Movie Review: Dead Alive (aka Braindead) (1992)

Dead Alive aka BRAINDEAD movie poster
Dead Alive aka BRAINDEAD movie poster


Dead Alive has to be one of the best comedy horror flicks of all time. It was directed by Peter Jackson (yes, this gory little zombie flick was filmed many moons before the Lord of the Rings film series).  This is a film you can watch more than once for its sick humor. You will find that there is something new to appreciate during each viewing.

Our hero is Lionel Cosgrove (played brilliantly by Timothy Balme). Lionel is somewhat of a village idiot and a stay at home adult mama’s boy. Elizabeth Moody plays Lionel’s mum, an over-bearing and controlling widow who refuses to let her son live his own life. But things brighten for Lionel  when he gets a date with the local gypsy beauty and exotic girl next door, Paquita Maria Sanchez (Diana Peñalver).

On Lionel and Paquita’s first and only date, Lionel’s mother follows her son to the zoo.  There the mother is bitten by a rat monkey. The bite slowly turns the elderly woman into flesh-eating zombie.

What follows after the opening is a non-stop gore ride of hellacious hilarity.   The mother’s slow rotting transformation into a zombie is nothing short of comical genius. The mother squirts puss from a festering wound into the pudding of a house guest, who exclaims, “Good pudding!”

The jokes and scares only continues from there, with Stuart Devenie as the unforgettable Father McGruder that “Kicks ass in the name of the Lord” falling victim to the rising zombie horde.

It does not take long before the whole village is transformed into zombies.  There is gore galore, but the zombie baby in the blender scene is the most unforgettable gruesome display.

The zombie baby on a rampage in Dead Alive
The zombie baby on a rampage in Dead Alive

This is a movie that will have you drawing a comparison to Evil Dead; Lionel is no Ash, but he does find the will to save the day with the lawn mower.  It’s blood and gore splattered everywhere as our hero eliminates the undead to save his sweetheart and the village.

Dead Alive is an unforgettable zombie movie which will have you gagging and grinning at the same time.

Check out the DEAD ALIVE trailer: