Before he went on to direct The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson made two splatter classics: Bad Taste and Braindead. Both of them are horror/comedies with insane amounts of blood and gore. Actually, the gore was so over the top that the British Board of Film Classification seriously considered granting it a “15” certificate. Just think of Evil Dead trilogy, especially the last part Army of Darkness, and then multiply the amount of comedy and gore by the factor of ten. Because there are so many funny situations involving blood, decapitated heads, bile and puss, the pacing of this movie is really intense. It’s a roller-coaster ride that will satisfy even the hardest horror fans. Since its release, Braindead has become a cult classic and was often cited as the bloodiest and goriest movie ever made.
It is the year of our lord Satan 1957 and smuggler Stewart McAlden just stole a Sumatran Rat-Monkey from natives of the Skull Island. The abomination came into existence after rats carrying plague raped monkeys. The monkey ends up Wellington Zoo in New Zealand. Fast forward 35 years and meet Lionel Cosgrove, a shy guy living with his domineering mother in a huge mansion. When he falls in love with a local girl, his mother does not approve of this. She follows them on their date, only to be bitten by that damned monkey. Soon, she will start to exhibit the signs of illness and Lionel will have to make some hard decisions….
The best thing about Braindead is its naivety and natural approach to the storytelling. The main story is actually quite sweet, with clumsy Lionel trying to score without his mother’s approval. You kinda feel for the guy. Zombies having sex, ninja priests and baby zombies are all here, don’t worry. Exactly this strange mixture of easygoing main story and extreme violence is the thing that makes Braindead so god damn fun. Without apologies or holding back, Peter Jackson just powers through the movie with intensity and conviction. Just imagine what would happen if we funded these young creators all over the world… In the end, if you liked Shaun of the Dead and think it’s the best and first horror/comedy and haven’t seen this masterpiece, it’s the right time to check out one of the strangest movies of the nineties.
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody, Ian Watkin, Jed Brophy
Fun Facts: During the lawnmower scene, movie blood was pumped at five gallons per second.