle Kiefer: And also, of course he does. That was easily going to happen.


Alison Leiby: You deserved it?


Halle Kiefer: They pull the jeep over. And they shout at him, Sengaya, they take him off the truck and they take a machete and they cut off his hand. That was bitten.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, Alison, it is too late. They see red lines appear on his other arms. They try to hack that off. Unfortunately, at the end.


Alison Leiby: Just kill him.


Halle Kiefer: They see red lines appearing on Dr. McAlden’s forehead and one of them raises the knife, they screams Sengaya. Dead Alive. The three kids still take the rat monkey to a private airport because they do want to get paid, which I was like, oh, gentlemen.


Alison Leiby: That’s tough.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And obviously this is a place where you illegally smuggle animals. This is exactly how this happens, I’m sure. And we see them put this sort of a wicker like a wooden basket type of cage into this small plane it has on the side of it a sign that’s a whiteboard, which I thought, like they must have just been like, oh fuck, we didn’t have a sign just write on the whiteboard.


Alison Leiby: Just use a whiteboard. Yeah. Use something that we were using for, like a shot list.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like exactly. Like we’ll just reuse it. It’s fine. And I didn’t care, so it was great. So it says caution live animal to Wellington Zoo, New New Zealand. So it’s going to Wellington Zoo. And the three guys are very nervous, but they take the cash. But of course, the one who helped the doctor take the monkey down. The initial guide watches the plane take off with a look of oh no, what have we wrought?


Alison Leiby: It’s bad.


Halle Kiefer: Next stop, quaint Wellington, New Zealand, and it is a Peter Jackson fantasy. Everything’s like Coca-Cola red or like that. Like 50s. Very muted canary yellow.


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes.


Halle Kiefer: We see these, they’re little miniatures of red and yellow street cars that are going through this town.


Alison Leiby: Oh, cute.


Halle Kiefer: It’s very cute. It’s also it’s set in Hataitai which is an actual, suburb in Wellington. So it’s up on a the side of a mountain.


Alison Leiby: Yeah it looked, I mean.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, gorgeous. And, everyone’s, you know, everyone’s sort of dressed like. I mean, it’s the 50s, so it’s like this sort of this fantasy of small town. It’s very Beetlejuice in that way.


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: The idea of, like, oh, a town that’s perfect. Maybe a little too perfect maybe somebody needs to show up here with a rat monster and, shake things up a little bit.


Alison Leiby: Well seems like that’s what’s about to happen.


Halle Kiefer: We meet our female lead. Her name is Paquita Maria Sanchez. She is, Spanish and Romani. This is just simply to allow us to have a through line about tarot reading, as far as I can tell.


Alison Leiby: Sure. Yeah. Anything that makes it work.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And she’s a shopkeeper. She helps run her father’s store. And so we meet her father and also her grandmother, who, of course, uses the cards to see into the future, which will be helpful. When again, things. Yeah. Shit hits the fan here in a minute. She is currently in love with Roger, the delivery man. Who she’s constantly trying to flirt with.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: And when he comes by to drop things off and she takes off her butcher’s jacket, she’s wearing like a beautiful sun dress and he’s like, oh, you look so great. What a great dress. And her strap slips down and Roger reaches over to fix it, and when he touches her shoulder, it’s a perfect, like, full body. Like sigh. Like it’s perfectly played, like it’s in the 50s. This would be full on penetration, you know, like.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: The TikTok girlies would swoon. Roger isn’t picking up on anything. He says, I’ll see you later. But, Paquita’s grandmother, sees what’s happening and says, well, do you really like him? We could use the cards and see. Are you going to. What’s the likelihood you’ll end up together? Right. So, they go back, her father’s there eating dinner, and he’s kind of like, oh, my God. Like, could we please just talk about the shop? We have to bring out the cards again. And grandma shows Paquita how to use what I would describe as tarot. But again, I think we’re playing pretty fast and loose, we’re using the cards to sort of see what fate says about her relationship with Roger. We see she pulls a Queen of Cups. That, of course, is Paquita. We see the Knight of Swords, and Graham says that is the man that you will end up with. And Paquita says, well he doesn’t really look like Roger. Which again, it’s like, well it’s not what the illustration looks like.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it’s not like. You know, every person ever existed as depicted on a card somewhere [both speaking] and we’re going to draw us like, yeah, that’d be great. I would love that thing. That’s not what this is.


Halle Kiefer: And grandma says, well, it’s not Roger. It’s obviously not Roger. You will find a man. He will enter your life soon. You will have one romance, and it will last forever. And you will recognize this man with the symbol of the star in the moon. And we see a symbol it’s a crescent moon with a star shape underneath. Paquita then sees her grandmother has turned over another card. The bottom says oppression.


Alison Leiby: Okay, fun.


Halle Kiefer: She says, but what about that one. And grandma says, oh, don’t worry about that. But, Paquita knows enough to be like, well, that’s not good.


Alison Leiby: No.


Halle Kiefer: However, there’s somebody who has arrived at the shop and he’s already knocking over all the apples, which pisses Paquita off. And this is, of course, Lionel Cosgrove, our male protagonist. The town fuck up. Basically, he is an unbearable nerd. He knocks over a bunch of pencils all over the cash near the cash register area, and he goes to scoop them up but Paquita stops him, and when she takes away his hands, we see that what he has spilled has shaped it. Created the same shape of the star and the moon, we just saw.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: And Lionel says, I’m sorry, my mother always says I always crush the biscuits. Which zero rizz. He’s got nothing to offer. Fortunately Paquita for him for Paquita saw the card. So we see the music swells. And that’s all Paquita needs to know. Which I think is the right way to fall in love. That’s the more fun way. It’s like—


Alison Leiby: Just roll with it.


Halle Kiefer: Just do it. But of course now she’s like, okay, so this is a sign you showed me the moon and the star. So it’s going to be this guy. Lionel is so awkward that he ends up doing this incredible piece of comedic physical comedy where he steps outside, like, nervously, like she comes to try to talk to him. He immediately knocks over the apples again. He’s backing up, he’s intimidated. And then he walks into the middle of the street and a trolley car goes by and he literally reaches up and just like, gets yanked off his feet and kind of like, falls into the trolley rather than talk to a woman. It was it’s a great moment. It’s very funny.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel goes home and he lives in sort of a psycho style house, both in is at a multistory house on the top of a hill. And also his mother is, I presume, like Norman Bates’ mother, before she died. He arrives just in time to have his mother castrate him, emotionally speaking, of course. But she does run in wielding a butcher knife and yells that there’s a beetle. And this just let me just also just shout out.


Alison Leiby: I mean that is how I react to bugs is like, what’s the biggest weapon I can find?


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I want to shout out to the actress who plays, Lionel’s mother, Vera. Her name is Elizabeth Moody. She’s been in just about everything. Heavenly Creatures. Oh, she was in. She plays Lobelia Sackville-Baggins in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. So that’s nice of Peter Jackson. Got her in there.


Alison Leiby: That’s great.


Halle Kiefer: And she’s so good. And she is, Vera is both this total maniac and also very, very, very, invested in impressions. How they seem to the to the town. Right. And Vera runs in and she says this place is invested with vermin. And that’s how she delivers every line. It’s a perfect choice.


Alison Leiby: We need more of that.


Halle Kiefer: She tells Lionel that she’s been named as the treasurer elect of the Wellington’s Ladies Welfare League, and on Friday, the president, Nora Matheson, is trying is stopping by to offer her congratulations. Unfortunately, I think, you know, that means that by Friday, things will be a mess in the house. Vera shrieks at him. We have to start getting ready. Look at the state of things. Look out that lawn. Does this look like well-maintained frontage to you Lionel? And so let’s go mow the front lawn. But because they’re on the side of a mountain, it’s basically vertical.


Alison Leiby: No.


Halle Kiefer: He’s like mowing up and down.


Alison Leiby: No.


Halle Kiefer: With a.


Alison Leiby: Nightmare.


Halle Kiefer: Like a push mower, right?


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: It’s so funny. Paquita. Meanwhile she comes to do the deliveries. He’s like, oh, usually your brother comes by and she’s like, well, I was, you know, I just wanted to see you you know. And she’s immediately putting on a full court press. She doesn’t need know anything else about this motherfucker.


Alison Leiby: Nope.


Halle Kiefer: She wants to go on a date. Lionel’s joking on her.


Alison Leiby: They’re in love.


Halle Kiefer: She has a German shepherd named Fernando who is with her, does the rounds. He’s so cute. And he says if Fernando were you know, any bigger. And he’d belong at the zoo. And Paquita says, oh, a zoo. I’d love to go with the zoo. And Lionel says, oh, I think you mean I’d love to go to the zoo. And Paquita says, oh, great, me too. Let’s go tomorrow. And then finally Lionel was like, oh, okay, this woman wants me to take her out.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: I have no social skills, so I needed her to essentially trick me into it with with wordplay.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Of course. Then, you know, they started by being there, sort of flirting. So of course, Vera sees this outside of the window, and she, of course, has to try to ruin her son’s life. So she knocks over a vase and he was like, sorry, but I’ll come meet you outside the shop tomorrow because it’s a Saturday or something. So he runs back inside. His mother, first of all, blames him for knocking over the vase even though he was outside.


Alison Leiby: Yep.


