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Braindead (1992)

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 neighbors.

Director:

Peter Jackson

Writers:

Stephen Sinclair (story), Stephen Sinclair (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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3,428 ( 848)
13 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Balme ... Lionel Cosgrove
Diana Peñalver ... Paquita Maria Sanchez
Elizabeth Moody Elizabeth Moody ... Mum (Vera Cosgrove)
Ian Watkin Ian Watkin ... Uncle Les
Brenda Kendall Brenda Kendall ... Nurse McTavish
Stuart Devenie ... Father McGruder
Jed Brophy ... Void
Stephen Papps Stephen Papps ... Zombie McGruder
Murray Keane Murray Keane ... Scroat
Glenis Levestam Glenis Levestam ... Nora Matheson
Lewis Rowe Lewis Rowe ... Mr. Matheson
Elizabeth Mulfaxe Elizabeth Mulfaxe ... Rita
Harry Sinclair ... Roger
Davina Whitehouse ... Paquita's Grandmother
Silvio Famularo Silvio Famularo ... Paquita's Father
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Storyline

Deep in the lush jungles of the isolated Skull Island lies the habitat of the elusive, yet endangered and utterly vicious "Simian Raticus", or better known as by its common name, the Sumatran Rat-Monkey, a hideous mix of a virus-carrying slave-ship rat and a tree monkey. Presently, back in New Zealand's Wellington, the oppressed Lionel Cosgrove who lives with his despotic mother Vera, has finally found his soulmate, Paquita, but sadly, his world will rapidly change when after a stroll at the local Zoo, a live specimen of the rare species will bite Vera. Now that she's got the "bite", with the infection spreading and turning Vera into a festering, puss-squirting living dead ravenous for flesh, things are bound to get out of hand, as an ever-growing collection of stiffs and other stimulant-enhanced zombie misfits detained in Lionel's house basement will demand immediate action. Poor Lionel he needs to step up and clear up the mess, but above all, summon the courage to confront his ... Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Goriest Fright Film of All Time! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

NZonScreen listing

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

3 June 1993 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Aivokuollut See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$242,623
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated) | (unrated) | (FSK 16) | (1992) (1993) (cut) | (heavily cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is not one cut from Peter Jackson's original screenplay. See more »

Goofs

As Lionel is hanging from the ceiling and the zombie priest and nurse come toward each other, the pitchfork that Uncle Lez shoved into the priest impales the nurse and it is covered with blood. A split second later it is clean. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Les: Is that the one with the donkey and the chambermaid?
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK version is the complete original version which left British film critics stunned as the censors let it through uncut. Differences between British Braindead (uncut) and the unrated American Dead Alive include: See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'The Frighteners' (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Barwick Green (Theme from The Archers)
Composed by Arthur Wood
Published by Boosey and Hawkes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Perhaps the best horror comedy of all time
3 March 2007 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Peter Jackson's gore-fest "Dead Alive" - AKA Braindead- is a very funny, very bloody film. The story is pretty simple, but includes some ingenious plot elements - such as a budding romance between two very likable characters (Balme and Penalver), a psychologically distressing relationship between Balme and his mother and well scripted dialog.

Balme plays Lionel - a troubled, more or less housebound young man who has been forced to spend most of his time taking care of a domineering and psychologically damaging elderly mother. Penalver plays Paquita - his romantic destiny. Paquita is a charming young woman for whom English is (perhaps) a second language. Soon after they meet, Paquita notices some odd quirks in Lionel's behavior, and slowly begins to realize that there is something besides the usual male fear of commitment. Perhaps Lionel's cannibalistic zombie mother is to blame? Soon enough Balme is babysitting a whole family of living dead who he has to constantly inject with animal tranquilizers, and trying to fend off a despicable uncle who is trying to muscle in on his inheritance. Then the fun really starts. It's the Dead Alive Series with extra gore, infused with brilliant slapstick and just a pinch of Monty Python.

Balme is amazing! - an excellent physical actor with great slapstick pacing and manic anxiety. And Penalver is delightfully pretty and sincere yet gives a nice campy performance. Dead Alive is one of the films in which Jackson began to blend detailed ecstatic and fantastic elements into his plots and cinematography - later culminating in the disturbing Heavenly Creatures and the spectacular LOTR trilogy. In Dead Alive, he finds his formula and makes it work without a tremendous budget. The film is well shot and grotesque, but remarkably amusing.


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