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Braindead
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Reviews & Ratings for
Dead Alive More at IMDbPro »Braindead (original title)

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179 out of 227 people found the following review useful:

Intestines can really kill you.

10/10
Author: Brian (bdreyfus@hotmail.com) from athens, GA
8 February 1999

This is by far the best horror film I have ever seen in my life. This movie has everything - a horrifying rat monkey, a baby zombie, zombies having sex, gratuitous violence, extreme gore, a super fighting ninja priest, an evil annoying mom that turns into a zombie, a womanizing relative that is a pathetic loser, an old psychic that predicts the future, and lastly someone who takes care of them all. Oh, I can't forget to mention an inspirational scene with a lawnmower too. Overall I give this cinematic masterpiece the highest review, me throwing up in the bathroom afterwards from absolute disgust.

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82 out of 93 people found the following review useful:

All time best horror-comedy? Could be.

10/10
Author: Sebastian
20 July 2005

Crazy, visceral, over the top, quirky, violent, gory, silly, extreme and (in it's own way) sweet, are just a few words that can describe this visual extravaganza.

What makes it such a good movie? It's fast paced, it's witty, it's charming... and it is GROUNDBREAKING,it's an important movie of the genre.

Lionel is a loser who lives with his dominant mother. Lionel finds a way out, by hooking up with Paquita (a beautiful Diana Peñalver), but soon Lionel's mother gets bitten by a RAT MONKEY and she gradually starts to decompose (it's hilarious) and turns into a living dead... Lionel like a loving son he is, tries to hide the fact that her mother is a zombie, keeping her sedated with drugs... until, naturally, all hell breaks loose.

Timothy Balme is genius as Lionel, I mean; HE'S SO UNDERRATED, he gives a truly comedic performance that's top notch and really entertaining, so is the rest of the cast.

This is my favorite Peter Jackson film, and maybe one of the best horror comedies EVER. It's so f***ed-up, crazy and over the top it's almost poetic.

Everyone who considers himself (or Herself) a Horror Lover, a GoreHound, a rare-movie seeker or a Three Stooges fan should get their hands on this unusual flick.

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73 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

Faster! Harder!! BRAINDEAD!!!

Author: Le Froque
24 November 2001

I LOVE THIS FLICK!!! Probably the greatest splatter comedy ever made, because "Braindead/Dead Alive" is a fast-paced, gut-wrenching, disgusting, adrenalin-pushing and ultra-funny cult movie!!! The nightly martial arts-performance on the cemetery is as great as Lionel´s baby sitting-trip on the playground and the final zombie massacre at Uncle Les´ party beats everything you´ve seen before!! "From Dusk Till Dawn", "The Evil Dead 2"... just peanuts in comparison to the galore of blood´n guts that is featured in this film! I´m also a huge fan of Peter Jackson´s elder shots "Bad Taste" and the weird Muppet Show-parody "Meet the Feebles", but with this masterpiece the director was able to excel himself!! Not to forget the great performances of Timothy Balme as mummy´s darling Lionel, Diana Penalver as resolute Spanish chica Paquita, Ian Watkin as Lionel´s rockabilly-like Uncle Les, Elisabeth Moody, Brenda Kendall, Stuart Devenie... all great!!! "Braindead/Dead Alive" is one of the best party-movies you can imagine! Watch this together with your friends and you will laugh your heads off, I promise!!!

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68 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

The best of it's kind

8/10
Author: narrator15 from Sydney, Australia
23 June 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie, was the funniest thing I have ever seen. I watched it with tears of laughter in my eye, with no time to wipe them off, seeing a funnier, more dazzlingly inventive scene would immediately follow. I could not believe that the guy who made this is going to be directing the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Here's a short summary of some of the things I saw in it-

A baby zombie

Zombies having sex

A group of zombies being chopped up with a lawn mower

Talking intestines

A kung-fu zombie-ass-kicking priest

A zombie's head being embedded onto a lightbulb so it's face lights up like a Jack-O-Lantern

These things are saved for the last 40 minutes of the film, and the start is pretty slow, but once you get to the action, you've got a truly special film. 9/10.

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63 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

Oh, God, I Love This Movie!

10/10
Author: CTS-1 from USA
22 August 2006

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).

