After a tragic car accident that kills his wife, a man discovers he can communicate with the dead to con people. However, when a demonic spirit appears, he may be the only one who can stop it from killing the living and the dead.
Michael J. Fox,
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
In New Zealand's peaceful town of Wellington, Lionel Cosgrove--an oppressed bachelor who is still living with his despotic mother, Vera--has finally found his soulmate: the kind grocery store clerk, Paquita. However, before long, things will take a turn for the worse in Lionel's already messed-up world, when Skull Island's vicious Sumatran Rat-Monkey bites Vera after a visit to the local zoo. Now that Vera's got the "bite", the virulent infection is rapidly turning her into a puss-squirting flesh-eating living dead, and the volatile situation is bound to get out of hand, as an ever-growing collection of dead bodies and other stimulant-enhanced zombie misfits start to cram Lionel's basement. Poor Lionel--whether you like it or not--you need to man up and clean up the mess; moreover, summon up the courage to confront your decomposing mummy, and the family's ugly secret. Nevertheless, has Lionel what it takes to save the day, and get the girl?Written by
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 (1976). See more »
When Paquita and Rita are pulling a man in from the window, blood appears and disappears around his mouth between shots. See more »
Braindead opens with a closeup of the New Zealand flag, which then changes to the Queen riding accross a courtyard, finishing with a close up her on horseback. God Save The Queen is playing in the background. The opening sequence in Sumatra that begins Dead Alive follows. See more »
Composed by Fane Flaws and Stephen Winderwel
Performed by Tony Backhouse
copyright central See more »
Perhaps the best horror comedy of all time
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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