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Peter Jackson's "Braindead"
December 8, 2012 2:52 PM   Subscribe

Between Peter Jackson’s penchant for cartoonish unserious gore and Bob McCarron’s off-screen makeup effects manipulations, Braindead achieves something that approaches inspired genius in the heretofore unknown artform of human carnage. The film is filled with moments of joyous slapstick tableaux... And then there is that moment where Braindead finally breaks through to achieve a transcendentally surreal glory of excess where Tim Balme wades into battle against the zombies armed with a lawnmower, drenching an entire room in showers of blood. (Braindead holds the record for the greatest amount of artificial blood ever used in a film). The film is a work of perverse genius. - Richard Scheib
posted by Egg Shen (41 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
AKA "Dead Alive", for American audiences.

Sumatran rat-monkey!
posted by Artw at 3:01 PM on December 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


Thanks, Artw. I knew I knew the movie.
posted by Seamus at 3:10 PM on December 8, 2012


Yessssss. This movie is gross and funny and amazing. After watching it many years ago my friends and I will still occasionally shout "I kick ass for the Lord!".
posted by jess at 3:10 PM on December 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


IT'S THE WLWL!
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 3:13 PM on December 8, 2012


A great movie! I will never forget the guy shoving parts of his brain back in...
posted by greenhornet at 3:14 PM on December 8, 2012


And it's the third and best of a trio of cheap bad taste movies Jackson made at the start of his career, starting with Bad Taste and then the demented and weird Meet the Feebles. Heavenly Creatures was quite a suprise after that, and I don't think anyone could have foreseen the Tolkien movies.
posted by Artw at 3:17 PM on December 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Your mother ate my dog!"
"Not all of it!" *holds up forlorn tail*
posted by infinitewindow at 3:20 PM on December 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


All I could think of was .... a mower that could run while on its side like that would be useful in doing that steep hill in the back yard, 'cuz most of them want to stall out on that hill.
posted by HuronBob at 3:24 PM on December 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Party's over!"

*revs up lawnmower*
posted by brundlefly at 3:37 PM on December 8, 2012


It's no match for his Magnum Opus
posted by clarknova at 3:41 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Braindead holds the record for the greatest amount of artificial blood ever used in a film)

Where does The Shining rank in that regard?
posted by Anything at 3:41 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was real.
posted by clarknova at 3:43 PM on December 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


When The Fellowship of the Ring first came out, I had this fantasy where somebody thought to themselves, "Hey, I should check out some other works by this Peter Jackson director guy. Oh! Here's a puppet film!" And then they took home Meet the Feebles. Mostly I just want to see if they'd laugh like I did, or if there was a stony silence before quietly turning it off.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:55 PM on December 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


"That's my mother you're pissing on"
posted by Smegoid at 3:56 PM on December 8, 2012


"I kick arse for the lord"

And from Bad Taste:

"you're lucky, yours has chunky bits"

It really was strange way back when that Jackson got the Lords of the Ring gig after those movies.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:14 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Braindead holds the record for the greatest amount of McDonalds Special Sauce ever used in a film)

There, fixed it. Seriously, the movie makes me hungry. Especially the scene with the zombies eating eggs and the spoon goes through the back of the rockabilly/greaser zombie's head. Every damn time.
posted by hanoixan at 4:20 PM on December 8, 2012


...something that approaches inspired genius in the heretofore unknown artform of human carnage

Can anyone contrast Braindead to my personal human-carnage fave - Reanimator?
posted by superelastic at 4:25 PM on December 8, 2012


I'd been listening to this Human Remains track for years before I saw this movie. Rich and Creamy! Just the way I like it!
posted by Existential Dread at 4:28 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


a mower that could run while on its side like that would be useful in doing that steep hill in the back yard, 'cuz most of them want to stall out on that hill

Keep in mind, that mower had been chewing on a LOT of undead flesh. I always figured it was a zombie, itself, by that point.

One of my favorite movies, ever. I kind of always wanted Gandolf to break out a mower at Helm's Deep, but no such luck.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:38 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Braindead is superior to every other movie Peter Jackson has made except maybe Heavenly Creatures. And even about that one I'm not so sure.
posted by Mothlight at 4:51 PM on December 8, 2012


Can anyone contrast Braindead to my personal human-carnage fave - Reanimator?

Funny you should ask, superelastic. There was a funny story going around back in the day — probably apocryphal — about Stuart Gordon meeting Peter Jackson and having a little discussion. Gordon hadn't yet seen Jackson's zombie movie and mentioned something about, you know, we went through 50 gallons of fake blood on Re-Animator. And Jackson was like, well, Stuart, our movie used 5,000 gallons ...
posted by Mothlight at 4:56 PM on December 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Please, don't forget The Frighteners, possibly Jackson's most important attempt at showing he could meet his personal proclivities and Hollywood halfway, and at the time a Hail Mary pass for a career-flagging Michael J. Fox. Despite a messy, crazy third act, it has some amazing moments, insanely good effects for its time, Jeffrey Combs riffing on himself with mad abandon, Jake Busey indulging in all the madness his genetics allow, and some amazing moments of pitch-black humour.

