Fright Fest: Dead Alive/Brain Dead (1992)
The most brutal lawn mower ever filmed: Deal Alive.
When I was a child I watched the original Night of the Living Dead one Fourth of July and totally regretted it. We parked out in the desert to watch the fireworks show taking place over at a local high school, something I usually enjoyed, but I couldn’t help but cower in fear wondering if a pack of flesh eating zombies were going to come eat my entire family. For years after that I shied away from watching zombie flicks because they scared the shit out of me. When I became a teenager I decided to stop being a wussy and began educating myself in the world of the walking dead.
Years later I watched one of the greatest movies ever made, Dead Alive aka Brain Dead. This gory flick from 1992 was directed by Peter Jackson. I had already viewed a few of his others like Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles and enjoyed them so when I grabbed a VHS copy of Dead Alive I knew going in that I would end up digging it but I never knew how inspiring I would find it.
I have always been into horror, blood and guts, mutants, and monsters of every variety but I admit openly that zombies are not on the list of my top faves, at least not in movies. I know that’s blasphemy but let me elaborate on that, by the time I was eighteen I had seen too many zombie movies to be scared or surprised by them anymore. Once you’ve seen a topless scuba diver nearly get in the middle of a scuffle betwixt a zombie and a shark you really start believing there ain’t going to be anything to top it. I mean only days prior to watching Dead Alive I watched I, Zombie: Chronicles of Pain. That zombie wank scene is unforgettable. Anyways, I knew Jackson wasn’t going to let me down but wondered if it would add anything new to zombie experience for me? I went into Dead Alive hoping it would be some sort of bar set to which I’d compare future zombie films to and I wasn’t disappointed.
Dead Alive tells the story of Lionel, a young man who is hounded by his overbearing mother. He sneaks away to meet a beautiful woman by the name of Paquita at the zoo and of course his mother follows. The old woman gets bitten, or savaged to those of you who are fans of the classic, by a Sumatran rat-monkey and ends up becoming a flesh eating zombie. The shit hits the fan as he desperately attempts to keep his mother’s sickness a secret. He even tries to keep up appearances by allowing some high class turds to have lunch with him and his zombifiying mum, a scene that made me never want to eat custard ever again! Mother ends up infecting a handful of unfortunate people.
There’s even an ass kicking priest who takes part in one of the most memorable zombie fight scenes ever who also becomes a member of the walking dead. The priest zombie bangs a nurse zombie, creating a drooling bundle of evil that is cute, sinister and totally disgusting all at the same time. It all culminates in a bloodbath when Lionel’s asshole uncle drops by and decides to throw a house party, little does he know there’s a secret zombie horde locked in the basement. The creatures get loose and the party becomes a fight for survival which incorporates one of the most bloody and brutal scenes ever gracing the genre. Lionel is forced to defend his love with a lawn mower, straight up cranks that baby up, proclaims the party is over and uses the blades on the bottom to mow down attacking zombies.
The special effects in Dead Alive are top notch, no CGI bullshit, and the blend of dark humor, gore and straight up nail-biting terror is sure to leave any zombie fan satisfied. In my opinion it’s the greatest zombie movie ever made, but don’t take my word for it, check it out!!
Michelle is from Arizona. She writes alongside her twin sister, Melissa Lason. They have been dubbed The Sisters of Slaughter. They write horror, science fiction and dark fantasy. Their work has been featured in anthologies such as FRESH MEAT by Sinister Grin Press, WISHFUL THINKING by fireside press, WIDOWMAKERS a benefit anthology of dark fiction. Their novel, MAYAN BLUE, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award.
You’re going to want to pickup Those Who Follow on Amazon from The Sisters of Slaughter! Get YOUR eBook for $3.99.