Home Entertainment Cinophile – Braindead (Dead Alive)

Cinophile – Braindead (Dead Alive)

2 min read

Zombies have been done to death. From shuffling to sprinting, from cannibalism to teenage crushes, from comics to hit TV shows – been there, done that. But even if you are about to retire from the living dead scene, you owe it to yourself to watch arguably the best zombie movie ever made. And if you have, go watch it again. After all, this film kicks arse for the Lord!

Braindead (Dead/Alive)

Peter Jackson has featured on Cinophile before, but not for his mainstream successes. Months ago this column celebrated Bad Taste, his debut movie and gold standard for nonsensical nonsense/alien fast food franchises. After that he made Meet The Feebles, still the hardest thing for any Muppets fan to sit through. But the third film in his unofficial trilogy of questionable cinema is arguably his greatest film – ever. Yes, greater than Lord Of The Rings or even The Frighteners. Because none of those films ever taught us anything about zombie kissing…

Braindead (Dead/Alive)

They also never gave any clarity on topics of how to administer zombie drugs, deal with crazy zombie babies or fight sentient zombie guts. Braindead also deserves the award for best use of a lawnmower as a weapon, ever. The story is quite straightforward: a zoologist steals a strange monkey (rat?) from a remote island – it ends up in a quiet little New Zealand town’s zoo, a town also home to a man and his incredibly controlling mother. When the girl working at a local grocer takes an interest in our spineless hero, one thing leads to another and the mother is bitten by the monkey-rat-thing. Hilarity follows. So do guts, gore, zombies, kung fu priests and zombie babies. Yes, that is twice that the baby has been mentioned. There is a reason for that.

Braindead (Dead/Alive)

Braindead is a watershed moment in Peter Jackson’s career. He was still dabbling in completely over the top adult satire, but by this stage his films stopped looking cheap or like an elaborate dare. Indeed, this film would become the template for horror comedy – Simon Pegg even named it as one of his main influences for Shaun Of The Dead. It is easily one of the top five horror comedies ever made and also one of the top five zombie films ever made. Sod it – Braindead is the BEST ever made. And here you were, worshipping the man for putting Frodo, Bilbo and that eye on the big screen. Philistines…

Cinophile is a weekly feature showcasing films that are strange, brilliant, bizarre and explains why we love the movies.

Last Updated: October 14, 2013


  1. Okay so I’ve never watched this but I will now, thank you… I think.


    • James Francis

      October 14, 2013 at 21:40

      I hope you enjoy it – it’s a crazy movie.


  2. Jason Stead

    October 15, 2013 at 07:35

    Hands down the best Sumatran Rat-Monkey film ever made. Also deserves credit for the best lawnmower massacre and zombie sex scenes in cinema history. What a great film.


    • James Francis

      October 15, 2013 at 11:58

      I think it might also be the first film with a zombie baby, but I can’t remember if the ‘Living Dead’ series got there first.


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