Halle Kiefer: Of course says you must have moved it when you were, dusting. She blames him for it, and she weeps that it was a gift from her late husband, and she’s sobbing. And Lionel says, you know, I really miss him, too, mom. But, you know, she’s not really able to have an emotional relationship, but he’s trying. Yeah. Still, it’s a date. And the next day, Lionel does his hair and they both put on their heterosexual best, and they go down to the zoo. And I am the kind of lesbian where I do want to take, straight people and make them kiss like Barbies, so you know what I mean? I’m just like.


Halle Kiefer: Yes, yes, yes.


Alison Leiby: Like I do. I find it is aesthetically great. What a pairing.


Halle Kiefer: Yes.


Alison Leiby: And then also, I do want everyone to fall in love. I do want to make a cake made out of rainbows. And why not? What else are we doing?


Alison Leiby: There’s nothing else.


Halle Kiefer: So they’re very cute. She’s like her. Like a little red cardigan and matching pumps. And they’re walking around the, zoo just talking about things they like—


Alison Leiby: Wearing pumps to the zoo. I mean.


Halle Kiefer: It’s such a good look.


Alison Leiby: She looks amazing, but it’s just like.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Nobody’s wearing a pumps anywhere.


Alison Leiby: No chance.


Halle Kiefer: But, yeah, she’s they both look fabulous. And Paquita talks about how much she loves Grace Kelly. And while they’re peering in. What I believe is Monkey Island, you know, kind of has water around the area. Lionel looks into the water. He sees the reflection and goes into a panic attack, and we see a hand reaching out of the water. Obviously, this is Lionel’s father. He is.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: His death is being brought to mind. Paquita notices and says, are you okay? And Lionel kind of comes to you and says, I’m really sorry. Yeah, my I almost drowned as a child and my father saved me. But then we were at the dock and there’s a freak wave, and it knocked him in, and he drowned, and I just never really got over it.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And I can imagine his mother wasn’t very helpful in any of that processing.


Halle Kiefer: Oh no no. But obviously haunted. And he. We see this image of a man’s hand in the water over and over again. Now it’s time to meet the Sumatran rat monkey. So we don’t have much. You know, we got to keep it moving here.


Alison Leiby: Right.


Halle Kiefer: But Paquita is really comforting and shakes Lionel’s hands near his hand as they’re holding their holding hands as they walk over to the monkey cage and they have their first kiss. And unfortunately, there’s not much time for romance because as they sort of fast look bashfully each other, and then in the monkey cage, we see a scaly rat hand reach through from the next cage now, and punch a monkey so it could take its apple core and eat it now, and then reaches through again and rips off the unconscious monkey’s arm before eating it. Alison, when we see the rat monkey, first of all, it’s of course, a puppet. Peter Jackson. It’s incredible. It looks like a monkey made out of hairless rat material.


Alison Leiby: Oh.


Halle Kiefer: So it’s got a rat head, but then a monkey’s body. And it’s—


Alison Leiby: No fur.


Halle Kiefer: No fur. Like a, like, almost like a hairless cat.


Alison Leiby: Also like, who would see that and be like, yes, of course, that animal that we all know and see at the zoo.


Halle Kiefer: Well, luckily the zookeeper runs over and bangs on the cage. I was like, this, this is what Wellington Zoo is. Just one zookeeper banging on a cage.


Alison Leiby: One guy in charge of a whole bunch of wild animals. Hey knock it off in there.


Halle Kiefer: Stop eating each other’s corpses in there. The zookeeper opens up the monkey cage and takes out the rest of the monkey’s corpse and turns to Paquita and Lionel, who is shocked having just seen this, and says, oh yeah, well, the story goes that the, rat monkey was a product of rats running off a slave ships and raping all the tree monkeys. The natives there use them in black magic rituals.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: It’s like, all right. Okay, let’s calm down. All the white people who wrote this.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Paquita says. Fair enough. I want to sit down. We see him sitting at a bench. And do you think the vibe kind of returns and, you know, they’re sort of enjoying themselves? Of course, we see a rustling in a bush, and it is Vera, Lionel’s mother, peering at them through the shrubbery, watching her son’s date. Unfortunately, she is now leaning up against the back of the rat monkey cage.


Alison Leiby: Oh boy.


Halle Kiefer: It runs up, latches onto her, and bites her arm through the bars and not just at it, like latches on. Vera screams so loudly the entire zoo’s worth of people runs over, and she manages to knock the rat monkey to the ground, and its head is sticking through the bars, so she crushes its skull with her pump. At the zoo.


Alison Leiby: Ooh. Yuck.


Halle Kiefer: The zookeeper runs over and yells, Holy shit! Which is the only reaction you could have?


Alison Leiby: What else could you say?


Halle Kiefer: And Vera shows him, says he bit me and it ruined my dress. Lionel, of course, recognized his mother’s horrified scream from anywhere. He and Paquita run over to her, and Vera demands Lionel take her home and sort of dump, Paquita for the day, at least. And he does. When they get home, she sobs to him, like, I don’t know why you do these things to upset me. And Lionel kind of decides, all right, you’re right. If it’s upsetting my mother, I don’t have to go on dates anymore. And he puts her to bed after wrapping her arm, and Vera says, I don’t deserve a son like you. But when Lionel shuts off the light and closes the door, we see Vera start to. Get really uncomfortable and sweaty and start to writhe in her bed. Lionel goes in his room to get ready, and he hears Paquita calling to him from the lawn. She’s waving and says, you left your jacket with me at the zoo. Can I come up and give it to you? He says, oh, I don’t think so. But then he ends up going down to her is like, I can’t do this. I’m really sorry. Like, I know it seems weird, my relation with my mom, but, like, she’s old and I’m all she has left. Paquita informs him, I’m really sorry, but we’re romantically entangled because she’s. She’s like, I saw the cards, bitch. This is happening.


Alison Leiby: This is. We are not. This isn’t just like I like you. This is. We are cosmically.


Halle Kiefer: Fated.


Alison Leiby: Bringing, like, forced together. Like, let’s just roll with it.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And they kiss and he’s like, well, okay, I guess we’re romantically entangled. Okay, gotta go with it. In case we didn’t get it, we see Graham at home, hair down, looking fabulous.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: And she’s doing the, she’s doing the tarot again, and is pulling the same cards. So we see again, I believe the queen. That’s Paquita. We see Lionel the night, and we see him smiling like it’s the night’s drawing, and then him smiling, and we see Paquita get into bed next to him and kiss. So presumably they had sex. They’re having sex. Unfortunately, we see the oppression card again, and we see Vera is vibrating in bed and the bite is bleeding through her wrapping. And we see the grandma panicking and pulling card after card. It says failure, debauched, defeat, death. I was like, okay, well that must be a different tarot deck. I don’t know all of those.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know those cards.


Halle Kiefer: Alison. As long as Lionel and Paquita start to make love, we see pus ejaculate from Vera’s wound and splatter against a photo of her late husband.


Alison Leiby: Ugh.


Halle Kiefer: On the night table, is gnarly, and it’s only getting more gnarly from here.


Alison Leiby: Ladies and gentlemen, tell me when it was that you almost threw up.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, I will, believe me, in the morning, Lionel is in the best. This could also be the first time he’s ever had sex, because we’ve never. He didn’t seem like he gets out much.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I could see this person maybe not having done that.


Halle Kiefer: And so he goes into his mother’s room and he throws open the cards. He’s like, mother, what a beautiful day it is, you know? And he turns finds his mother covered in boils, sweating, pale and when he changes the bandages. It’s not just like an open wound, but there’s something like postulating inside of the wound when he tries to clean it. It kind of like, moves around, like to avoid being touched. And Lionel says, I’m calling nurse McTavish again. He’s a smart man. Let’s call in a medical professional. Vera refuses, and it’s like, I want you to look after me, Lionel. I don’t want anyone else in the house. Alison. The doorbell rings. It’s Nora Matheson from the Wellington Women’s League. My God, it’s Friday. It’s the most inopportune time. Actually, there’s two times I almost threw up. And I’ll of course, flag both of them.


Alison Leiby: Okay great. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel runs back upstairs after answering the front door, says, mother, you’re too sick to see them. I’ll just tell them to come back next week. And Vera says, get my dress. He gets her dressed. She goes downstairs and she looks horrible.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: She’s clearly unwell. And but he, sets them down for lunch. What they’re eating for lunch is meat, mashed potatoes and baked beans. And yes, my mouth is filling with saliva.


Alison Leiby: It’s just a heavy lunch.


Halle Kiefer: Listen, people have bad things to say about British food, too. And I say, bring it on.


Alison Leiby: You I—


Halle Kiefer: I want meat, I want a big slop plate of beans on a bunch of brown bread. I’m sorry. It’s.


Alison Leiby: I don’t know. I need a green.


Halle Kiefer: No vegetables.


Alison Leiby: I need a green at lunch.


Halle Kiefer: Nora and her husband. Nora’s husband. Try to make small talk, and. Or she’s trying to ask Vera about her plans for sort of the annual meeting or what? Her thoughts on what they should do this year. Vera can only repeat the word she’s saying.


Alison Leiby: Good.


Halle Kiefer: And, meanwhile, Nora’s husband is just chowing down and at some point says, you know, we really need another war. Nora’s like, okay, it’s like this. This thing that he brings up every at every lunch. She’s like, thank you, dear. But of course, Nora is unnerved. And so she says, you know, I we should be going. I’ll, I’ll call you next week.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Something’s going on here. Nora’s husband says, no pudding? Lionel says, well we’ve got to listen. I’m here for lunch. It’s not going to be a little dessert just a little bit.


