Essentially, a bloody mess. It manages to stand out for elements other than the horror and gore; mainly, for the subversion of the drama and romance genre and for the exploration of the inability of a mother to consent that her child's love passes from her to another woman. Nonetheless, I didn't enjoy its humor.
It may be a horror-comedy splatter movie, but it's also a crazy bastard of the romantic melodrama genre. On its peripheral, it's a romance of a man falling in love, and getting out of the overbearing rule of his mother. That's why it's better than the Evil Dead films: Jackson imprints his stylish, comicbook horror with something that isn't necessarily more complex, but isn't just strictly pure gory laughs.
8 - I can take or leave most of Jackson's latter output (the major exception to this being "The Two Towers"), but seeing him work his magic on something he loves and arguably does better than anyone else, as is the case with "Dead Alive", is an absolutely nauseating delight.
The first two thirds gloriously set up the last third at which point we get a carnival of blood and flesh from the bowels of the basement up to the final confrontation on the roof of the house. Ludicrously inventive - it just doesn't let up in its jokes or jaw-droppingly icky prosthetics. Funny that a film with so much corn syrup viscera should be so sweet tender-hearted. Goofy and wild and perfect. Lovelovelove.