Braindead (New Zealand 1992)

Rating: ****
Alternate Title: Dead Alive (U.S. Title)
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Timothy Balme

Holy shit, what an amazing film! There is simply no parallel to compare this over-the-top camp horror gore-fest from New Zealand to. I'm not a big fan of horror films or gory movies, but regardless, my friend Jason urged me at length to see this one. I didn't. Then a year later, my friend Aaron tells me I have to see it. I didn't. And after about another year of continual nudging and prodding, I finally sat down and watched it. Wow. A spectacular piece of film, with the rudest, foulest, most wretched and tasteless gore effects ever captured on film. A young man's mother gets bitten by a mysterious rat monkey and turns into a zombie. Soon the whole town is zombies and it's up to Lionel (an incredible Timothy Balme) and his cute Latin girlfriend to stop the madness. A clever and quirky story is aided by great performances, outrageous characters (including a killer kung fu priest), witty dialog, a substantial budget, brilliant cinematography, a strangely appropriate musical score, a considerable helping of creative genius, and a boat load of increasingly mind-blowing and disgusting visual effects. Just when you think it can't get any worse, the film delivers one more sucker punch after another. By the time the climactic lawnmower bloodbath scene comes around, you're so numb to the constant barrage of blood and gore that it isn't even shocking anymore. Granted, not everyone is going to like this film, but I think a lot of people will. Must be seen to be appreciated.

Notes On The Domestic Release: Unfortunately, the American release of this film (re-titled "Dead Alive") has about five minutes of footage cut out of it, so it's definitely worth tracking down an import of the original film. I didn't catch all the deleted material, but I know a good portion of the zombie sex scene is cut, and some of the more disgusting baby scenes are cut (I seem to recall an umbilical cord getting caught on a nail or something along those lines).