Alison Leiby: I mean, I do think there should be dessert with every meal.


Halle Kiefer: I concur.


Alison Leiby: Even if it’s just like a piece of fruit or a piece of chocolate. You do have to have a sweet ending.


Halle Kiefer: If someone brings out a piece of fruit, no berries. I will accept berries as a dessert, I feel like.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, some berries and cream.


Halle Kiefer: Berries and cream.


Alison Leiby: In the winter, some really good citrus and some candy.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel says, well, I only have a custard, which I do like custard he brings out.


Alison Leiby: Custard is terrific.


Halle Kiefer: Four bowls. And as they’re eating it. Of course, Nora’s husband’s loving it. And as we watch, Nora’s wound again, ejaculates pus, and it sprays into Norris husband’s custard. And before they can say anything, he scoops it up.


Alison Leiby: It’s this one.


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And eats it.


Alison Leiby: Oh my God.


Halle Kiefer: And he says, rich and creamy, just the way I like it.


Alison Leiby: I’m going to throw up just hearing that.


Halle Kiefer: As if that wasn’t bad enough, Nora’s ear falls off into her custard and she eats, and she eats it.


Alison Leiby: [laughs] That’s so foul.


Halle Kiefer: Nora feels the same way and immediately stands up and runs to the bathroom, not to vomit. And I again, I did say this is white people culture though. Just don’t say anything. Just get out. Don’t say anything.


Alison Leiby: Right, right.


Halle Kiefer: Afterwards, Paquita stops by. She doesn’t know about the mom either, and she’s like, I have to tell you something. My grandma did the cards again, and—


[clip of Diana Peñalver]: Dark forces are marching against you, and the path ahead is one of fear. And great danger.


Alison Leiby: Not wrong.


Halle Kiefer: But also, Lionel’s like oh, this lady who was nice to me, nice to have sex with me. I don’t want her to know that my mom’s, like falling apart or something. However, she has brought her dog Fernando, who has run upstairs, and Vera has also. Excuse me, been placed back upstairs by Lionel. Unfortunately, they hear the pained bark of Fernando, the German Shepherd, and they run upstairs. But it’s too late. Vera has eaten the dog, which gives us a line from the trailer. Your mother ate my dog.


Alison Leiby: Dog.


Halle Kiefer: And this is the moment where I actually almost threw up, which I find I have such a thing with hair.


Alison Leiby: Oh.


Halle Kiefer: Like. The idea of, like, textured hair in your mouth. And he reaches over and he pulls out.


Alison Leiby: No.


Halle Kiefer: Like like a hank— Like it’s almost like. Not like a full bearskin rug, but like a massive amount of fur. And I almost vomited. I almost vomited here and it is like Smell-O-Vision where I just sort of like I can’t smell it, but like I can imagine.


Alison Leiby: I can feel it. Yeah, I know all of the sensory experiences I would be having if this were happening, even just like in a room in a building I’m in. I feel like I could, like really it’s coming through.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah.


Alison Leiby: It’s coming through.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. It’s wild. Lionel again says, hey, could you go get nurse McTavish? We got to help this woman out, something bad wrong—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Something’s going on. Yeah. We gotta fix this.


Halle Kiefer: Paquita goes to get nurse McTavish. Nurse McTavish comes in and says, we got to get this bitch to a hospital.


Alison Leiby: Yes. Thank you.


Halle Kiefer: So. So, Paquita runs up just to, pack a little bag for her, and they’re trying to figure out, like, we’ll call the hospital. We’ll call an ambulance. Like, what’s, the best thing to do while they’re discussing this? Nurse McTavish goes to make a phone call. Vera dies in Lionel’s arms.


Alison Leiby: Oh.


Halle Kiefer: And Nurse McTavish comes back. She says, I’m so sorry. Your mother’s dead, Lionel. And Lionel is just hit with, like, my God, this person I have lived my entire life for, and I always thought I would be doing that has died. And he’s devastated.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Until, as he’s talking to Nurse McTavish, Zombie Vera stands up.


Alison Leiby: Okay, great.


Halle Kiefer: And rips the nurse’s head clean off her shoulders. [laughter] Alison, if you were in this predicament, what would you do?


Alison Leiby: What would you do?


Halle Kiefer: I don’t care how much I love my mother and I love my mother very much. But if she rips someone else’s head off after I watched her die.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: I’m. Getting it out of there. I am not there to help my mom. I am not like I am there, I am leaving, I am hitting the bricks. I am getting on a plane. I am getting as far away I might grab my. Love interest on the way out.


Halle Kiefer: You got to at this point.


Alison Leiby: Be like, go. Get her and get out of there. I this is. You cannot. He can’t stay there.


Halle Kiefer: I agree, I you know, I think if I, if my mother were to do this, I think I would feel comfortable doing what I had to do just because it just doesn’t sound like something my mother would do.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: I don’t think I’ve never seen it rip someone’s head off their shoulders. And to see that would be like, well, things have taken a turn and—


Alison Leiby: You’re not who I thought you were.


Halle Kiefer: Turn the keys in that car and get it out of here.




Halle Kiefer: And then as soon as Vera rips the nurse’s head off, she starts choking Lionel. Meanwhile, Paquita is upstairs.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, obviously.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Like it’s not gonna stop at the nurse.


Alison Leiby: She’s not like, oh, but you’re fine. I’ve treated you so well your whole life.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, God. Yeah, exactly. Paquita’s upstairs packing a bag and can’t hear anything, but also doesn’t know that she can’t hear them, so she keeps yelling stuff down the stairs. Like, is yours the green toothbrush? Or is your mom’s. Is the white one. Which. I’m sorry. I’m in the bathroom, and I’m trying to figure out whose stuff is what. Lionel’s able to get free, and he smashes a mug over his mother’s head, only to be grabbed from behind by nurse McTavish, who is now a zombie as well.


Alison Leiby: Great.


Halle Kiefer: Fortunately, these first zombies are zombies are not fast, and they’re very disorganized, so they will fight each other.


Alison Leiby: A lot of stumbling it seems?


Halle Kiefer: A lot of stumbling, a lot of slipping on their own fluids. They kind of fight each other like they’re like, almost like apes. Like if they bump into one another, like the nurse and Vera are kind of like brawling with each other. Lionel reaches up and grabs a decorative parrot off the wall. It’s a ceramic wall art.


Alison Leiby: As one does.


Halle Kiefer: Hurls it end over end and it embeds itself i Nurse McTavish’s skull.


Alison Leiby: Great.


Halle Kiefer: And as they descend on him, he’s able to sort of knock trick both the nurse and his mother into the basement, where he at least shut the door, lock it. Then Paquita comes down the stairs and he says, oh, they just left. The ambulance came and got her. It was really fast.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Tell her about the zombies in the basement.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, you got to. You got to let people know what’s going on with that.


Halle Kiefer: What are you doing?


Alison Leiby: Because they’re not just going to chill out and lay low like they’re up to something.


Halle Kiefer: I also think this woman has already told you that her understanding of this is that you are fated and destined to be together.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: So if anyone is going to be open to something like this, some kind of tragedy. She already said, like dark forces are conspiring. So if you tell the story, she’s like, okay, well, I knew that that’s. Thank you for telling me. Give me a reason I can, I can have. But instead he tries to play it off. It’s like, oh, you know, actually, you could go home, you know, you don’t have to be here. He’s like, well, okay, we can hang out.


Alison Leiby: Okay. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: If you want to be alone. And we hear the zombies banging around in the basement. And so Lionel turns on the radio and is sort of laughing and, like, trying to make noise, and Paquita is put out. It’s like when we just fucked last night. Like, I want to help you. I’m sorry your mom’s sick, but okay, I guess, you know, he’s like, I’ll see you at the shop. I’ll see you down the shop. Just don’t worry about it. Just wants to get out of the house. Lionel goes down to the vet. And this character of the veterinarian for this town is obviously a Nazi who fled Germany and is hiding. Which makes sense. It’s 1957 and is immediately like, you’re not immigration, right? I don’t have my papers, so don’t ask me for them. And has, like, a thick German accent.


Alison Leiby: Great.


Halle Kiefer: And, in case we didn’t get it. And he’s wearing a white lab coat, and he turns and it rips off part of the sleeve, revealing a swastika underneath.


Alison Leiby: Cool.


Halle Kiefer: Which Lionel doesn’t see, but we see. So guess we’re not getting the joke, right?


Alison Leiby: It’s like, here you go.


Halle Kiefer: But also, I mean, I think, unfortunately, Nazis did flee everywhere in the world, so that probably is a joke about. I got to imagine some of them had it in New Zealand.


Alison Leiby: For sure.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel says. Yeah. I was interested in buying some sedatives, and the vet says, what do you think I am, a goddamn doctor? I don’t sell sedatives. Tranquilizers. Well, I could probably do you for some of those.


Alison Leiby: Well, yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And he gives Lionel what looks like a gallon milk jug, like, sized bottle of liquid tranquilizers. And he says, do you want a syringe? Or are you just going to sniff. That’s the last time we see the vet. Like I was really excited to have such a fucking freak swing of a character. We’ll meet some other weirdos. But it, it was just, ships passing. We just got to see him for a moment. Here for, for a short time.


