Peter Jackson, New Zealand, 1992, 97 min.
There aren’t that many good gory comedies. Serious film-makers have always steered away from the genre, and the popularity of these types of films have allowed people without talent to saturate the market-place and still make money with their bad films.
The similarity of everything that is out there means that a film has to be technically and artistically proficient to stand out. Having a gimmick just doesn’t cut it. And it’s rare that a someone can pull it off.
Now Peter Jackson is a talented film-maker. He always has been, and Braindead, his be-all and end-all pinnacle of the horror/gore/comedy genre is no exception.
The story is standard. An animal byte turns people into violent zombie-like creatures. But the film is full of endless talent and imagination. Characters are killed in wonderfully gory ways. The script is tight, the pacing is perfect, the music is excellent, and Timothy Balme plays the main character with great physical comedic skill.
It all fits together perfectly, and the sheer amount of gore and energy in the last reel has to be seen to believed. Blood is said to have been pumps onto the set at 5 gallons a second to keep up. Peter Jackson has a good eye for unique acts of violence and comedy and he really lets loose here.
It’s a cheap film, but the talent behind it gives it quality beyond its humble genre beginnings. It’s a must see for horror-fans, and must-see for film fans who can stomach it. Braindead is anything but what the title suggests.