Tall, Dark, and Dead – 68 – Dead Alive / Braindead
Title: Dead Alive / Braindead
Director: Peter Jackson
Leads: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver
Favorite quote: “I kick a** for the Lord!”
Thoughts: Dead Alive is a classic, a staple, and a lot of fun to watch. A couple of years ago we were lucky enough to see Peter Jackson at SD Comic-Con, and it was the closest I’ve ever come to standing in the middle of a geek megachurch, with everyone roaring and clapping. Dead Alive was the reason I clapped.
This movie is very physical, which is a good thing. Besides the Epic Lawnmower Scene, and the fact that the movie’s fake pus is ten times worse than its fake blood, this is the ultimate independent dead body part movie, with entire organ systems retaining sentience and going after people. This was obviously done for the gross-out comedy factor, but there is some discernible blurring between magic/religion and science, which I find terribly interesting. No matter how we how fervently we embrace scientific explanations for zombies, there will always be some element of magic in our conception of them, and vice versa.
What I really love about this movie is the fact that the main character attempts to care for and rehabilitate the zombies in his life – mostly to cover his own ass, but also allowing them some dignity. A lot of the movie’s humor stems from the fact that the zombies disobey him in very human ways. I have a lot of affection for zombies who disobey even when they’re extended kindness – my equivalent of the bad boy, I guess.
There’s also an example of zombie procreation, which is obviously meant as an outrageous attempt at humor. I’m still not sure whether I find zombie procreation or vampire procreation to be more ridiculous.