Alison Leiby: Here for a good time not for a long time.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Shout out to Brian Sergent, who played the characters. Oh, he’s been in a ton of stuff. Again, a very weird, wild, big swing. The Nazi vet who is happy to sell as much liquid tranquilizer to Lionel as possible. So Lionel suits up. He kind of, like, builds like a football suit out of stuff he has in the house, goes through the basement, has to physically fight nurse McTavish and Vera, but then is able to inject both of them in their rotting faces with tranquilizer.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Doesn’t nurse McTavish have like a decorative parrot jammed in her head?


Halle Kiefer: And she does pretty much for the rest of the movie later. And there’s some more mayhem. But you do cut to it, and I couldn’t tell what it was. I had to go back and watch the initial moment because they keep shooting it from the behind. So it’s just like white part. I was like, is it a star? Is it a fish?


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: But as far as I could tell from when he throws it, it is a decorative parrot, which is very funny.


Alison Leiby: Fabulous.


Halle Kiefer: Finally, after sedating them, it does work. They’re sort of comatose in the basement. Lionel goes upstairs and collapses and again sees the image of a his father’s hand while drowning. Drowning? But only this time he sees a woman’s face next to it, a blonde woman drowning as well. Lionel eventually realizes, hey, you know that woman who seems to care about me and who warned me that things are about to go really wrong? I should probably go see what she knows about this. So he goes down to the shop. Paquita is thrilled to see him like, oh my God, are you okay? He tells her, oh, you know. Yeah, my mom’s in the hospital. But I did want to talk about the dark forces. So we go to see grandma. Unfortunately, grandma tells him you’re marked, like. I don’t know what I can tell you that much. I don’t know if I could tell you everything.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, we see Vera break out of the basement in their home and set out on foot.


Alison Leiby: Oh, good. She’s on the loose.


Halle Kiefer: Yes, but still Paquita tries to say, okay, like if you’re marked dark forces. She says to Lionel. If something is wrong, tell me.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: But he says, no, you know, I don’t. I think it’s going to be fine. I my mother is just in the hospital, but they give him a necklace that is in the shape of the crescent moon and the star. And grandma says, keep this with you. It will guide you. It contains the power of the white light. And Lionel’s like, okay, seems fine. As they leave, Paquita says, but really, how was your mother? I mean, she’s she was clearly in a bad way. Is she okay? She’s like, no, just needs a couple more days. Meanwhile, we see Vera, who is clearly a zombie. Yes. Staggering down the street now.


Alison Leiby: Yes. Is it day or night?


Halle Kiefer: It’s broad daylight.


Alison Leiby: Okay, great.


Halle Kiefer: And it’s not a big town. Towns. There aren’t that many people around.


Alison Leiby: Still.


Halle Kiefer: However, she then steps in front of the trolley car and her body flies through the air and smashes through the front door of the shop. So not only did this happen in front of Paquita and her grandma, everyone from the train gets off and runs in because they’re like, oh my God, we we hit—


Alison Leiby: Hit an old woman into a store front.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I think it was Vera Cosgrove girl, that fucking c-nt that just got named treasurer elect of the Wellington Women’s League. They run in and Lionel has to pretend that. Oh, he says, oh, they must have let her out early and that this is how she died, because she looks horrible, like. And she’s unconscious. So like.


Alison Leiby: Well. Yeah, yeah. She’s a mess.


Halle Kiefer: So anyone seeing it is like oh my God, she just died in front of us because he’s not going to tell anyone she’s a.


Alison Leiby: She’s been like this for a couple days now.


Halle Kiefer: So now we’re going to Vera’s funeral.


Alison Leiby: Oh my God.


Halle Kiefer: And we hear the undertaker talk to the priest, whose name is Father McGruder. And I’m probably going to say a McGruber. It is. So I really apologize.


Alison Leiby: Honestly. Great. I’ll just imagine it’s Will Forte.


Halle Kiefer: Please do. Honestly, he basically is a well, that’s a private character. If they do a shot by shot remake, then it should be. He should play the priest and the undertaker says it’s for the damnedest thing. We we’ve been embalming this body for days, but it’s not taking. And, Lionel keeps demanding to see the body, like, twice a day, and it’s like, I understand that she’s the only thing you had. But we know that Lionel keeps trying to see the body so we can inject her with tranquilizer.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Or else she will wake up. And again, it’s like Lionel just tell Paquita about this. Like there’s no way you can keep this up.


Alison Leiby: Tell one. Also like, he’s asking, like, if you’re like, this body won’t embalm and the sun keeps bothering us to see her. I feel like those two things might have something to do with each other.


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. And then we meet the true villain. Other than the mom of the movie Uncle Les. So all the Cosgrove family is showing up. Uncle Les is a. If he were, to be played again the shot by shot remake. Danny McBride.


Alison Leiby: Great. Got it.


Halle Kiefer: So, like, stylized sideburns and, like, they’re like a weird triangular shape.


Alison Leiby: Yep.


Halle Kiefer: He’s he’s smoking, but also has an oxygen tank that he keeps inhaling and immediately sees Paquita. Paquita looking fabulous in a black dress. And he goes, hey, who are you? Immediately starts hitting on the only woman he sees, and she introduces herself and says she’s here for the funeral. He says [?] it’s like, oh God, please.


Alison Leiby: Yuck.


Halle Kiefer: You just met this. And she of course, storms away because he’s disgusting. However, the funerals about to start and Paquita goes to talk to the priest. The priest says Lionel is late. He was suppose to be here 20 minutes ago. If he’s not here in ten minutes, I will deliver her to the Lord myself. The reason Lionel is not there is because they are finishing the embalming, and he’s snuck in to give her one last tranquilizer, one last tranquilizer, so she will be sedated during her own funeral. But before he can inject her. The, embalming machine goes haywire, and she starts spraying enbalming, bright green embalming fluid.


Alison Leiby: No.


Halle Kiefer: Out of her orifices, and they force her eyes to bug out of her head. The undertaker and the person who I’m going to call the undertaker junior. Because I don’t know what how that works, what their role is [both speaking] runs in and goes, oh, my God, you were supposed to unhook this a half an hour ago. Implying the body is so full it’s now bursting with embalming fluid, but it’s obviously not taken.


Alison Leiby: That’s not what’s up. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Alison, the priest begins the sermon. And also, I think we’re to think the, it’s like it’s on the same property, like, this is a, a funeral home. They’re in the morgue. They just have to throw her in the coffin, right?


Alison Leiby: Right.


Halle Kiefer: So they throw her in the coffin, they bring her up, and the priest begins his sermon. The message of today’s sermon is the sanctity of motherhood. Lionel was blessed with an abundance of mother love, which also does seem like something Will Forte would say.


Alison Leiby: Yes, I can hear there’s like five different voices he does. That would all make this work.


Halle Kiefer: The one where he is like, blond hair and glasses. He’s like Barack Hussein Obama.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it’s like really breathy, but like, really like abrupt.


Halle Kiefer: The message of today’s sermon is the sanctity of motherhood. Meanwhile, Lionel’s like, oh, I just want one last moment with my mother alone to nail her coffin shut so she doesn’t get up in the middle of the funeral.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Alison, you know that bitch explorer explodes out of it and is brawling with her son behind the scenes at her funeral. And just when the priest has sort of made his point about what an incredible gift this mother was to her son, Lionel and her explode through the stained glass window during their fight, falling essentially next to the altar in front of everyone.


Alison Leiby: I mean.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel’s able to inject her with that final tranquilizer shot.


Alison Leiby: Oh, okay. Great.


Halle Kiefer: So she is knocked out at least. So then everyone just thinks Lionel’s lost his—


Alison Leiby: That he like threw her through a window with himself.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And they’re also like, well, Lionel is always weird, and Vera is extremely weird. And, I mean, he does seem like someone who would have a breakdown. But again, it’s like, so you think he took her out of the coffin and threw her—


Alison Leiby: Through a window?


Halle Kiefer: Through a window in the middle of her own funeral. Like, go help that man, you know?


Alison Leiby: Right? Right. Even if that is what happened, and it’s now your job to intervene.


Halle Kiefer: You could talk to him. Sorry. So, Lionel goes to wander around the cemetery, and everyone heads over to the plot, and we see sort of all the attendees saying.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Well, at least Lionel will be well cared for. He could maybe afford some mental help. The Cosgroves certainly aren’t paupers, and he’s a sole beneficiary. But the sole beneficiary, of course, as we hear this, we see Uncle Les and sort of like a, like, remember that meme of Ma where she’s like, behind a—


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: —wall, we see Uncle Les behind a tombstone, laughing and lighting up a cigarette sole beneficiary. We’ll see about that. Alison. That night, Lionel goes to dig up Vera’s body, which also like give yourself a break and let her dig it up. You know, like, if she’s coming out, she’s coming out.


Alison Leiby: Right. She’s going to figure out, like, buy yourself some time. You’re giving her. You’re just making it quicker for her to get all her stuff she needs to get done. Done.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. However, he is interrupted by a pack of toughs. We would call them here. I don’t know what they call them in, New Zealand. For us, they look like greasers, leather jackets, Pompadour. It’s an incredible look. It’s an unbeatable look.


Alison Leiby: It is an unbeatable look.


Halle Kiefer: I mean, you know, we could do Rockabilly, but it’s never going to be how hard that would hit in the 50s.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Like, imagine being in the 50s. And you see that guy.


Alison Leiby: A guy.


Halle Kiefer: Show up be like, well, I’m going to try to fuck that guy.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, with a leather jacket and like, a white t shirt and jeans.


Halle Kiefer: The hottest anyone has ever been.


Alison Leiby: That’s the hottest anyone’s ever looked.


