Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dead Alive (a.k.a. Braindead)

First and foremost, some trivia about this movie -

- This movie is considered to be the bloodiest of all time (measured in amount of film blood used during the production).

- Around 300 liters of fake blood were used in the lawn mower scene, unofficially making it the goriest scene in film history.

- The DVD rental in Sweden came with supplemental puke-bags.

- On its initial release in its home turf of New Zealand, this movie earned more per screen than Batman Returns.

As you can make out by now, this movie definitely ain't for the squeamish or the faint-hearted. Director Peter Jackson's third movie (and his third zombie movie too!) , this one can be uniquely categorized as an extreme horror-comedy. Though Jackson went on to receive tons of accolades for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, for many fans of gore and horror, this one remains his best effort.

The movie starts off with a zoologist capturing a rare Sumatran Rat-Monkey (a creature with a hilarious 'legend' about its origin) from Skull Island for the Wellington zoo. Now, the local Maoris know of the curse associated with this horrible creature's bite. So, when the zoologist gets his hand bitten, they simply hack it off. And then, they notice the scratch on his head... then, we are left with the guides who sell off this monkey to the Wellington zoo and scamper away.

Cut to Lionel Cosgrove (Timothy Balme), who is living a sorry life with his over-domineering mother (Elizabeth Moody) , who in turn is a completely irritable character. To add to his dismay, he falls for a Latin shopkeeper Paquita (Diana Peñalver) and his mother just doesn't approve of her.

Anyway, off he goes on a date with Paquita to the local zoo, and big Mama goes right after him. But fortunately or unfortunately, she gets involved in an 'accident' with the Sumatran rat monkey and gets bitten. And'z zombie time !!

First, it's Mum's turn to turn into a rabid zombie. But the doting son that he is, Lionel keeps her tranquilized in the basement in order to hide the problem. Well, eventually, she escapes out and then, we have a full-fledged gang of zombies and it takes some real effort from poor Lionel to keep all of them tranquilized and locked in the basement. The movie then degenerates into what could be some of the silliest, whackiest, bloodiest moments in cinema history.

This is the kind of film that will make most people downright sick in their stomachs. But then, it comes loaded with a unique brand of humor that can make you go completely hysterical. Some of the lines are such that you have to pause the DVD just so that you can finish laughing. There is this priest who, in the middle of using his kung-fu skills to finish zombies, suddenly proclaims - "I kick ass in the name of the Lord !".

Dead Alive is one of those outrageous movies that can as easily make you puke with laughter as it can with disgust. Definitely not for all tastes; but for the ones who can appreciate it, this one is a masterpiece.
Dead Alive (a.k.a. Brain Dead ) [1993]
(Unrated DVD)
Running Time : 97 minutes.
Directed by: Peter Jackson.
Cast : Timothy Balme, Elizabeth Moody,Diana Peñalver.
Official site


Anonymous kunsjoi said...

one of my all time favorites.. have seen it soooo many times now..!!! the first scene of the movie is like soooo punk rawk good.. hehe..

11:48 PM  

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