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Braindead

Possibly the goriest movie ever, Braindead (1992) is a cheerfully extreme zombie horror-comedy directed by Peter Jackson.

It is in the same vein as his early works Bad Taste[?] and Meet the Feebles but a rather more polished work with a budget of around $3 million. Although it starts with the capture of the zombie creating creature the opening half of the film is a fine low-key period piece before spiraling crazily up to the unbelievable final scenes when over 300 litres of special effects blood is sprayed.

The film was received in very different ways in different countries. Those censors who recognised that the film was a cheerful farce, such as those in Australia and Britain, allowed the film to be shown in its 104 minutes of uncut glory. In countries where the censors were unable to see beyond the extreme gore the film was initially banned or left unrated before being heavily cut; the US version (released as Dead Alive) is only 85 minutes and the German version 94 minutes.

Plot In 1950s Wellington, Lionel Cosgrove (Timothy Balme[?]) lives with his dreadful mother (Elizabeth Moody[?]) at her beck and call. To his mother's dismay Lionel falls for a local shopkeeper Paquita (Diana Peņalver[?]). She follows the two on a visit to the zoo and is bitten by a Sumatra rat monkey. The bite slowly turns the mother into a zombie; Lionel is horrified, but determined not to lose her.

He cares for her even as she starts infecting other townspeople and he is blackmailed by his disgusting Uncle Les (Ian Watkin[?]). Lionel keeps his zombie mother placated with enormous doses of anaesthetic, and also tries to maintain his relationship with Paquita.

The mother zombie is run over, and Lionel tranquilises her for her funeral. He recovers his mother from the grave, but not before several more people are made zombies, including a kung-fu priest (Stuart Devenie[?]). As the number of zombies remains small, Lionel keeps them in his home. There is a revoltingly funny zombie meal scene; the Nurse McTavish (Brenda Kendall[?]) zombie even gives birth to a dreadful zombie baby which Lionel actually takes to the park on one violent-surreal occasion. Uncle Les discovers the 'corpses' and threatens Lionel to give up his mother's estate. Lionel acquires some poison and dispatches the zombies just before Uncle Les and a crowd of his friends 'invade' Lionel's home for a party. The poison turns out to be a animal stimulant and the zombies burst from the ground to attack the household in bizarre and gory ways.

The movie climax has Lionel fighting dozens of zombies as well as animate intestines and other body parts. Most memorable is Lionel's charge into the zombies with a lawn mower, before facing down his mother with an over the top Freudian 'rebirth' as he cuts his way out of her grotesquely changed form.



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