Peter Jacksons (yes that Peter Jackson of Lord of the Ring fame) cult classic also known as Dead Alive. A film thought to be too gory, not something for the weak of heart (or stomach) to watch.
For our Halloween special I’ll be watching the 97 minute version of the film preferred by director Peter Jackson.
Starring Timothy Balme as Lionel, Diana Penalver as Paquita and Elizabeth Moody as Lionel’s mother Vera. My second favourite Jackson film behind The Frighteners.
Like the majority of Peter Jackson films I love Braindead, there are many reasons that I love it. The dark humour, the gore and just how beautiful it all ends up coming together and looking.
There was hardly anything like growing up with the image of the Sumatran Rat-Monkey in your head. One of those images that just doesn’t leave you. Ever.
The comedy for me is perfect, from Lionel and his “Mother Love” to the Kung Fu Priest. The gore is used for its comedy effect (the nurse “eating” for example) and there are plenty of extremely silly moments. Lionel is a great protagonist, spending his time trying to keep a whole load of rotting, flesh eating zombies hidden from the world and keep people safe from them.
The movie is sweet in my opinion. Its a love story that kind of has to go the long way round a zombie invasion. The main character (Lionel) is a easily lovable character who you always feel sorry for. Just seeing him blunder from one terrible event to the next is enough to warm even the coldest of hearts. His sweetheart Paquita tends to get covered in gore quite a lot but seems caring enough. In fact if it wasn’t for her forceful nature the two would never get together!
And they are all in love and its sweet and then BOOM you have zombie babies, Kung Fu Priests and lots of splatter gore.
It is a fun movie and I think the gore stands the test of time to some extent. Obviously we are more used to realistic blood and guts on our TV screens nowadays but there are moments that still make my gut clench a little in this. The way it is used for the humour helps keep it timeless because I feel we don’t get enough films like this now anyway. It really is one of those movies you can just love forever and never feel guilty about it. Had enough of boring “deep” sub plots then put Braindead on.
I mean the baby zombie is worth it alone! You get to see two zombies mate then produce a ugly baby that goes on its own mini-rampage. What isn’t to love about a ickle baby?!
For me with every Jackson film though it is just visually pleasing. It has so much charm throughout, whether it be the monsters, monsters or scenery… But it always just looks amazing.
Of course if intestines, blood and pussy looking stuff isn’t something you like then it might not be so pleasing I guess.