Question. What do Lord of the Rings, District 9, The Hobbit and Braindead (aka Dead Alive) have in common? The answer is Peter Jackson. Know from above mentioned blockbusters, in the late 80’s and early 90’s Peter Jackson ventured into the tasteless side of producing and directing (shitty) horror movies such as ‘Bad Taste’ (1989), ‘The Frighteners’ (1996) and ‘Braindead’ (1992). Although Braindead was considered a commercial flop, it gained quite some popularity in the horror/gore society following Peter Jacksons’ success with the LOTR trilogy.
If you look closely you might even recognise the location where Braindead’s opening scene takes place; the exact same location that was used in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
The movie itself revolves around a young boy, Lionel, in his mid-twenties and his overly envious mother living in a small community called Wellington. As Lionel falls in love with a local Spanish shopkeeper, he takes her on a date to the zoo. With his mother following him on the date, she gets bitten by the so-called Sumatran Rat-Monkey turning her into some kind of monster. Being the caring son that he is, he tries to cover up the whole mother-zombie-scandal locking her and several of her victims (who by that time also turned into human flesh eating corpses) in the basement. Too bad for the Wellington community, this of course goes terribly wrong, turning the village into a zombie populated area with only Lionel and his girlfriend remaining human. What follows is a mind blowing series of kills using the strangest tools to get the job done and an ending scene of epic proportions.
Braindead is not all blood and gore though. It’s safe to say that Peter Jackson did a great job finding a perfect balance between the splatter side of the movie and the, all be it very dark, humorist side of it all.
Kung-fu priests kicking the heads off of zombies, torn off limbs, fountains of blood, zombies fucking eachother, ribcages being pulled out of people, … not bad for a movie filmed in 11 weeks with a budget of (only) 3 million dollars.
If you can find yourself watching movies the likes of Shaun of the Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Zombieland even, this is definitely a cult classic to watch. If you’re not convinced by this all, I advise you to search to lawnmower scene on Youtube. A machine rigged to pump 18 liters of blood per second with a total of 300 liters were used for one scene. Believe me, you will not be disappointed.