Directed by Armando Crispino, The Dead Are Alive is a very unique giallo experience that at first plays as a supernatural horror film but then spirals into a atmospherically charged and graphic giallo masterpiece. Even though the body count is marginally low, the murders are grisly, graphic and very bloody, similar to that of an 80's slasher with a fair amount of sleaze added, as one would expect.
The locales are amazing. The ruins shown are delightfully eerie and macabre, dank, gloomy, sinister and intriguing thus giving weight to the films first impression of being that of a normal supernatural horror film, rather than the giallo it is.
Alex Cord and Samantha Eggar both give solid enough performances if not outstanding, and Riz Ortolani composes a largely dark and powerfully rendered operatic score which creates great suspense and a feeling of overall dread.