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Dead Alive


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Timothy Balme, Diana Penalver. When his demanding mother becomes a blood-hungry zombie looking for victims, a devoted son tries to keep her actions a secret from the neighbors. Considered one of the most violent, gory horror films of all time! 1992/color/97 min/unrated/widescreen.

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If you're not a connoisseur of graphic horror and gruesome gore, you'd better steer clear of this wicked 1992 horror-comedy from the demented mind and delirious camera of New Zealand-born writer-director Peter Jackson. However, if nonstop mayhem and extreme violence are your idea of great entertainment, you're sure to appreciate Jackson's gleefully inventive approach to a story that can judiciously be described as sick, twisted, and totally outrageous. The movie's central character is a poor schmuck named Lionel who's practically enslaved to his domineering mother. But when ol' Mum gets bitten by a rare and poisonous rat monkey from Skull Island and is turned into a flesh-eating zombie, Lionel has the unfortunate task of keeping Mama happy while fending off all the other zombies that result from her voracious feeding frenzies. If you've read this far, you'll either be crying out for censorship or eagerly awaiting your first viewing (or second, or third...) of this wildly clever and audaciously uninhibited movie. And while director Jackson would later achieve critical success with his fact-based drama Heavenly Creatures, his talent is readily evident in this earlier effort. If you find this kind of thing even remotely appealing, consider Dead Alive a must-see movie. --Jeff Shannon

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Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Balme, Jed Brophy, Stuart Devenie, Silvio Fumularo, Murray Keane
  • Directors: Peter Jackson
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: September 9, 1998
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (518 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 157362408X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,203 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dead Alive" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 121 people found the following review helpful By General Zombie on November 20, 2004
Format: DVD
As you likely know, if you're reading this, Dead Alive is fairly widely regarded as the goriest movie ever made. Having not seen every movie ever made I'm not prepared to declare it as such, but it's certainly the goriest movie I've ever seen. By far. To give you a bit of perspective, I would say Day of the Dead and Riki-Oh probably come closest of the films I've seen, and Dead Alive has got to be at least 5 times gorier than either of those films.(And that's probably a conservative estimate) This fact alone should make it mandatory viewing for anyone interested in Horror films.(Of course, this isn't actually a horror film; I don't think it genuinely tries to be scary even once. But, the gore-comedy is primarily of interest to horror fans, naturally)

As one would expect, this film has it's roots in Re-Animator and the Evil Dead films, but it manages to find it's own style and tone. Evil Dead II was wildly over-the-top and energetic while Re-Animator was pretty subdued and deadpan much of the time. Dead Alive, directed by the now highly famed and lauded Peter Jackson, is somewhere in between, certainly not as controlled as Re-Animator, but nowhere near as flat out weird and kinetic as Evil Dead II.(at least not from beginning to end.) And yeah it's pretty funny, though perhaps the majority of the non-gore related humor tends to fall flat. It's also more purely good-natured and fun-loving than any of those films.(Perhaps this is related to their New Zealand accents) I don't know if it's necessarily better than any of those films, it's a tough call, but they're all in the same league, and fans of one ought to like the others.

Inspiration is frequently in short supply in the non-zombie related scenes, but their are enough zombie scenes that it doesn't matter too much.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Mike K. on September 6, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
You might come in with the wrong expectations for this movie, it's primarily reputation is for it's gore. Which is deserved, even in the more widely available slightly-tamed down version that's more commonly available in the US, by the end of the film nearly every inch of the screen is covered in blood and guts. But don't neccesarily expect something frightening because of this, the movie is overall more funny than scary, from the ridiculous premise for the zombies' origin (a cursed Samarian rat-monkey imported to New Zealand) to the myriad bizarre and quirky characters and of course a lot of gross-out humor. At times it almost resembles what would happen if Monty Python made a zombie movie and ran as far with the blood and gore as they possibly could.
You'll enjoy this movie if the following apply to you:
1) the phrases "karate priest", "baby zombie", and "rat-monkey" piqued your interest.
2) You liked Evil Dead II and Army Of Darkness, and are definitely not in the camp that the series went downhill once Sam Raimi started adding in comic elements
3) You're not at all squeamish about blood and relish completely over-the-top bordering on implausible gory death scenes.
4) You have a general taste for cheesy b-movies.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Words just cannot describe this unbelievable gore-fest from New Zealand. Peter Jackson has totally outdone himself with an incredible zombie flick that's sure to make you wanna laugh your butt off! The prostetic make-up and special gore-effects by Richard Taylor were amazing. I don't think I've ever seen half of a body jump on somebody and spill out it's bodly organs all over the place, or half of a head getting kicked around all over the place get thrown into a blender. The nearly millions of gallons of blood just pour and pour and pour. This is one not to be missed by any gorehound fan out there!!! WARNING: THIS MOTION PICTURE CONTAINS NON-STOP SCENES OF EXTREME GRAPHIC VIOLENCE AND GORE. THIS FILM IS NOT FOR THE FAINT AT HEART. WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! Please avoid the HORRIBLY CHOPPED UP R-rated version at all costs! Stick with the US UNRATED version. If possible, see if you can find the Japanese Import of "Dead Alive" entitled "Braindead" because it runs nearly 10 minutes longer than the US UNRATED VERSION and contains much more gore.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Guido on April 1, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
When you think of blood and gore, movies such as, Hellraiser, From Beyond, Evil Dead and Re-Animator may come to mind. These movies, however, are merely kindergarden class to this blood drenched classic. All the reviews I've read say this is probably the goriest movie in history. I'd have to agree with that sentiment.
The story about a young, shy man named Lionel(Timothy Balme) who takes care of his domineering mother. Lionel meets up with a young woman in a little store named Pakita. She persues Lionel and gets him to accompany her to the zoo. While spying on the couple Lionel's mother is bitten by the Sumatran Rat Monkey. After being infected with the bite she becomes a hideous undead creature. Lionel, however still takes the time to care for her and all of the others that will become infected with this disease.
If your looking for a frightful movie then this movie would not be for you. The storyline is weak but when you have so much blood, gore and guts on the screen do you really care about a story? This is definitely the goriest movie ever made. Scenes include a rib cage being pulled out, plenty of body dismemberment and the best scene, chopping up dozens of zombies with a lawnmower plus much more. This movie splills more blood than the elevator scene in Stephen King's The Shining. Just describing these scenes and talking about the movie gives it no justice in just how gorey it is. You gotta see this movie for yourself. The dazzling special effects are courtesy of Richard Taylor.
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