I literally own the t-shirt, which glows in the dark.
posted by Shepherd at 5:47 PM on December 8, 2012 [11 favorites]


I really dig The Frighteners, but do NOT watch the director's cut. As I recall, all that was added was a bunch of comedic mugging that just did not work.
posted by brundlefly at 5:55 PM on December 8, 2012


The scene with the ear in the custard HAUNTS ME. I cannot eat pudding without thinking about it. *shudder*

That being said: I still love this movie.
posted by sc114 at 5:59 PM on December 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


"They're coming for you, Barbara." If only she'd had a lawnmower.
posted by theredpen at 6:01 PM on December 8, 2012


I've seen that movie so many times, and it still doesn't fail to make me laugh. The entire thing is over the top, from the rat monkey, to the ear in the custard, to the baby carriage scene, to "I kick ass for the lord." Just absolutely one of the funniest, grossest, most awesome movies ever made! I was always stunned that they allowed him to do the LoTR movies, and we kept saying when we heard "have they SEEN Dead Alive?!!"

Thanks for reminding me to re-watch it again.
posted by gemmy at 6:36 PM on December 8, 2012


[after Lionel crashes into the church hugging his mother's 'corpse']

Nora Matheson: He was always dreadfully attached to Vera.

Father McGruder: Well I've seen some displays of grief in my day, but nothing quite like that.

posted by Egg Shen at 7:15 PM on December 8, 2012


Yeah, I saw this on a tiny screen at the theater in Arcata, CA when it was (I'm guessing barely) released in the US. When it was released on VHS for rental I looked into getting a copy, but in those days you had to pay like $100 for tapes that were intended for rental, and there was no consumer release. Man, the bad old days. It was the first laserdisc I bought.

It blows me away that there's still no good Meet the Feebles release in the US... what a crazy-ass movie.
posted by Huck500 at 8:23 PM on December 8, 2012


The best part of King Kong was the Sumatran Rat Monkey crate in the ship.

also: I KICK ARSE FOR THE LORD!
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:51 PM on December 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Used to rent this from Blockbuster, lol. Stumbled across it randomly and couldn't believe how cheesy, weird and cheap it was, but also funny and lively and well-paced. Quite crazy when I realized that Peter Jackson had directed this awesome 80s comedy horror flick!
posted by lubujackson at 12:07 AM on December 9, 2012


I felt oddly disappointed and betrayed when I tried to share my love of this movie with a friend who on viewing thought it was gross and not at all funny.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:46 AM on December 9, 2012


I have seen the following movies at the theatre twice:
ET
Braindead.

(And also the Star Wars original trilogy if you count the special editions.)

Take that recommendation for what it is worth.

I did not eat custard for years.
posted by Mezentian at 1:06 AM on December 9, 2012


I actually don't have the tolerance for gore that I used to when I was younger- I'm okay with video games and most movies, but stuff like Evil Dead or Braindead makes me mildly ill.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:12 AM on December 9, 2012


After watching it many years ago my friends and I will still occasionally shout "I kick ass for the Lord!"

This supports my theory that most of us on MetaFilter are replications of each others' friends from years ago. Nerd threads are like that scene from Shaun of the Dead. You know which one.
posted by fleacircus at 2:16 AM on December 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


but stuff like Evil Dead or Braindead makes me mildly ill.

You say that like tree rape or lawnmower massacre are bad things.

(Well, okay, tree rape is a bad thing, and I see they have kept the rape tree in the remake, but that lawnmower scene is awesome.)
posted by Mezentian at 3:23 AM on December 9, 2012


The scene with the ear in the custard HAUNTS ME

That is one of those things that you really need to see on a big screen to truly appreciate.

I had seen the movie before, owned it on VHS, when I finally got to see it in the theater, and I think that might have been the closest I have ever come to puking at the movies.

It blows me away that there's still no good Meet the Feebles release in the US... what a crazy-ass movie.

I saw that at a film festival, with four girls who I am not sure had any idea what they were getting themselves into. Their shrieks of disgust made the movie much more enjoyable.


And the fly reporter eating poop with a spoon - also pretty close to puking.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:25 AM on December 9, 2012


For anyone you watched this as a blockbuster rental in the US: you didn't see the whole movie, the goriest parts were edited out, aka some of my favorite parts. It just wasn't the same movie. I still remember my friends and I jumping out of our seats and cheering when e reverend reappeared for his close-up, as it were.
posted by davejay at 9:06 AM on December 9, 2012


For anyone you watched this as a blockbuster rental in the US: you didn't see the whole movie, the goriest parts were edited out

Actually, nobody who saw a U.S. version of this saw the whole movie. Even the 97-minute unrated U.S. release is missing a few bits of mayhem, including a brief impalement/sex scene between the vicar and the nurse and a moment where a zombie's legs are turned into weapons. Apparently Peter Jackson was involved and endorsed this 97-minute edit (the same thing happened to Heavenly Creatures), but I'm pretty fond of some of the material in the 104-minute uncut version.
posted by Mothlight at 10:02 AM on December 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


What we need's another war!
posted by Mocata at 10:05 AM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


1. After years of thinking my dad had shown me Dead Alive, I showed it to him this year. Obviously, the man who showed me Re-Animator for the first time loved Dead Alive, but I'm not sure if his memory was on the fritz or mine. I could swear I've heard him say "I kick ass for The Lord" to make me giggle, but how could he forget about the Sumatran rat monkey.

2. Watching Meet The Feebles while coming down from acid when I was 20 was a wholly unpleasant experience.
posted by elr at 3:49 PM on December 9, 2012


Great film, one of the best. Certainly the best Peter Jackson flick out there. And I'm not being cheeky. He should've stuck to creative progressive schlock like Brain Dead.
posted by ReeMonster at 12:02 AM on December 10, 2012


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