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

 -  Comedy | Horror  -  12 February 1993 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 68,780 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 554 user | 138 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.

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Title: Dead Alive (1992)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Balme ...
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 ...
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Storyline

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 (124) »

Taglines:

There's something nasty in Lionel's cellar - His family! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 February 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Alive  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$242,623 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was finished under budget with NZ$45,000 remaining. Peter Jackson used it to spend two days shooting the park scene with Lionel and the baby Selwyn. He has gone on to say that it is his favorite scene. See more »

Goofs

When Lionel has just massacred alot of zombies, Thug Zombie appears at the top of the stairs. If you look closely you can see his real pair of legs near the window Lionel flew out of earlier. See more »

Quotes

Mum: [Grossly deformed and gigantic] Come to mummy Lionel!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Death by Death (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Barwick Green (Theme from The Archers)
Composed by Arthur Wood
Published by Boosey and Hawkes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Perhaps the best horror comedy of all time
3 March 2007 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

Peter Jackson's gore-fest "Dead Alive" - AKA Braindead- is a very funny, very bloody film. The story is pretty simple, but includes some ingenious plot elements - such as a budding romance between two very likable characters (Balme and Penalver), a psychologically distressing relationship between Balme and his mother and well scripted dialog.

Balme plays Lionel - a troubled, more or less housebound young man who has been forced to spend most of his time taking care of a domineering and psychologically damaging elderly mother. Penalver plays Paquita - his romantic destiny. Paquita is a charming young woman for whom English is (perhaps) a second language. Soon after they meet, Paquita notices some odd quirks in Lionel's behavior, and slowly begins to realize that there is something besides the usual male fear of commitment. Perhaps Lionel's cannibalistic zombie mother is to blame? Soon enough Balme is babysitting a whole family of living dead who he has to constantly inject with animal tranquilizers, and trying to fend off a despicable uncle who is trying to muscle in on his inheritance. Then the fun really starts. It's the Dead Alive Series with extra gore, infused with brilliant slapstick and just a pinch of Monty Python.

Balme is amazing! - an excellent physical actor with great slapstick pacing and manic anxiety. And Penalver is delightfully pretty and sincere yet gives a nice campy performance. Dead Alive is one of the films in which Jackson began to blend detailed ecstatic and fantastic elements into his plots and cinematography - later culminating in the disturbing Heavenly Creatures and the spectacular LOTR trilogy. In Dead Alive, he finds his formula and makes it work without a tremendous budget. The film is well shot and grotesque, but remarkably amusing.


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