Dead Alive

Dead Alive

4.7 19
Director: Peter Jackson

Cast: Peter Jackson, Timothy Balme, Diana Penalver, Elizabeth Moody


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New Zealand's Peter Jackson is known for his skewed, gross-out films. Dead Alive is probably the grossest film he's made, but it's also the funniest, and the unrated, widescreen presentation on this DVD is a sick, hilarious treat. The video quality is superb. The widescreen transfer is clean and colorful. Jackson's steadicam trickery is allowed to make its


New Zealand's Peter Jackson is known for his skewed, gross-out films. Dead Alive is probably the grossest film he's made, but it's also the funniest, and the unrated, widescreen presentation on this DVD is a sick, hilarious treat. The video quality is superb. The widescreen transfer is clean and colorful. Jackson's steadicam trickery is allowed to make its maximum effect; the camera zips around every nook and cranny of the stylish settings. Colors do seem a bit muted at times, but this only adds to the clean-cut look of the more sedate scenes. The cookie-cutter look contrasts quite fiercely with the graphic mishmash in other sections of the film. Buckets of blood and comic dismemberments shockingly spill off the screen, and the digital transfer never hampers the horror. The digitally mastered sound fits the visuals to a tee. It's a startling, unusual vision done justice by DVD. As far as supplemental material, the package is lacking. A scene index and a theatrical trailer are the only bonus features. The scene index is split into six screens, allowing instant access to 24 chapters (displayed in full-motion video thumbnails). The theatrical trailer is a full-frame, amusing affair that will either win over uninitiated viewers or turn their stomachs. Dead Alive is a disturbing comic gem, given a respectful, yet bare-bones transfer to DVD.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Amy Robinson
Possibly the goriest movie ever made, New Zealand's zombie-fest Dead Alive offers an outrageous combination of extreme violence and black comedy that satirizes motherly love -- all while spewing vast quantities of bodily fluids across the screen. Director Peter Jackson made the transition to Hollywood with this smart and squirm-inducing 1993 cult hit, following it up with more mainstream efforts, including the critical success Heavenly Creatures. A bite from a cursed rat monkey turns smothering Mum (Elizabeth Moody) into a ravening creature of the undead, creating romantic and housekeeping difficulties for mild-mannered mama's boy Lionel (Timothy Balme). Before long, hordes of local citizens have been turned into bloodthirsty ghouls, leading inevitably to the climactic orgy of dismemberment and disemboweling that industriously uncovers new uses for many common household items. The film's sly employment of movie clichés coupled with a subtly retro look heighten the unreality, making the carnage more cartoonish than disturbing. While not for the squeamish, Dead Alive will more than satisfy viewers who like their horror laced with a gross-out sense of humor.
All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
If a gorier movie than Dead Alive has been made, it's hard to imagine it. On the other hand, if a funnier horror film than Dead Alive has been made, only a few candidates would qualify. (Return of the Living Dead would be one.) Peter Jackson and his collaborators have no constraints about piling up one outrageous sight gag involving body parts and gruesome dispatchings after another, and even if this kind of comedy isn't for all tastes, it does provide a smorgasboard of laughs for those who love their humor dark and exaggerated. Like the great animator Tex Avery, Jackson has a wicked eye for gags that stretch our conception of what bodies can do. He also understands that simply killing zombies with a shot to the head -- as in the grandfather of modern zombie horror films, Night of the Living Dead -- is elegantly simple, but pretty boring, too. Kitchen appliances and household tools figure heavily in the slaughterhouse of a party that is the raison d'etre of the film, but it's the power lawnmower finale which reduces everyone to a mere blade of grass in the lawn of life. Jackson realized that he had gone as far as he could with this genre and his next film, Heavenly Creatures, was a well-crafted psychological thriller which retained his eye for arresting visuals.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Timothy Balme Lionel
Diana Penalver Paquita Maria Sanchez
Elizabeth Moody Mum (Vera Cosgrove)
Ian Watkin Uncle Les
Brenda Kendall Nurse McTavish
Stuart Devenie Father McGruder/Zombie McGruder
Davina Whitehouse Paquita's Grandmother
Peter Vere-Jones Undertaker
Tony Hiles Zoo Keeper
Duncan Smith Drunk
George Port Lawrence
Nick Ward Spud
Peter Jackson Undertaker's Assistant
James Grant Tram Driver
Jim Booth Lionel's Father
Frances Walsh Mother at Park
Chris Short Customs Official
Jamie Selkirk Father at Zoo
Forrest J. Ackerman Forry
Sarah Scott Davis Featured Party Zombie
Ken Hammon Featured Party Zombie
Angela Louise Robinson Courtney
Brian Sergent Vet