Halle Kiefer: However, they are basically ike, who is this? Who is this gaylord in the in the fucking cemetery where we drink and piss all night. Three of them started beating up Lionel. The ringleader starts peeing on Vera’s grave.


Alison Leiby: She’s not going to like that.


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely not. Lionel screams. That’s my mother you’re pissing on Alison, Vera’s zombie arms shoots out of the grave and of course grabs the greasers dick, he’s the ringleader. And he screams and he is yanked down onto the fresh grave by his wiener, and Vera proceeds to disembowel him. And as we cut to the shot of him, it looks like he’s fucking the the grave, the fresh dirt of the grave. But in fact, she is eviscerating him and then hurls him across the graveyard before leaping out of her grave and descending on the other greasers.


Alison Leiby: Did she just burst through a coffin?


Halle Kiefer: She sure did Alison.


Alison Leiby: Wow.


Halle Kiefer: She sure did. We see Father McGruder run out of the church, just as the greasers are themselves awakening as zombies. So the zombie infestation is spreading pretty much from here on out.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly.


Alison Leiby: The priest says the devil is amongst us. This calls for divine intervention. And this is a very Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the dead moment.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Because Father McGruder comes over and starts using karate to kick the zombie greasers ass all over the cemetery.


Alison Leiby: [laughs] Karate?


Halle Kiefer: He is literally like kicking them in the face, karate, chopping them, throwing them over his shoulder like he’s been waiting for this opportunity.


Alison Leiby: Right?


Halle Kiefer: And at one point he screams.


[clip of Stuart Devenie]: I kick ass for the Lord.


Halle Kiefer: And I wrote, what a film. What a, what a phenomenal film.


Alison Leiby: Now I need to hear Will Forte say that.


Halle Kiefer: I know, I mean, we need to just write another movie. Peter Jackson needs to write a film for him. I think that’s a perfect.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: This could be a prequel, even.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: He kick boxes, the greaser zombies. He ends up ripping one of their arms off. He is unfazed by this. He kicks him in the face a million times. This scene was incredibly long, and it could have been longer because every time I thought it was over, he just sits up like he kicks one of the greasers heads off its body into the air. Unfortunately, Alison, it lands on his shoulder and invites the priest.


Alison Leiby: Can they get like it’s just a rogue head of a zombie capable of doing what a full but like, I guess you just need the mouth and the brains.


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, yes, unfortunately in this movie, at least, it’s—


Alison Leiby: So. The rules of zombies within this film dictate that just a head can still do the job.


Halle Kiefer: But it’s good to ask because it could be different rules. It really depends what kind of zombie we’re talking about.


Alison Leiby: Like, I wouldn’t expect that. Like if a zombie’s had landed on my shoulder and bit me, that that might necessarily turn me in the way that if somebody walked up to me and bit me, it would do the same thing.


Halle Kiefer: Right? It’s sort of like in my mind, a vampire’s head couldn’t do that it would have to be connected to the vampire. But also, I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: But zombies, they’re kind of they’re mostly parts.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. You’re right. And these breakdown of component parts are going to put back together again.


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm mm hmm yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And in his last moment of life and his last act as a priest, father McGruder leaps to kick one of the zombies and instead flies over him and impales himself on the middle arm of an angel tombstone. For reasons I’m not entirely sure of. And this is where I really start to question Lionel. He takes all of the zombies back home.


Alison Leiby: What?


Halle Kiefer: I guess he’s he’s decided it’s his. It’s his responsibility.


Alison Leiby: It’s his problem.


Halle Kiefer: He’s a people pleaser. And he wants to please the people of his town by not letting them all get turned into zombies over and—


Alison Leiby: Yeah I guess I can see like it’s it’s incorrect.


Halle Kiefer: Yes.


Alison Leiby: But like to be like okay I’m just going to contain them.


Halle Kiefer: Yes.


Alison Leiby: So that they don’t cause more mayhem. But it’s like you can’t alone do that. Also like, all these people just saw all this chaos at like.


Halle Kiefer: Right.


Alison Leiby: Tell someone.


Halle Kiefer: So however, he is able to sort of keep them sort of as, as pets provided he keeps them constantly dosed at with tranquilizer. Right. So he we see in the morning, he makes all of them scrambled eggs. So it’s the three greasers father McGruder, nurse McTavish and his and his mother.


Alison Leiby: Great. Full house.


Halle Kiefer: Also. That’s like where the grocery bill here is for the rest of for all the rest of your natural life. I’m at that point. I’m like, even if you’re tranquilizing them all the time, they’re going to catch you at a point where they’re not tranquilized like somebody will bite—


Alison Leiby: You have to sleep at some point.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Nurse McTavish tries to eat, but she was decapitated, so her head is just sort of, like, put back on her body. So he has to unhook her head, like, take the top off.


Alison Leiby: Why are you feeding her?


Halle Kiefer: Put the eggs. I don’t know, but I guess they do need to be fed because they’re really distraught when they can’t eat.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: The greaser, the ringleader, the greaser, the one who was disemboweled. He puts his spoon back, goes all the way through the back of his skull, and he can’t eat. So Lionel has to go and kind of help them eat.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And he’s very again, that’s. He was very kind of him.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, the zombies are also horny. Alison.


Alison Leiby: No. Why?


Halle Kiefer: I, you know, nature finds a way. I guess.


Alison Leiby: So it seems.


Halle Kiefer: Father McGruder reaches over and starts fingering nurse McTavish, and nurse McTavish turns and is delighted in this sort of it, and they start making out just as the doorbell rings.


Alison Leiby: No. That’s chaos.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel is able to, like, shut the doors and trap them in the living room or in the dining room rather, and to go answer the door. It’s of course, Uncle Les.


Alison Leiby: Yes. Okay. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And Uncle Les is like.


Alison Leiby: Great. You want the money? You could help solve this problem.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. He’s like, you know, your mom always meant to put something for me in her will, you know? And she’s so. She’s so forgetful. She meant to request basically went, I just really think, you know, I think that we could get something done, and I was like, I’ll be absolutely honest. I am still reeling, from my mother’s death. And you will have to talk to the lawyers about that. I’m not handling any of it. I don’t know anything about her will. And Uncle Les is like, oh, we’re family. Don’t bring lawyers into this. Oh, come on, like, immediately starts guilting him.


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm.


Halle Kiefer: And in the living room come the sounds of fucking. And of Uncle Les is like, oh my God, you have are people fucking in here? Lionel says no no no no I know it’s on the radio I’m listening to the I’m listening on TV and Uncle Les says, oh did you find your dad’s old stag films. Oh, we’d watch those all the time. Is this the one with the donkey and the chambermaid?


Alison Leiby: Jesus Christ.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel says, you know what? Maybe. Could you come back another time? And Uncle Les says.


How about never?


I’ll come back. But don’t worry, I’m not done with you. He eventually leaves. Lionel runs in and the priest and the nurse are just full on having zombie sex on the table while everyone else watches and the priest bite like kisses her, but then essentially bites her lips and rips off part of her face.


Alison Leiby: Do they eat flesh or do they just want eggs?


Halle Kiefer: You know, they seem pretty content with the eggs. I think that they are filled with a mania for chaos, most of all because they do eat body parts. Then they also eat human food. So I think that the I think much like the we saw the rat monkey eat apple core and rip the arm off of a monkey corpse. They’re kind of they’ll do whatever. That night Lionel tranquilizes all the zombies again and puts them in front of jeopardy or whatever New Zealand jeopardy is and kind of ties them to the chair. So at least if he keeps them tranquilized. But then Paquita sees him. Lionel looks horrible of course he hasn’t slept.


Alison Leiby: He’s working hard.


Halle Kiefer: And he’s carrying another gallon of tranquilizer. And I’m like, how you’re going through it in a day or two?


Alison Leiby: Just that Nazi vet?


Halle Kiefer: I think so, but also that it can’t be cheap.


How much does he have like—


Alison Leiby: New Zealand is not a country, I imagine, where it’s like there’s so much of everything. Like it’s a it’s a small island nation in comparison to like Australia, the United States, like, come on.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel is just he’s fighting. He’s fighting a good fight. But it is a losing battle. Yeah. And because sees him carrying another gallon tranquilizer and it’s like, okay, so are we. You’re just never going to talk to me again after all this? Like I saw your mom fucking die with you by the trolley. I want to help you. And he essentially is like, he. He rejects her, but obviously we know he just doesn’t want her to get involved.


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yeah, he’s protecting her from this, which is very kind.


Halle Kiefer: Noble. But he does love her. So she turns and she starts crying. So he runs back to her, but then she pushes him away. Right when Roger, the delivery man, comes over and he assumes from the interaction that Lionel is bothering her or like grabbing her, and he just fucking punches Lionel’s lights out. Lionel goes home and this side to me is the dark night of the soul, where it’s like, not only do I have to feed all these goddamn zombies, not only is my—


Alison Leiby: The woman I love.


Money, hungry. Yeah, yeah, and the whole thing’s falling apart. Lionel goes home and he finds the nurse writhing on the floor. And he turns and he sees the radio explode, and from it he reaches inside and he pulls. Alison, it’s a zombie, baby. And we see the nurse and father McGruder smile. They had a zombie baby in less than 24 hours, apparently.


Alison Leiby: It came out of the radio.


Halle Kiefer: Well, I think. I think she gave birth and it’s sort of injected. It’s like an old timey wooden radio, like it’s a big structure and I. But there’s.


Alison Leiby: So it kind of fired out of her in into the radio.


