Dead Alive (1992)

logoDirector: Peter Jackson

Writer: Stephen Sinclair, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson (Screenplay) Stephen Sinclair (Story)

Starring: Timothy Balme, Dian Penalver, Elizabeth Moody, Ian Watkin, Brenda Kendall, Stuart Devenie, Jed Brophy


Plot: A young man’s mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbours.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Wow, Bloody as Hell


Story: Braindead starts on Skull Island as we watch a New Zealand zoo official try and bring a monkey back to the zoo only for him to get bitten and scratched by the monkey leading to him getting killed by the fellow smugglers. The monkey does make it too New Zealand where we meet Roger a delivery man that has got the interest from Paquita (Penalver). Paquita gets pushed away from Roger by her grandparents who talk her into believe that she will meet her dream man sooner than she thinks. Lionel (Balme) just so happens to walk in Paquita’s life the exact way her grandparents prepared her.

Sparks fly between the two when they have their first date at the zoo, but when they come across the monkey enclosure they get a shock when the Simian Raticus (Rat Monkey Sumatra) kills and eat a neighbouring monkey. We see Lionel’s mother (Moody) spying on the young couple before she is bitten by the monkey achieving her goal of breaking up the date. When the bite starts to become infected we start seeing puss and blood coming out of his mother’s body. It isn’t long before Mrs Moody starts gaining the lust for blood before she dies, but she doesn’t stay dead for long and neither do any of her victims. When the undead escape it is up to Lionel to try and protect the town from the walking dead.

Braindead comes down to the very basic dead returning to life story, we get a shady origin that spreads and makes the victims hard to dispose of. All these make simple where this goes to the next level is by not letting any of the known kills get rid of the undead.  The story is paced really nicely because we only get little glimpses of the gore we are going to be getting before by the end it all goes off. I can’t find any real words to describe what I just saw in the end but it has to be seen by a horror fan. (7/10)


Actor Review


Timothy Balme: Lionel Cosgrove is the social awkward young man who has been controlled by his mother his whole life, but when he meets the beautiful Paquita his life is turned upside down as he ends up having to fight off the undead to survive the night. Timothy does give a good performance because he adds the comedy to the story with his slapstick style but also keeps the serious look throughout. (7/10)


Diana Penalver: Paquita is the beautiful shop assistant who falls for Lionel and even after starting to get pushed away she won’t leave him going into his own madness. Diana does give a solid supporting performance. (6/10)


Support Cast: Braindead has a support cast that nearly all become the undead and have good comedy how they end up that way.


Director Review: Peter Jackson – Peter does a great job giving us one of the most messed up brilliantly entertaining horror films. (8/10)


Comedy: Braindead has a great mix of comedy during the horror side of the story as both stories complement each other nicely. (8/10)

Horror: Braindead has to go down as a pure gore fest that will satisfy all the fans out there. (10/10)

Settings: Braindead has nearly all the horror taking place in an house in the middle of a small town but shows the desperate race to keep anything from escaping. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Braindead goes down as one of the best special effects of the era, sure there are some dolls scenes but the rest all great practical effects. (7/10)

Suggestion: Braindead is an absolute must watch for any horror fans out there, simple as that. (Horror Fans Watch)


Best Part: Baby zombie appears from inside a woman’s head.

Worst Part: It will be too gory for certain people.

Action Scene Of The Film: Lawnmower.

Funniest Scene: Kick ass priest.

Kill Of The Film: Rita


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Some things won’t stay down… even after they die.

Trivia: The rental in Sweden (and probably other countries as well) came with supplemental vomit bags.


Overall: Braindead is one of the bloodiest horror films I have ever seen, and it is just fun.

Rating 75


  1. BrainDead/Dead Alive is one of those films that’s so over the top, you can’t NOT watch it. It’s gory, it’s funny, and it’s ridiculous. If that isn’t enough, the cinematography is top notch: especially for a earlier Peter Jackson flick. The Lawnmower scene is unlike anything I’ve watched in a LONG time, and that’s not a bad thing – I’m GLAD this hasn’t seen a remake..though I probably just doomed it.


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