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Dead Alive (1992)

Braindead (original title)
1:49 | Trailer

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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 »
1,807 ( 44)
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


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


Comedy | Fantasy | 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?


Another connection to King Kong: Actor Forrest J. Ackerman (the guy who takes the picture of Lionel's mother crushing the rat monkey's head) is an uncredited "Fleeing Extra in Crowd" in the 1976 version of King Kong. See more »


On several short shots of the tramways, the carriages appear clearly as models pulled by strings. See more »


Roger: You know what they are saying about you don't you? You've got funny in the head! A real bloody weirdo!
See more »


Referenced in Common Wealth (2000) See more »


29 Steps
Composed by Fane Flaws and Stephen Winderwel
Performed by Tony Backhouse
copyright central
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

S10 Reviews: Dead Alive (1992)
2 July 2005 | by (The Void) – See all my reviews

Lionel Cosgrove is a good guy having a tough time with things. Ever since his father died saving him during a swimming accident Lionel has been taking care of his mother. But unfortunately his mother must have come from the same parenting class as Norman Bates' mother since she is as manipulative and smothering. But things seem to be on the up and up for him when he starts a romance with a local shop owner's daughter. But a date to the zoo takes a turn for the worse when Lionel's overprotective mum follows him and manages to get bitten by a "rat monkey", a particularly nasty creature whose bite is killer…literally. The bite turns his mum into a zombie and each one she bites turns as well. Pretty soon poor Lionel is living in the house of the dead and fighting off a lecherous uncle scheming to grab the estate.

Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame) once again proves he is more than able to give us the gory goods and make us laugh the entire time. This insanely entertaining flick has buckets and buckets of blood and gore, probably one of the (if not THE) bloodiest around. For a film with a miniscule budget (approximately $3 million) he makes every penny count and turns out a very nice looking film. The comedy is pure slapstick and at times dark as pitch. The actors attack their various roles with a solid energy that gives the film a maniac pace. "Brain Dead" (aka "Dead Alive") is the best splatter comedy money can buy.

35 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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