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Braindead (released ​Dead Alive ​in North America) is a 1992 New Zealand horror zombie comedy gore film directed by Peter Jackson The film is widely regarded as being one of the goriest films of all time.


The first scene sets up danger of the "Sumatran Rat-Monkey" a hybrid creature that according to legend resulted from the rape of tree monkeys on Skull Island by plague-carrying rats. Stewart an explorer returning from the depths of the Island with his guide and team is carrying a rat-monkey in a cage and is stopped by fierce warrior natives that demand the return of the monkey Stewart escapes with the cage to the rest of his team and a waiting Jeep leaving his guide behind and the natives in hot pursuit. As the jeep takes off Stewart's guide catches up and jumps on board In the ensuing melee Stewart gets bitten by the Rat-Monkey Seeing the mark of the monkey's bite right hand Stewart's men immediately hold down the infected explorer and amputate the appendage. A bite mark is then seen on his left arm which swiftly results in the removal of that limb Finally they see a set of bloody scratches on Stewart's forehead and kill him The title´screen follows the man's dying scream and as the opening credits roll the captured rat-monkey is shipped to Wellington Zoo in New Zealand.

Wellington 1957 Lionel Cosgrove lives with his domineering mother, Vera. To his mother's dismay Lionel falls in Love with a local shopkeeper's daughter Paquita and while snooping on the two during a visit to the zoo Vera is bitten by the Sumatran Rat-Monkey she subsequently crushes its head The animal's bite slowly turns her into a ravenous zombie Lionel if horrified but ever the dedicated son is determined to care for her. Despite his efforts to keep her placated with periodic doses of anesthetic Vera starts murdering other townspeople turning them into zombies He tries to keep them locked away in the basement while simultaneously trying to maintain his relationship with the completely oblivious Paquita. Vera escapes however and is hit by a tram.

As the townspeople assume she is dead Lionel tranquilizes the still-kicking zombie for her funeral After she is buried he returns to the graveyard to administer more anesthetic but is accosted by a gang of hoodlums Vera bursts from her grave resulting in more deaths and zombies As their numbers grow Lionel manages to keep the zombies under relative control with repeated injections and tries to keep them concealed in his home. However, Lionel's uncle Les arrives to try to wrangle with Lionel over his mother's estate. Uncle Les discovers the corpses and blackmails his nephew into giving up his inheritance in return for his silence.

Lionel reluctantly administers poison to the zombies ("killing" them) and buries them just as Uncle Les and a crowd of his friends arrive for a housewarming party. The "poison" turns out to be an animal stimulant and since the zombies come from the bite of the animal (the Rat-Monkey) it only gives them even energy. The zombies burst from the ground to attack and infect the party guests in a gory finale.

Some of the guests are running and some are being eaten by the zombies Lionel goes into a room where he saw Paquita fighting with Uncle Les and informs them of the zombie outbreak. Uncle Les manages to get out through the window while Lionel pulls out a large hanger with clothes which distracts the zombies and gives Paquita a chance to escape. He later kills the zombie Void by splitting his body in half but his intestines come to life and try to kill him. Lionel escapes into the attic where he finds a vault containing a corpse. He notices that it is his real father. He stumbles down from the attic upside down while a rope hangs on his feet. Paquita, Rita, and Mandy barricade themselves in a room. A man was being eaten on the window and they try to help him but when they pull inside his body is half eaten Mandy screams and zombie knocks her down and crushes his hands on her mouth killing her. Paquita hides in a cabinet where she finds Rita, they go to the kitchen and barricade themselves there but zombie Mandy is there with the baby. The baby bites Rita's neck and the two see Uncle Les screaming for help. They save him by pulling him inside but the room was damaged so the zombies were able to get in. As the girls run upstairs Uncle Les is bullied by the baby zombie. He goes into the basement where he sees Lionel's mother who has turned into a giant zombie She pulls him up and separates his spinal cord and head from his body.

