Dead Alive (aka Braindead)

Review Date:
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: S. Sinclair, F. Walsh, P. Jackson
Producers: Jim Booth
Timothy Balme
Diana Penalver
Elizabeth Moody
A man who has always lived under the oppression of his own mother, suddenly finds himself taking care of her, after she gets bitten by a rare rat-monkey at a local zoo. It turns out that the bite from the animal actually turns people into flesh-eating human zombies, and so his mother slowly but surely crumbles into that state herself. As more and more people get bit, the man’s house turns into an absolute slaughterhouse for the dead, the living, and the undead. Blood, carnage, decapitations, and did I mention blood…ensue.
A fantastic cinematic achievement, this film has the greatest horror special effects that I have ever witnessed in my entire life. It also has the most gore, the most guts, the most blood, the most style and the most mutilations, that I have ever had the privilege to be completely repulsed by as well. This movie starts off slow, and looks like a highly stylized film ready to thrill you with its eye for the quaint shot, but sadistically turns into one of the most disgusting horror movies to ever greet the screen. This film is gross beyond belief, with bloody murders after bloody murders, followed closely by bloody decapitations, bloody maimings and dozens of other novel shots of zombies killing, chomping and gnawing their way into others.


This gorefest is filled with shots of body parts being ripped apart from one another, limbs flying all around, and human insides taking on a life of their own. Mrs. JoBlo could not take the whole film, and had to be relieved of her duties as shotgun watcher, as the film progressed with only me holding a barf bag to my side. I really do not know enough about this film’s background to know of Mr. Jackson’s technique in this film’s regard, but suffice it to say that the man does an excellent job of coming up with a plasma-infested horror spectacle that will not leave anyone lest an opinion. Timothy Balme also does an excellent job of playing the straight-guy within this mess of butchered torsos, even as he literally mows through them by the end. His character was just like Bruce Campbell in EVIL DEAD 2. A chunk of straight man material, plenty of black humour and a whole lot of psychological head-trippings. Which reminds me, this film is not meant to be a straight-forward horror extravaganza. It’s got its tongue firmly placed in cheek with a lot of off-humour pieces as well, like the one that has the priest kicking some crazy zombie butt in the graveyard, and another one that features our protagonist taking the baby zombie out for a carriage stroll in the park.

This film will never leave your mind once you have seen it, and will most certainly make a sickening impression on you, at first glance. You might change your mind afterwards and respect its style, wondrous craft of filmmaking and overall gruesome effect (as I did), or decide that it’s one of the sickest and vile things that you have ever had the indecency to witness in your entire lifetime as an adult on this planet, and regurgitate your appetite for ever taking in another horror movie. But even with a fabricated absence of this film from your memory, you will never be able to forget the fact that you were one of the lucky ones to have witnessed one of the bloodiest, sickest and campiest fiestas of murder ever presented on film!! Trust me, you’ll feel better in the morning 🙂

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

Dead Alive (aka Braindead)