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Dead Alive (Braindead)

Dead Alive (Braindead) (1993)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 4

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.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

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.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 63,725

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Peter Jackson's second feature cheerfully trumps the gross-out quotient of his splatterfest debut, the appropriately named Bad Taste. The tone is cartoonishly comic, and the premise is simple: The village dweeb (Timothy Balme) is trying to maintain a budding romance with the sweet Paquita (Diana Penalver) while concealing the fact that his overbearing mum (Elizabeth Moody, in an amazing good-sport performance) is a flesh-eating zombie. (She owes her condition to a bite from a "Sumatran

Sep 8, 1998

Trimark Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (29) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (4) | DVD (12)

The best to date from Kiwi gore specialist Peter Jackson.

July 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop 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.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comments (9)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

February 12, 1993 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD

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

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Originally released as Braindead, this gory, maccabre satire of 1950s New Zealand society is yet another proof that Peter Jackson is one of the sharpest, most skillful directors working in the genre; a good companion piece to Meet the Feebles.

June 25, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Rarely has the urge to expectorate one's lunch been a feeling so sublime.

October 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

Braindead is the magnum opus of Peter Jackson's early career.

October 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Arguably the goriest movie ever made

June 12, 2004
Lawrence Journal-World

I wish I could say that I loved it, but at the risk of offending every fanboy out there, I'm afraid I have a red caro-syrup covered bone to pick with it.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: | Comments (7)

A gore classic featuring an ***-kicking priest, a grandmother swallowing a cat whole, a house full of zombies, and a lawnmower.

February 26, 2003 | Comments (4)
KFOR Channel 4 News

How can you not love a movie with the line, "Your mother ate my dog"?

August 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

One of the true classics of splatterdom. Sickeningly wonderful.

July 27, 2002

It was hysterically funny at times, but the urge to laugh had to compete with the urge to vomit.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Before he discovered Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures, Peter Jackson's work looked more like it came from Troma.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Unquestionably the single goriest film ever made.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus

If you are a little squeamish then this is not the film for you, however those of a nervous disposition need not worry as Jackson is definitely playing for laughs.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Edinburgh U Film Society
Edinburgh U Film Society

A Tex Avery cartoon of hyperbolic gore, which gets funnier with each disgusting new sight gag.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Nashville Scene
Nashville Scene

Sick. Perverse. Brilliant.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Dead Alive (Braindead)

Think Greg Kihn's "Our Love's In Jeopardy" video @ 200 mph. Fuck I dated myself.
June 8, 2008

Super Reviewer

November 26, 2013
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.
June 27, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A hilarious horror romp. Bloody, gruesome and outrageous from start to end.
October 23, 2012
Johnny D.

Super Reviewer

    1. Father McGruder/Zombie McGruder: The devil is amongst us.
    – Submitted by Thomas R (13 months ago)
    1. Uncle Les: I see you've come across your uncle's old stag films. Is this the one with the donkey and the chambermaid?
    – Submitted by Thomas R (13 months ago)
    1. Father McGruder/Zombie McGruder: Stand back boy, this calls for divine intervention!
    – Submitted by Thomas R (16 months ago)
    1. Lionel: They're not dead exactly, they're just... sort of rotting.
    – Submitted by Nick S (2 years ago)
    1. Paquita Maria Sanchez: Your mother ate my dog!
    2. Lionel: Not all of it!
    – Submitted by Jonathan C (2 years ago)
    1. Lionel: Party's over!
    – Submitted by Rocky F (2 years ago)
View all quotes (9)

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