Halle Kiefer: That’s what I think. Okay. And then he had to pull it out. The radio.


Alison Leiby: Sure.


Halle Kiefer: Being som esort of proxy vagina.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Taking this out so. Lionel. Again he’s tried his best here. He takes the zombie baby to the park in a baby buggy in a pram. And you know, as soon as you see that buggy there on a hill that the pram will get out of his hands, the baby will fly out of it, it will fall onto a seesaw and be said.


Alison Leiby: Catapulted?


Halle Kiefer: Catapulted in the air. It will, land near a little girl. And it will it crawl quickly like a rat monster. Like a rat monkey.


Alison Leiby: Obviously. As they would.


Halle Kiefer: To bite a little girl. And in front of everyone, Lionel not only has to grab the baby and then just start kicking its ass in front of the entire park. Which, as far as they could, it’s just him beating the shit out of a baby.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Alison, my. And another incredible moment in this movie. At certain points, the baby is clearly being played by a man in like, a baby suit, and then it’s shot from a little far away. So it’s giving you perspective, but it’s obviously a an adult in a baby costume.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: Which is such a funny choice. And it looks insane.


Alison Leiby: Of course it does. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: But then when it’s a baby, it’s Lionel fighting with a baby doll. You know what I mean so, it’s kind of like when you see, like, somebody fighting with, like, somebody that is clearly—


I love when it’s clearly like a mannequin. I think it’s so funny.


Alison Leiby: Me too. It’s so funny.


Halle Kiefer: So I think when they cut to the man in the suit I’m like all right, I see what you’re here doing here. [laughs] And Lionel ends up grabbing the baby, wrestling it and putting it into a duffle bag. And these two judgmental moms are watching him. He goes hyperactive and he goes to run away. Alison when he goes to leave the park, he sees Paquita on a walk with Roger and Roger, just like, oh my God, I can’t believe I fucking knocked that guy out with my punch. Like he’s like reliving the fight. And of course, Paquita sees Lionel and we know that she knows that they’re destined to be together. But he. If he’s not, if he’s gonna be like this to shut her out, then I will go out with Roger if I don’t want to. Lionel gets home and he finds the basement door open. And he panics. But when he runs to look, all the zombies are still there and they’re still tied up and they’re still tranquilized.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: He turns around and Uncle Les has discovered them.


Alison Leiby: Not great.


Halle Kiefer: So from what I can tell.


Alison Leiby: Let them get him.


Halle Kiefer: I mean, basically they’re sedated. So les is like, you’re a serial killer. These are all people you killed, and they’re keeping down. Like it’s just their bodies.


Alison Leiby: Not even close.


Halle Kiefer: And he says, you know, it’d be really a shame. I would hate to call the police on a family member, even if they were, I don’t know, serial killing people and hiding their corpses. But let’s just say if I got my hands on some of that Cosgrove dough and Lionel is so stupefied, he says, okay, you want the money or you want the house? And we see, Les go over and starts dialing whatever the version of 911 is, and he’s like, hello? I’m reporting a multiple murder. And Lionel says, you want the money and the house. And uncle says, well, I mean, it just seems like a fair exchange, right?


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And Lionel’s basically like, okay, I have to go tranquilize a bunch of zombies, so I don’t even have time to argue with you.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Right. Lionel ends up going to tranquilize them all when he walks upstairs. Uncle Les has not only just fucking taken over the whole house, he has invited all of his dirtbag friends and their horrible wives.


Alison Leiby: Oh, good.


Halle Kiefer: For a gigantic celebratory party. Meanwhile, there are six zombies in the basement. Oh, and a baby. Lionel. Of course immediately tries to break it all up. Tell everyone to please leave. But everyone’s having a great time. They’re dancing. We see this dark haired woman named Rita dancing with Uncle Les. And you know what? She starts to ask Lionel to dance. Les grabs her and says, oh, no use asking Lionel. He’s not like his dad. His dad was a real stick man. It’s like that is a phrase I’ve never heard.


Alison Leiby: No I don’t.


Halle Kiefer: We also have this other incredible blonde woman who says who’s eating like there’s like, Les just put out like, miniature cocktail weenies and toothpicks. And she goes, do you have anything else I could put in my mouth? It’s like, oh, so I guess all his friends are really horny and already drunk when they show up.


Alison Leiby: It seems that way.


Halle Kiefer: So everyone’s dancing? You know, Lionel is trying to keep, control of things and get people out of there, but, of course, nobody is listening.


Alison Leiby: No, why would they.


Halle Kiefer: Just then Paquita and Roger happened to be walking by the house, which is jumping, and she can see from the outside. She says, this is insane. This doesn’t seem like something Lionel would do, especially after his mother’s just [both speaking] fucking died.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: I need to investigate this. Hit the skids, Roger and Roger’s like. Oh, but then he just. He just. He just heads out, you know? He takes the L, I appreciate that about Roger. She frantically searches for Lionel. Instead Les grabs her. And in a classic, moment, I feel like from so many movies before basically grabs and hauls her to the kitchen is like, come get a drink. I think we gotta get to know each other. And he says, I bet you go off like a rocket.


Alison Leiby: Ew.


Halle Kiefer: I know she knees him in the crotch, and his wig falls off.


Alison Leiby: Okay, I love that.


Halle Kiefer: And she’s able to escape. But the door that she hides behind Alison is the basement door.


Alison Leiby: She walks down the stairs.


Halle Kiefer: Where the folks are. And she sees all of the zombies and they’re all tied up at least, and she goes, oh my God. Nurse McTavish. Father McGruder, your mother is here.


Alison Leiby: And it’s like also they’re all a mess. Like.


Halle Kiefer: They are such a stinky, rotting mess. And so Lionel has to try to explain, like, look, they’re dead, but they’re not really dead. They’re like, dead alive or something. They’re brain dead and they’re rotting. So, like, it does stink. They are physically falling apart. They have a conversation where basically Paquita says, I think we got to figure out a way to wrap this up, right? Like, I don’t know what that is, but I think we got to talk about the the zombie portion. We got all this stuff going on with human beings upstairs. What can we do, Alison? Lionel goes to inject his mother and the other zombies again, but it is not tranquilizer. Instead, he sees. We see that he has a bottle that is marked poison. Now, my question is, your mother has already been hit by a trolley, buried alive.


Alison Leiby: What is poison going to do?


Halle Kiefer: But worth a shot.


Alison Leiby: Some of them have been decapitated. And then, just, like, loosely reassembled.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, so I didn’t quite know. But, you know, worth a shot? We got to try it, you know, he’s sobbing, sobbing and Paquita says, I’ll do it. But he says, no, I want to do it. He injects his mother in her again, even more rotting face. And here, I said, does the logic of this make sense? It doesn’t matter. Again, they’re very distraught. They’re like, we got to figure out if it’s.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: You know, even if it wasn’t decapitating them and it wasn’t bury them alive. Maybe it’s poison.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And so they dig up the body, they dig up the floor of the basement, and they bury all the bodies, which would take, if not a day, days to do.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And when they go upstairs, Paquita still looks incredible. Like her hair looks fabulous. She has a different, beautiful sun dress on. She ostensibly. She’s dug seven graves in the last 45 minutes.


Alison Leiby: She’s, like, clean and fab. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And she wore pumps doing it. And that is. I mean, the fantasy.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: When they go upstairs, Uncle Les grabs Paquita, and Lionel fucking finally punches him in the face.


Alison Leiby: Nice.


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, les grabs Lionel, who is kind of a slight guy, and throws him into down the basement stairs and locks the basement door from the outside. He then grabs Paquita and is like, gagging and and then drags her into another room to try to fuck her. Alison. Lionel falls down the stairs and he lands on the bottle of poison, but he realizes the poison is just a warning to not drink it.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: What it actually says is animal stimulant. Alison.


Alison Leiby: Oh, no.


Halle Kiefer: At this point, who will survive?


[voice over]: Who will survive?


Alison Leiby: Oof! I mean, everyone’s kind of in the middle here between alive and dead. I’m going to guess that Lionel and, what’s her name? Paquita.


Halle Kiefer: Paquita?


Alison Leiby: Paquita.


Halle Kiefer: That they both make it out. And that everyone else like. Like. Like he is just like, sets a fire and basically burns the whole house. The whole, like, town down.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Yeah. We are headed into a real gooey third act here. Let me just say that.




Halle Kiefer: Because of the animal stimulant, the zombies, starting with the greasers, started exploding out of the ground. They are exploding out of their graves, much like we saw Vera, explode out of the grave at the cemetery, and we see Lionel is now now has the, the crescent and star necklace and is sort of using it as a and as a protection as a ward. It isn’t really stopping them, but we’re bringing it back into play and seeing potentially could it help? And he runs screaming up the stairs and he’s pounding on the door. Finally, one of the partygoers opens the doors cause he’s like, stop screaming, you’re ruining the party.


Alison Leiby: Who’s screaming?


Halle Kiefer: He screams for everyone to run and leave the house, but it is too late. The zombies have exploded out of the basement.


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes.


Halle Kiefer: And are ripping apart everyone at the party. This is well worth seeing this entire sequence, and I will just point out some highlights of visual disgusting special effects.


Alison Leiby: Yes please.


Halle Kiefer: Perfectly dumb. We see somebody’s entire face, including their scalp and hair ripped off their skull.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: So the skull is covered in blood and sinew and muscle and continues to scream.


Alison Leiby: Great.


