Braindead (1992) 1 brain1 brain1 brainhalf brain
(New Zealand)

Alternate Titles:

Dead Alive

Long before he was filming hobbits and orcs, Peter Jackson directed this fun film, Braindead. You can see his love of special effects even this early in his career. Braindead is full of both gore and humor, usually combining the two if possible. A domineering mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey, dies, and becomes a zombie. Her meek son, Lionel, and his love interest, Paquita, are left with the problem of dealing with zombie-mum and all the people that eventually become zombies themselves.

The script is excellent, fleshing out Lionel and Paquita, as well as the various zombies in the film, until it becomes much more than a cardboard good vs. evil fight. The zombies in this movie retain many human qualities, including their sexual appetites. Two of the zombies get it on, and produce a baby. (Apparently the gestation period of a zombie is a few days.) The baby zombie is one of the more entertaining ideas in the film, winning my Zombie Oscar for Funniest Zombie.

Normally I'm a bit of a stickler for consistent zombie rules, and this movie plays a bit fast and loose, but it was otherwise so enjoyable that it really didn't bother me that much. This is probably one of my favorites. (Released in the U.S. under the title "Dead Alive".)