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Dead Alive (1992)
"Braindead" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy, Horror  |  12 February 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 74,061 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 562 user | 142 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.



(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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13 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Diana Peñalver ...
Elizabeth Moody ...
Mum (Vera Cosgrove)
Ian Watkin ...
Brenda Kendall ...
Stuart Devenie ...
Stephen Papps ...
Zombie McGruder
Murray Keane ...
Glenis Levestam ...
Lewis Rowe ...
Elizabeth Mulfaxe ...
Davina Whitehouse ...
Silvio Famularo ...


Lionel, a Mama's boy has the unwanted honor of having to look after his overbearingly evil mother. He ends up falling in love with a local woman who believes that they're destined together. In a moment of intentional sabotage of one of their dates, his mother is bitten by a mysterious creature that ends up zombifying her. It's only a matter of time before she rises from the dead a powerful, bloodthirsty zombie. It's only a matter of time before she starts infecting residents of the town and Lionel has to stop her...and them. Written by Mystic80

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | zombie | monkey | new zealand | zoo | See All (126) »


Prepare for complete mental shutdown... See more »


Comedy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for an abundance of outrageous gore | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

12 February 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Alive  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)


$242,623 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (R-rated) | (unrated) | (FSK 16) | (1992) (1993) (cut) | (heavily cut) | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The BBFC loved the film and found the gore so comical and inoffensive that they seriously considered granting it a "15" certificate. In the end they determined that the sheer quantity of gore would confound expectations at "15" and therefore rated it "18". See more »


The display outside the fruit shop, where Paquita works, is partly stacked on green plastic apple crates. These were introduced in New Zealand in the mid 1970s. The film is set in 1957. See more »


Undertaker: [as Vera's eyes pop out and green slime sprays out] Cranial blowout!
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Featured in Hagan Reviews: Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2012) See more »


29 Steps
Composed by Fane Flaws and Stephen Winderwel
Performed by Tony Backhouse
copyright central
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Oh, God, I Love This Movie!
22 August 2006 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This film is truly the finest hour of the young, aggressive, full-speed-ahead Peter Jackson. Check your squeamishness at the door and get ready for proof that splatter can be played for laughs.

Not all the laughs are splatter-based. The opening scene shows a zookeeper waving a permit to a tribe of hostile natives about to kill him, shouting out "per-mit! Per-mit!" From there, the film descends into the inspired, amused lunacy of the splatstick. Look for the cameo of a young, thin Peter Jackson as a mortician's assistant. Also look for the minor hilarious characters- the Nazi vet, the idiot football player, and most famous of all, Father MacGruder, he of the film's best one-liner.

Timothy Balme is excellent as the nebbishy mama's boy who ends up taking on the whole undead world by himself, with a couple of mechanical aids. He out-Ashes Ash! Like any good zombie film, the end features waves of zombies, but many with unique and twisted personalities of their own. The best is, of course, zombie baby. It is shocking and yet hilarious to see what zombie baby endures, and yet survives (perhaps to live on in the long awaited sequel?) Ten stars, and five out of five blood splats thrown up against the wall (during the last half hour).

69 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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