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  • Gareth Crook

Braindead (1992) - 7/10

A New Zealand zoo fella (theres probably an official term, but it’s not important for this film), swipes a cursed Rat-Monkey from some angry locals in Sumatra. He’d have been better off staying home. He doesn’t make it back… but the monkey does! Back in 50s Wellington we meet the bumbling Lionel (Timothy Balme) and his oppressive mother. She’s as dislikable as he is likeable. Parquita (Diana Peñalver) thinks so too, she has a soft spot Lionel and on their first date they head to… the zoo! Where we get to see the infamous Rat-Monkey for the first time. It’s a stop motion gore fest, a little taster for what’s to come. What is to come you might ask? Zombies that’s what! For that’s what happens to anyone bitten by the Rat-Monkey and first on the menu is mother! Despite all the gore and goo, it’s more of a comedy than anything else, albeit a very horrific one. Do not eat while you’re watching this. You’ll either throw up or choke through laughing. There’s no CGI like Jackson’s later films, this is all in camera. It’s quite a visceral experience. The aim is clear, how can we make the most extreme but accessible zombie comedy ever. The answer is Braindead. Mystic Grandmothers, lecherous Uncles, Kung Fu Priests & Nazi Vets, it’s one of the most insane films I’ve ever seen! Poor Lionel tries to hold it all together as the body count increases and the amount of puss and slime threatens to take over the screen. It’s beyond nasty and if it weren’t for the slap stick comedy, I don’t think I’d sleep for days. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so much fake blood! It’s quite spectacular. It makes goriest film you’ve seen look a kids movie!!



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