Halle Kiefer: Someone’s ribcage is simply ripped directly out of their torso.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: A woman’s heart is removed, but it’s still beating because it’s still connected to all the tubes. And she sees it in the zombies hand. A man’s lower half is completely torn off, except for the skeleton, the leg. So it’s like upper body, man. Lower body. Disney dancing little like old timey skeleton cartoon. Sort of.


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. Like, like when people like, eat a chicken wing and put it in their mouth and then pull it out and it’s clean.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And except it is not clean. It’s still fucking disgusting.


Alison Leiby: Disgusting.


Halle Kiefer: But. It’s just a skeleton bottom half of a skeleton with shoes on. A fist, someone punches through the back of a woman’s head and the fist comes out of her mouth.


Alison Leiby: No. [laughs].


Halle Kiefer: It is just blood, goo, entrails, like spraying. And there are dozens of people at this party, Alison. Unfortunately, as soon as they are killed by the zombies.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: They themselves become zombies.


Alison Leiby: Well of course, this is the problem with these zombies.


Halle Kiefer: This is the problem. And this is the problem.


Alison Leiby: And this is the problem.


Halle Kiefer: We see Lionel, and Paquita they. They’re trying to fight them off from the kitchen. It’s also a huge house. So every room they go into, it’s like, oh, no, there’s already a—


Alison Leiby: A whole bunch of zombies hanging out.


Halle Kiefer: And he’s fighting them off, and he’s there’s a moment where he says Paquita get out of here, just find a place to hide. And she does. Outside uncle Les has not been turned and is basically trying to brawl with the fucking partygoers himself. Have already turned into zombies who are not only trying to eat him, but are eating each other like they’re like there’s a severed limb they’re picking up and tearing into it.


Alison Leiby: Gnawing into it.


Halle Kiefer: Les smashes a garden gnome into somebody’s skull, doesn’t stop on the person still, we see the person cameo.


Alison Leiby: Nothing stopping anyone.


Halle Kiefer: And, Lionel, is forced out of the kitchen, back into the foyer, and all these zombies descend on him, and he starts running. But, Alison, he’s running on blood, so he’s running in place, and he cannot get enough grip. Paquita, meanwhile, is hiding in the kitchen closet and turns, when she hears a sound and just starts stabbing the person next to her. It is Rita the. So the brunette we saw asked Lionel to dance and she says I’m still a I’m still human. I haven’t turned yet. Please don’t kill me. Luckily she doesn’t, but obviously she’s grievously wounded this woman.


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes yes.


Halle Kiefer: But now Paquita is like, I can help you, you know, we’re hiding here. We’re fine for now. Meanwhile, Uncle Les has hit it himself in the shed, only to turn around and find out. He’s there with Father McGruder, and he grabs Father McGruder and sort of puts him in a vice grip, and then takes a pair of pliers and then just starts pulling out Father McGruder teeth. As he tries to bite him. Paquita and Rita. They they’ll be able to shore up the kitchen. But of course, the blond woman who we saw earlier, proposition Lionel. Mandy. As it turns out, she has been turned. She attacks Rita, and Paquita grabs Mandy’s head and shoves it onto a light fixture, and we see a light bulb, like, explodes in the back of his head, and then her head is lit up like a jack o lantern. So the flashlight, the light is still on and it’s beaming through her eyes and mouth.


Alison Leiby: Of course.


Halle Kiefer: We love it.


Alison Leiby: We love that.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel is—


Alison Leiby: Throw one of your color light bulbs in there and really get something going.


Halle Kiefer: My Philips Hue light bulbs, Philips Hue Philips, I know you’re listen, I know you listen to every fucking episode. I already had the light bulbs. I mean, what can you send me.


Alison Leiby: Right. More?


Halle Kiefer: More light bulbs? Yeah. You’re right.


Alison Leiby: They don’t last forever.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel is forced to hide in one of the bathrooms, and we see the greaser, the one that was disemboweled, whose lower half has been cum detached from its body. So he kind of has to like, sit on top of his legs, but then he sort of becomes detached. And then, at least in his case, his intestines are able to function independently. They’re sort of an independent entity. So Lionel’s hiding there. He wrestles Lionel into the bathtub, but Lionel is able to sort of take his upper half and trap him in the toilet. And, he starts to crawl into the air duct to escape. Thank God for air ducts. When suddenly the greasers intestines, which are sort of sloughed off onto the ground, reach up and lasso Lionel’s ankle and start pulling him down.


Alison Leiby: No.


Halle Kiefer: And I think this is just like Peter Jackson, character design, the the which I love. The intestines, like, haul themselves up. So they’re sitting in the sink and then the intestines, like, see themselves for the first time and you see them go like, oh. And that gives them enough time for Lionel to escape up into the attic.


Alison Leiby: Okay, fab.


Halle Kiefer: And I it’s like, well, they don’t have eyes, but I do like that they’re admiring themselves in the mirror. Alison. Lionel finds himself in the attic, and he drops the Star and Moon necklace. And as he looks, the necklace turns on the floor and points at a chest. Alison. What is in that chest when he opens it?


Alison Leiby: A bomb.


Halle Kiefer: It’s his dad’s old stag films.


Alison Leiby: Oh.


Halle Kiefer: Amongst other things. Including photos of his father and another woman. And we flash to the picture. The image of the blond woman. Drowning. Drowning. God I keep saying. Drowning. Sorry, everyone. He sees the woman drowning. He sees his father’s hand and he sees a photo. And it’s an increasingly sexy set of photos where, like, they’re sitting together, and then the dad’s, like, putting a banana in her mouth, and then she’s laying down like it’s in case we didn’t get it, you know what I mean, he’s had affair with this woman.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, in the kitchen, we see, Rita is there picking up boxes and sort of trying to move the, like, the table in the fridge and stuff, like to put it against the doors because all the zombies are, like, they’re just going crazy. They’re banging on the doors. They’re banging on the windows. And when she picks up a box of what appears to be like beer bottles or fruit, I couldn’t tell what it was. The zombie baby explodes out of it and unfortunately bites Rita. Paquita kicks it across the room. It ends up boomeranging back from the fridge. They have sort of a full Looney Tunes moment.


Alison Leiby: Sure.


Halle Kiefer: Where she puts in the blender, but then it’s able to run on top of the blade and it vomits in her face. It leaps up and grabs the light fixture [both speaking] and finally the key is able to knock it out the open window. We’re getting turns into a man in a suit running across the lawn. Meanwhile, they’re in there Les runs up to the window and we see behind Les, at least a dozen, if not two dozen, zombies. And he says, let me in. They’re right behind me. Paquita hesitates because this guy sucks so much.


Alison Leiby: Right? But it’s like he’s only going to be worse as a zombie.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And Paquita’s like there is a zombie horde behind him. Let him in. So they drag him in. Just in time, they slam the window. Close. The ostensibly a zombie hand gets severed in the window, but Les has made it inside. He then sees Rita’s baby zombie bite, and he correctly says she’s about to turn into one of them. She can’t be in here, but however, the zombies are trying to break through the kitchen door and Paquita and Les are distracted, so they go to move the fridge in front of it. Meanwhile, again and this is a he’s kind of enjoying a break like Lionel gets a little break. He’s looking at some sexy photos of his dad and this woman. He then lifts the blanket at the bottom of the chest. And he sees the skeleton of the women of the woman from this photo. So there is a woman’s dead body. In this chest.


Alison Leiby: Okay the woman his dad was having an affair with is dead. And in the house?


Halle Kiefer: In the attic. Exactly. But before he can sort of even start to process what that could mean, the intestines from the greaser have followed him upstairs and have shot. Then shoot through the ceiling and grab him and start, strangling him through the dead corpse of this woman.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Lionel ends up fighting the intestines and falls through the floor of the attic, which isn’t like, you know, sometimes it’s just insulation, like it’s not real.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, there isn’t real structural, cause there’s nothing really up there.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So unfortunately, he has fallen through, and he’s dangling from the intestines and from a bunch of, like, electrical cables he is tangled in. He is dangling above the blood soaked foyer now of all the zombies run over because he’s sort of like a little cat toy for them, and he’s just out of reach. Just this time, zombies outside are breaking through the front door. It’s just complete mayhem, and the intestines start to crawl down the electrical wires towards him. However, to his credit, when the zombies get into the kitchen, Uncle Les starts hacking up dozens of them. He’s got like two cleavers he’s using. Everything is because he loves killing. He’s a horrible person. So this is kind of his time to shine. He’s just murdering and dismembering zombies as he goes. Meanwhile, we see Lionel bite the intestines apart, leaving him just dangling by the wire. So he starts to, like, sway back and forth to try to get to one of the banisters to, like, grab on to it. In the kitchen, we see the baby zombie has returned, and he grabs a severed leg and it kicks Uncle Les in the balls.


Alison Leiby: Great.


Halle Kiefer: Fine.


Alison Leiby: Deserved.


Halle Kiefer: Les  runs after the baby zombie and runs into the basement. And we, of course see one final grave is still unopened, and we know, Chekhov’s mommy grave.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: It’s going to be one more zombie we haven’t seen in a little while. Lionel is swinging over the foyer, and we see Paquita is on the landing, having been forced upstairs running from zombies, and a zombie bites her arm. And Lionel screams and swings over to her, but luckily when she pulls her arm away, they’re dentures so it doesn’t take. [both speaking] They’re fake teeth. She’s like, oh, and she’s able to, like, sort of brush them off.