Technical Credits
Peter Jackson Director,Screenwriter
James Booth Producer
Jim Booth Producer
Peter Dasent Score Composer
Chris Elliot Costumes/Costume Designer
Kevin Leonard Jones Production Designer
Murray Milne Cinematographer
Jamie Selkirk Associate Producer,Editor
Stephen Sinclair Original Story,Screenwriter
Richard Taylor Special Effects
Frances Walsh Casting,Screenwriter

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Index
1. Main Credits [6:26]
2. Delivery [3:45]
3. Lionel [3:21]
4. Rat Monkey [3:16]
5. Blood [2:53]
6. Rejected [2:40]
7. Death [2:46]
8. Custard [2:36]
9. Dark Forces [1:39]
10. Nurse [7:24]
11. Funeral [3:32]
12. Resurrected [3:17]
13. Grave Digger [5:52]
14. Family Matter [3:06]
15. Weirdo [2:48]
16. Blackmail [5:11]
17. Party [6:14]
18. Stimulant [2:46]
19. Innards [5:47]
20. Blender [6:12]
21. Vera [1:20]
22. Lawnmower [3:56]
23. Re-Birth [6:55]
24. End Credits [3:12]


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Dead Alive 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Whisperlynn More than 1 year ago
I was not a fan of the overly attached mother/son story line, but the over the top acting and british humor make this one watchable at least once a year around halloween. The kills are creative to say the least and the characters are so rediculous you will be laughing almost the entire time. Dead Alive, or as originally and more acurately titled, Braindead is "B" that's done well and on purpose.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A great gory movie, with a very funny story The zombies are hilarious !
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is the best horror movie ever made. it has great special effects and a great story line and it is funny. if you are a true fan of horror movies, then you need to add this one to your collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never thought there could be any horror movie to beat ''evil dead 2'' (''dead alive'' is equal, while ''the shining'' and ''the exorcist'' are the better). these two movies equal each other in their humor mixed with horror, but while ''evil dead 2'' has some creepy factors going on, ''dead alive'' has got the gore! frickin' sick, and gory as anything can and ever will be! if you buy this, please get the unrated version, otherwise get about half the movie cut out, and that is just sad.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's not only in the genre of horror, but it's also a comedy. It's probably the most goriest film ever made. If you love zombies, gore,humor, and chaos, Get it now!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love pointless blood and gore and lawn mowers meant for chopping up zombies then this is the movie for you. Make sure to purchase barf bags before the viewing of this film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like zombies and a bit of humor, you will like this film. It is one of the stupidest pieces of work that I have ever seen. It starts bad and get worse as it goes. There is so much ''blood'' and ''guts'' flying around that it makes the Night of the Living Dead look like a Saturday morning kiddie show. And for anyone who says something about the ''serious'' films such as the NOLD, Day of the Dead, and Dawn of the Dead, and how they are so much better than this film, get a life dude. None of these things are to be taken seriously. They are fun to watch just to see how stupid the director and writers make the actors. If you like splatter flicks, watch this one! :-)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie belongs in the collection of all that dare to call themselves avid fans of great under-budget horror flicks. This is statistically the film that required the most stage blood for production. The Bloodiest film ever!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Before '' Lord of the Rings'', Peter Jackson has created the slimiest and goriest horror Zombie flick of all time, a true classic and a must have for the DVD horror collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only is this the bloodiest film i've ever seen, and i've seen alot, but it is also very funny. The gore is out of control.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most people who like this movie will agree that this movie appeals more to people who live for horror movies. This movie perfects the horror/comedy genre! I have to credit Peter Jackson for the crazy efforts in gore that went into this movie. A must see
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is non-stop hilarious, not to mention bloody. I never laughed so hard before. The gore is more funny than disgusting it's even cartoonish at times. Great!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The most blood EVER used in a single film...and yet its hilarious. I am a serious fan of the horror/comedy genre and this is the arc of the covenant. Its hard to believe this is directed by the same man that concocted the epic Lord of The Rings triology. The zombies are hilarious. The sumatran rat that infects the mother is an amazingly awful stop motion creation. This movie was made to be deliciously ridiculous, over the top, and in extremely bad taste. It succeeds admirabley.
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