Dead-Alive AKA Braindead

The 90’s were a rough period for zombie movies. After Scream revitalized the slasher movie genre it seemed like there wasn’t a lot of room for more traditional movie monsters, werewolves vampires, zombies and the like. But luckily there were one or two gems, including Dead-Alive. Widely considered the goriest movie ever, Dead-Alive is one of my favorite pre-Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson movie. You can see elements from Peter Jackson’s early movies in his Middle Earth films. The obvious one from Dead-Alive is that the actor who plays Void is Nori in The Hobbit. People don’t talk about how much his horror movie experience added to the Lord of the Rings. I’m trying to finally get through the LOTR books and the Nazgul (black riders) don’t come off the page as being that menacing, but in the film Jackson makes them horror movie villains. The bold excesses of gore found in the lawnmower sequence is related to the excesses in the final battle of The Return of the King with it’s hundreds of thousands of soldiers. But apart from Jackson’s later works, Dead-Alive is still an extremely strong and fun film that doesn’t let the gore overpower the characters or the story.

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