Dead Alive (1993)

Dead Alive




Critic Consensus: The delightfully gonzo tale of a lovestruck teen and his zombified mother, Dead Alive is extremely gory and exceedingly good fun, thanks to Peter Jackson's affection for the tastelessly sublime.

Movie Info

A monkey bite turns the white-breaded, overbearing mother of a New Zealand youth into a voracious zombie in this extremely gory black comedy. Realizing that he has a bonafide monster on his hands, the boy knows he should destroy her, but when push comes to shove, the son realizes he has no stomach for matricide. That her condition proves contagious does little to sway his devotion to her.

Rating: R (for an abundance of outrageous gore)
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Peter Jackson, Stephen Sinclair, Frances Walsh
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 8, 1998
Trimark Pictures - Official Site



as Lionel Cosgrove

as Paquita Maria Sanche...

as Vera Cosgrove

as Uncle Les

as Nurse McTavish

as Father McGruderombi...

as Void

as Undertaker

as Mrs Matheson

as Mr Matheson

as Grandmother

as Tram Driver

as Undertaker's Assista...

as Lionel's Father

as Mother at Park

as Customs Official

as Father at Zoo

as Featured Party Zombi...

as Featured Party Zombi...

as Zoo Keeper

as Lawrence
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Dead Alive

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Critic Reviews for Dead Alive

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (4)

The best to date from Kiwi gore specialist Peter Jackson.

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Top Critic

The finale, in which Lionel reduces a horde of flesh-eaters to a mulch of blood, flesh and offal with the aid of a flymo, is probably the goriest scene ever.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Because all of this looks blatantly unreal, and because the timing of the shock effects is so haphazard, Dead Alive isn't especially scary or repulsive. Nor is it very funny.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Horror films used to be primordial spook shows, tapping midnight-dark fears. Now they tap bodily goo: rivers of blood, dripping limbs, eyeballs that go pop in the night.

Full Review… | February 12, 1993
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Takes a few views to really appreciate, but Peter Jackson's blood-splattered horror masterpiece is a gory good time.

Full Review… | January 29, 2012

Lionsgate's visceral, albeit barebones Blu-ray package lets viewers really sink their teeth into Dead Alive.

Full Review… | October 20, 2011
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Dead Alive

Think Greg Kihn's "Our Love's In Jeopardy" video @ 200 mph. Fuck I dated myself.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Who would have thought that Peter "Lord of the Rings" Jackson started his career off by making campy, gory horror schlock films like this? This film, despite the copious and over the top amounts of blood and gore, is actually quite hilarious and enjoyable.

The plot follows a village dweeb who tries to have a budding romance, while also trying to conceal the fact that his overbearing mother is a flesh-eating zombie.

The tone of the film is deliriously cartoonish and over the top.I think that's what makes it surprising considering that it's also probably the goriest film I've ever seen, if not the goriest of all time. Seriously. I can't believe how gruesome and messy this film gets, and I actually feel even more twisted for finding it all so friggin' amusing. The effects are very well done, and really make you appreciate the effort that goes into this sort of thing.

The acting is also surprisingly really good, and there's some good lines, too.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Dead Alive Quotes

– Submitted by Thomas R (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Thomas R (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Thomas R (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Nick S (3 years ago)

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