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Dead Alive (1992)

Braindead (original title)
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.

Director:

Peter Jackson

Writers:

Stephen Sinclair (story), Stephen Sinclair (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,631 ( 246)
14 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Balme ... Lionel Cosgrove
Diana Peñalver ... Paquita Maria Sanchez
Elizabeth Moody ... Mum (Vera Cosgrove)
Ian Watkin Ian Watkin ... Uncle Les
Brenda Kendall Brenda Kendall ... Nurse McTavish
Stuart Devenie ... Father McGruder
Jed Brophy ... Void
Stephen Papps Stephen Papps ... Zombie McGruder
Murray Keane Murray Keane ... Scroat
Glenis Levestam Glenis Levestam ... Nora Matheson
Lewis Rowe Lewis Rowe ... Mr. Matheson
Elizabeth Mulfaxe Elizabeth Mulfaxe ... Rita
Harry Sinclair ... Roger
Davina Whitehouse ... Paquita's Grandmother
Silvio Famularo Silvio Famularo ... Paquita's Father
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Storyline

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 Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...and this little zombie stayed at home! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Paquita and Rita are pulling a man in from the window, blood appears and disappears around his mouth between shots. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Matheson: What we need is another war!
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in House of the Dead 2 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
Perhaps the best horror comedy of all time
3 March 2007 | by mstomasoSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

NZonScreen listing

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

12 February 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Alive See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,765, 15 February 1993

Gross USA:

$242,623

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$242,623
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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