As Paquita and Rita are chased by the zombies Lionel appears and holds a running lawn mower bottom outwards with which he kills some of the zombies The group are now fighting with hundreds of zombies animated intestines and disembodied legs. As Paquita fights some of the zombies she notices something is wrong with Rita and as she talks to her a baby's hands appeared on her ears and split her head in half revealing the baby had killed Rita. Just as it attacks Paquita Mandy's head (impaled on a bulb) ignites and manages to blow a gas pipe which sets the house ablaze and zombie Rita is killed in the fire. Lionel manages to kill all of the zombies until his mother who (we assume because she was the one originally bitten) has become a gargantuan monster pursues Lionel and Paquita to the rooftop. Paquita almost falls and hangs onto the edge of the roof while Lionel finally confronts his mother about the truth regarding his father's demise and his real mother It is revealed that she's only his stepmother She picks him up and stuffs him into her womb as Paquita screams in terror. Lionel's mother now tries to kill Paquita by removing her hands from the pole she's holding and in an over-the-top "rebirth" Lionel cuts his way out of her grotesquely changed body using the lawnmower and she fall into the fiery house below Lionel and Paquita escape the building and walk away arm-in-arm covered in gore as the local fire department arrives on the scene to put out the flames.

List of deaths Edit

List of deaths in the film, Braindead.

Name Cause of Death Killer On Screen Notes
Stewart McAlden Hacked/hand cut off/arm cut off/killed with axe cleaver Stewart's Men No
Monkey Arm ripped off Rat Monkey Yes
Rat Monkey Stomp Vera Cosgrove Yes
Dog Eaten Vera Cosgrove No
Nurse McTavish Head broken off Vera Cosgrove Yes Return is zombie
Void Chest prosthetic Vera Cosgrove Yes Return is zombie, torn of half in pieces, hacked in pieces
Vet Neck bitten Vera Cosgrove Yes Return is zombie, dismembered in pieces
Father McGruder Thrown/statue through back Zombie Void Yes Return is zombie, teeth cut off in pieces
25 People Killed Zombies Yes Return is zombies, killed in pieces
Zombie Beaten with mattack Lionel Cosgrove Yes
Cowboy Torn in half Zombies Yes Return is zombie, head hacked in pieces
Woman Hands through back is mouth Zombie Void Yes Return is zombie, stabbed,pinned/burned alive in pieces
Man Gutted Zombies Yes Return is zombie, hacked in pieces
Man Neck bitten Zombie Yes Return is zombie, head cut off, chopped in pieces
Zombies Body cut off with knife and cleaver Uncle Les Yes
Zombie Head exploded off Lionel Cosgrove Yes Fell off
Zombie Thrown/exploded Lionel Cosgrove Yes Fell off
Uncle Les Blood loss/head ripped off Vera Cosgrove Yes Return is zombie, head ripped off/crushed in pieces
Zombie Arm ripped off Paquita Maria Sanchez No
Rita Neck bitten, hands through lars/head/nose/forehead two off Zombies Baby Yes
Gut Monsters Chopped in lawnmower Lionel Cosgrove Yes
Vera Cosgrove Anchor through back/gutted, knocked off/burned alive Lionel Cosgrove Yes

Cast Edit

  • Timothy Balme as Lionel Cosgrove
  • Diana Peñalver as Paquita Maria Sanchez
  • Elizabeth Moody as Vera Cosgrove Lionel's mother
  • Ian Watkin as Uncle Les Kalkon Vera's brother
  • Brenda Kendall as Nurse Emma Mc Tavish
  • Stuart Devenie as Father Jon McGruder (The Kung-Fu Priest)
  • Jed Brophy as Thomas Jacob "Void" Randell
  • Stephen Pappd as Zombie Jon McGruder
  • Murray Keane as Pete "Scroat" Otis
  • Glenis Levestam as Mrs. Nora Matheson
  • Lewis Rowe as Mr. Albert Matheson
  • Elizabeth Mulfaxe as Rita Bridell
  • Harry Sinclair as Roger Tryton
  • Davina Whitehouse as Mary Sanchez Paquita's grandmother
  • Silvio Famularo as Slaver Don Sanchez Paquita's father
  • Daniel Sabic as Baby Zombie Selwyn Matheson
  • Tommy Dee Jacy as Sumatrn Rat-Monkey/Various Zombies (voice; uncredited)
  • Bill Ralston as Zoo official Stewart McAlden
  • Forrest J. Ackerman as Forry (Touist at Zoo with Monsters of Filmland magazine)

External links Edit

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