This week I’ll be taking a quick look at five of my favorite zombie killers. Can we say killers since zombies are already dead? Ok, it’s a linguistic anomaly, let’s not pick nits.
Back before Peter Jackson started his trip through Middle Earth he gave us a couple of truly disgusting and very fun little flicks including, Dead Alive, a.k.a., Braindead.
The movie is heavily influenced by Hitchcock’s Psycho, with most of the action revolving around the classic spooky old house on the hill where a domineering mother dominates her timid son. The introduction of a beautiful woman into the mix only makes “mother” all the more aggressive. But wait a minute this is a zombie movie right? Where do they come in?
In a brilliant piece of foreshadowing the action starts off on an island with some Kiwi explorers capturing a rat-monkey that just happens to be “infected.” This horrible beast is meant for the local zoo back home and is carried along in a cage all the while being chased by the island’s inhabitants. This whole scene plays out very much like the original King Kong which Jackson would later go on to direct a remake of.
The main character, the timid young man who finds himself and the love of his life through the trial by fire of a full on zombie outbreak caused by the bite of the rat-monkey is our friend Lionel above. He actually helps keep the zombies around and kicking and tries to keep the whole thing under wraps as the outbreak starts before finally manning up and taking them all on. In the bloodiest scene of a movie I’ve ever seen he upends a lawnmower Ash-style and tears through a whole room full of relatives and party guests tearing them to bits. This whole scene, now known as “the lawnmower scene” borrows a bit from Evil Dead II’s campy portrayal of Ash with his chainsaw hand.
If you haven’t seen Dead Alive yet, you are totally missing out on THE bloodiest movie of all time and the best bit of horror-comedy to come out of New Zealand.