Dir: Peter Jackson, 1992



Released as Dead Alive in a severely truncated version in America, Peter Jackson’s third feature is a comedy horror that hilariously sends up zombie films.

Explorers in a far away jungle, capture a notorious rat/monkey hybrid.

Transporting the creatures in a cage, the cross breed attacks and bites several of the explorers.

The natives kill the creature and dismember one of the victims.

However, one of crossbreed makes it back to New Zealand and is displayed in a zoo.

Mummy’s boy, Lionel, lives in fear of upsetting his elderly mum but yearns to be free and live.

Lionel strikes up a friendship with a shop assistant and they visit a zoo.

But his mother is jealous of the girl and follows them to the menagerie.

Stalking them both, Lionel’s mother gets bitten by the rat/monkey hybrid and begins to infect the population.

It is up to Lionel and his girlfriend to keep on top of things before they lose control.

Dismissing the negativity attracted by Meet the Feebles, Jackson retreated back to what gave him his break.

Braindead is a hilarious take on zombie horror films, spilling over with blood and guts.

An assortment of quirky characters in ludicrous situations, all come together to produce something so wrong that it becomes right.

Black belt priests (“I kick arse for the Lord”), zombie sex and a zombie baby… how could you go wrong?

Unsurprisingly, the kinky Japanese marketed Braindead with an erotic bent to its poster. Have a look:

There is no sexy nurse in the film and nobody gets tied up bondage style. Tsk! Those Japanese and their fetishistic ways.

For its release in the UK, the British censors passed it totally uncut, much to the shock of the media.
Great Britain had one of the strictest censorship bodies in the Western world, an honour that the board’s director, James Ferman, seemed proud of.

In a time when the board was routinely censoring films and classics were denied video certificates, to see a film so violent and gory sail through the doors of Soho Square unscathed was a shock to the critics and British film industry.

Australia and New Zealand are experts at comedy. Whereas the rest of the world is too scared of political correctness and offending anyone, the antipodeans and Kiwi’s are made of strong stuff and enjoy a laugh. Thank god for that! It’s fantastic to have a country that doesn’t get upset at a joke.

It’s funny, over the top, daft and gory. Everything a comedy horror should be.


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