Alison Leiby: Okay, Alison, unfortunately, down in the basement, less turns to hear a sound, the sound of his late sister ostensibly crawling out of the grave. And we don’t see her right away. Instead, we see what appears to be the shadow of a 25 foot monstrous mummy who grabs Les and basically rips his head off his body. In addition to grabbing him by the balls, of course.


Alison Leiby: Okay, great.


Halle Kiefer: A lot of ball work.


Alison Leiby: A lot of ball work in this film.


Halle Kiefer: In Act Three.


Alison Leiby: Lionel, meanwhile, has swung himself so far that he actually burst through the second story window and flies outside to Paquita’s despair. Don’t worry. He’s going to show back up momentarily, just when it seems all is lost, that Paquita is about to be torn asunder. The front door bursts open and it’s Lionel with the tool that he should have potentially grabbed the first time it hit his, his lawnmower.


Halle Kiefer: Yes.


Alison Leiby: Which is the pushing kind. He starts that bad boy up and then he just starts walking through the house chopping up the zombies as they attack him.


Alison Leiby: Yes. Because if they can’t reassemble in a really logical way, like, I’m sure that’s how you get them.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Because like, you. Okay, so maybe their heads will still be sentient. You just have to avoid them. They won’t be able to—


Alison Leiby: And that seems doable.


Halle Kiefer: It’s your only option. And he of course gets it’s not the best line in the movie. He says party’s over.


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: Just starts hacking everyone up. Meanwhile, Paquita is helping do the same. She gets down back into the kitchen. She is just taking zombie parts and putting them in the blender, so there’s like an arm that’s still trying to grab her. She just starts shredding it.


Alison Leiby: Great.


Halle Kiefer: So they’re blending up all the zombies into such a fine pulp that they can’t do anything. Rita, unfortunately, has finally succumbed to her zombieness, and they turn to see Uncle Les emerge from the basement again. Great character design. So he’s a zombie now, but his head is on the top of his skeleton. The skeleton sort of forms like a lo ng, like apatosaurus neck. So it’s almost like his body with like a long.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Well, the bodies kind of squished down and the head’s really tall. Yeah. She he attempts to grab Rita, but before he could do anything, she lifts his head and the spine off of his body. So again, like by doing that, you’re able to sort of like, okay, so at least I can throw this part because you’re just a head in a, spinal column. You can’t really get much of anywhere.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Finally, in the foyer, Lionel is killed almost everyone, save for a few zombies, including the, greaser who’s lower half was detached. And his intestines have been sort of haunting Lionel the whole evening. He lunges at Lionel, and Lionel manages to put him down on top of the blade until he’s sort of hacked down. Like if you ever put like, a cucumber into a blender and it just gets shorter and shorter.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: He kind of just gets shorter and shorter as he goes long. His intestines are still animate, so they attack Lionel and he has to sort of double a double fight with the same, because then I’m like, well, wouldn’t every every body part be able to do this? But I think at this point we’re just we’re just having fun, you know? Paquita goes to help Rita, who is obviously starting to really turn only to see two tiny fists punch their way from other side, either side of Rita’s neck, and then reach up and rip open Rita’s skull, revealing the zombie baby is inside her and he’s fucking laughing his ass off. They end up brawling. The light bulb zombie finally ignites the light bulb, sets her corpse on fire. And Paquita turns, reaches over and turns on the gas, because she correctly thinks this whole fucking thing has to go up.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it does.


Halle Kiefer: The again, we have to kill the home, kill the mother, kill the home to move on to form our own family unit. And Paquita runs to Lionel exhausted, covered in blood, and she has found his necklace, the sacred star and moon that brought the him together, that pointed him to this chess set. And that brought him through this. And he hugs her and says, you need to get the fuck out of here. And she says, what do you mean? We let’s get out of here together. And he says, I haven’t seen mom yet. Alison. A rumble fills the home, and from underneath the foyer we see again 2530 five feet, a massive version of his mother. And it’s really interesting because I always think it’s touching how I saw the monstrous, the monstrous feminine is sort of depicted.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: You think of like barbarian.


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes, yes.


Halle Kiefer: A smile. And this, like his mom is such a big, like a fat ass and big fat tits, which I think I in the 70s was supposed to be monstrous. And now I’m like, oh my God, Vera looks great. Does she have her body done? She looks better.


Alison Leiby: Got a BBL.


Halle Kiefer: Oh my God, girl, you know, take it out, show it off you got it. And she says in this deep monster’s voice.


[clip of Elizabeth Moody]: You have to get mommy to help. Of course he and Paquita because she is. So she’s she emerges between them in the front door. So he and Paquita are forced to run upstairs and finally to get up onto the roof to try and jump off, only for Vera to climb her way onto the roof as well. And he Lionel, almost turns to his mother, the oppressive force that controlled him his entire life. And he says, you don’t scare me, mom. All my life you told me nothing but lies. That stuff about dad, none of it was true. And we see the truth. And Lionel explains, we see the flashback of the water. You drown them both dad and his mistress, the woman that he loved that he was cheating on you with. And we see what actually happened. His dad didn’t die at the dock. He didn’t save a little baby Lionel.


Alison Leiby: Right.


Halle Kiefer: We see Vera has caught her husband and his mistress in the bathtub at their home, and is drowning them both and is able to drown them while little. Not toddler. But you know like little baby elementary. Not old enough to necessarily retain this memory. Lionel looks on. Paquita realizes that there’s a telephone line to the top to the roof and says, Lionel, let’s go. And Vera screams slut and tries to knock Paquita off the roof. And Vera tells Lionel no one will ever love you like your mother. And she slams her fists on the roof and Lionel starts sliding down towards her and her stomach opens up. In case we weren’t getting it.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Her stomach opens vertically like a Venus flytrap. And he slides inside, inside and the stomach seals him in and Paquita screams no I don’t want to have to go back on Hinge. No. There’s only like two guys who live in this town. Fortunately, Lionel is made of stronger stuff, and from inside, his mother Lionel starts to claw his way free. And as a river of blood and entrails dumps out.


Alison Leiby: Yuck.


Halle Kiefer: Vera’s body tumbles backwards into the burning house to her doom, where she is destroyed, and from inside the entrails. Lyonel emerges and runs to his love, and they grab the telephone line. They slide down and they embrace on the front lawn, as the neighbors all run from the town to watch the fire, and Lionel holds up the star necklace and goes to throw it Paquita says no. But he says yes and he hurls it into the fire because they don’t need fair anymore Alison.


Alison Leiby: They’ve been through something together.


Halle Kiefer: They made it together and they walk away. Very much in love. The end.


Alison Leiby: Wow. What a picture.


Halle Kiefer: So what are some fatal mistakes you think were made in Dead Alive?


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes.


Alison Leiby: I mean. Definitely just not what? One. Importing animals. To other countries where they don’t belong, and being racist about it while you’re doing it. That certainly is the kicking off point for all of this. More specific to the ongoings of our characters not telling everybody what was going on early, early on with mom.


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Like don’t pretend, don’t just like, have a funeral and be like, it’s all fine. Don’t worry about it. Like, you got to tell everybody that that’s what’s up.


Halle Kiefer: Yes, absolutely.


Alison Leiby: And beyond that, I mean, everybody was really. Moving through this nightmare the way the best they could.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I think he definitely. Lionel set himself up for a lot of, unnecessary confusion and, really taking it all on himself, which I’m assuming was also how it was raised. But other than that, you can’t know when your mother is going to be bitten by a Sumatran, rat monkey?


Alison Leiby: Nope.


Halle Kiefer: If only we could predict such things. If only grandma had seen that in the cards.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Other than that everyone did the best they could. Except for Uncle Les.


Alison Leiby: Creative.


Halle Kiefer: Uncle Les got his in the end.


Alison Leiby: Right, right.


Halle Kiefer: And then where would you place Dead Alive on the spooky scale, Alison?


[voice over]: A spooky scale.


Alison Leiby: I think it’s so gross that it bumps it up to a three for me. That like otherwise not a particularly you know, it’s a horror comedy. There’s a lot of silliness.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah.


Alison Leiby: There’s a lot of just like big choices that are more fun than they are scary. But it sounds disgusting. So a three.


Halle Kiefer: I think that’s fair. I’m trying to think I’m going to say a three as well. Again, I really liked it. I thought everyone in it was great. I you know, I loved the tone. I thought it was fabulous. But is it scary? No, but there’s certain images that were very disgusting and offputting. Like, it’s not scary to want to vomit because of, the idea of someone’s matted dog hair, in your mouth. But it is disgusting.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s disgusting.


Halle Kiefer: So, I think it 3, a 10 in terms of how much I really enjoyed it.


Alison Leiby: Fun.


Halle Kiefer: I would say in terms of disgusting, I would say seven because a lot of it’s cartoony. So is less, you know, like the eating the pus was the most disgusting thing because like, it was more realistic once we get to like, you know, I mean.


Alison Leiby: I’m leaving your head on your shoulder, but it’s still going to bite you like that stuff is. Is.


Halle Kiefer: Right. My intestines are going to come alive and, like, grab you. I think that, you know, we’re we’re back in Looney Tunes territory in a fabulous way. So. Yeah, that feels right. And, I hope everyone enjoyed this. Sorry you had to hear us try not to vomit a couple times.


Alison Leiby: Well, it was tough, and everybody should have to live through that.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So until next time.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Please.


Alison Leiby: And, now just please, please keep it spooky. Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for show updates. And if you’re just as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. This show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat lossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy and Ewa Okulate