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58 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant zombie-movie

10/10
Author: action-6 from Arendal, Norway
6 July 2000

Braindead was the first really gory splattermovie I saw, and I have seen plenty since then, but Braindead is still the best zombie/comedy-movie I`ve ever seen. All the actors are terrible but that is precisely what makes this movie so cool. It is the king of the cult-movie. What really makes this movie a must is all the zombies and the extremely ultraviolent way they are slaughtered. As you may understand by now, you need to have a sick sense of humour to watch this film. Peter Jackson rules! 10/10

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33 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Demented Fun

8/10
Author: nycritic
6 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Who would have imagined that in 1992 a film director of mainly cult movies would grow to the immense stature that he has today? I certainly didn't, but this is exactly the case with Peter Jackson, who then brought this extremely bizarre comedy-horror splatter-fest called BRAINDEAD, also known as DEAD-ALIVE, and between 1999 and 2003 cemented his status with the ubiquitous, monumental LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY.

A simple premise that had by then done numerous times -- flesh-eating zombies wreck havoc among the living -- is taken not only to the ultimate extreme: here it just makes going over the top seem like a weak cliché. It completely jumps straight over a cliff and never bothers to return to any sense of normalcy. That this story of zombies gone amok has been dressed with an interesting Freudian spin -- over possessive mother tries to control her son's every move even after (un)dead, quite like PSYCHO -- only makes the hero's evolution from Mama's boy to unlikely survivor ever the stronger and gives the completely lurid tale some grounding even after it explodes left and right, literally, in pieces of flesh and still moving body parts.

DEAD ALIVE has a lot to owe to EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN with its gleeful amounts of gore and truly slapstick scenes of crazy body parts, but it out-does it by the sheer volume of gore and blood that comes forth once the real madness begins. The fact that the aforementioned body parts have a will of their own makes for one rip-roaring sight gag after another in frenetic shots -- for example, one character's body snaps in two; his lower torso continues to amble about, his inner organs come ripped apart from his body and even take a peek at a mirror to see how they look, while the owner's upper torso gets partially flushed down a toilet. As a matter of fact, that same character's intestines take up quite a lot of screen time towards the climax as they chase the apparently hapless Timothy Balme around the house as his girlfriend, battling zombies in the kitchen, uses a blender to grind a hand that simultaneously tries to pull her in and all the while a baby zombie is becomes something of a tennis ball, bouncing about while creating yes, even more havoc. That is, until Balme goes berserk with a lawnmower and makes puree out of the entire lot of them. All this shows to what extremes the notion of the exaggeration of horror could be taken: the more blood and outrageousness, the less horrifying it becomes, and here, once it starts, it never lets up until its side-splitting finale.

Definitely not for all tastes but for people who like their horror with a nice dose of Tex Avery lunacy, comedy as black as night and tanks of the red stuff -- this is horror comedy par excellence.

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30 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Good grisly fun!

Author: george.schmidt (gpschmidt67@gmail.com) from fairview, nj
6 March 2003

DEAD ALIVE (1993) ***1/2 New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson made his mark in horror cinema (and for himself as a talent to be reckoned with) in this incredibly gory, funny and altogether sickfest zombie flick about a young man's shrew mother getting bit by a Sumatran Rat Monkey rabid with a truly nasty disease that turns her (and all that she infects with a bite) into a crazed/ravenous thing that can't be stopped in its rapacious wake of terror. The scattershot breakneck pace makes fellow monster maven Sam Raimi look like Busby Berkeley! Classic cult film that will have you laughing at the putridness of it all. Look for Jackson's homage to "King Kong" with Skull Island reference at film's precredit sequence.

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32 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

S10 Reviews: Dead Alive (1992)

8/10
Author: suspiria10 from The Void
2 July 2005

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.

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56 out of 97 people found the following review useful:

The goriest film ever made?!-I don't think so.

9/10
Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
15 February 2002

This amazingly bloody and hilariously funny gore comedy from Peter Jackson("Bad Taste","Lord of the Rings:Trilogy")is one of the most amazing films I have ever seen.There's a great bit with Timothy Balme walking a hyperactive zombie baby in the park,a kung fu priest,a grotesque finale involving gallons of blood and gore,death by lawnmower,and pus in the pudding at dinner.The gore effects are really funny and gross,but not disturbing(for disturbing gore check out for example "Maniac"(1980)or "Nightmare"(1981)).If you think that "Braindead" is the goriest film ever made you're wrong.There are some movies that easily top it like Heiko Fipper's "Koma Brutale"(1998),Leif Jonker's "Darkness"(1993)and Olaf Ittenbach's "Premutos-The Fallen Angel"(1997).OK,enough said-this splatter classic is not to be missed.

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