Brain Dead (2007)

No, not the similarly titled Peter Jackson masterpiece, 2007’s Brain Dead is an entirely different take on zombies.

A group of very different people end up stranded in an otherwise empty fishing lodge with the constant threat of, seemingly alien-made, zombies trying to get at them. Throw in some murderous black goo for good measure and we’ve set the scene.

This flick could easily have ended up being yet another zombie-horror-comedy trying too hard and failing and in some ways, it is. In others though, it’s a fantastically silly way to spend 95 minutes.

The acting leaves a little to be desired and the direction is pretty standard but with a few ‘interesting’ shots thrown in (up-skirt shot, anyone?) but the cheesy, sometimes irreverent dialogue is absolutely wonderful. As far as I can tell this is Gelineau’s only writing credit but as far as I’m concerned he should realise his strengths and run with them; his script is pure gold. Any film that includes the immortal lines “lick me, cunt-biscuit” and “Adios, you fucking meat-puppet” is ok by me.

Some of the effects are quite clearly the lowest of low budget but the filmmakers opt out of cheap CGI in favour of proper special effects and for that, they deserve some praise. There are a few choice moments, such as a zombie thrusting it’s fist through a female law enforcement officer’s head, that work really well and served to put a grin on my face, so it’s not all bad. The zombie make-up is adequate too, and their version of the walking dead poses a sufficient enough threat to keep you watching.

Most of the explanations as to why the undead are up and about again and after a brain-centric dinner are disposable and let’s be honest; who really cares why, just as long as they are?

One of my major complaints is that it took a while to get to the action and by the time things really started to kick off, it was all over in a, somewhat anti-climactic, final showdown. That would bother me more if I thought this were intended as a straight-up horror piece but my interpretation is that it is first and foremost; a comedy so as such I can let it go.

Another slight drawback was the poor characterisation. If more time had been taken over this and if the characters hadn’t been quite such stereotypical zombie-fodder, then I think it would edge this movie from a mediocre 5 to a more generous 6 out of 10.

At the end of the day, if you choose to call your movie Brain Dead, then it will never be the best movie with that particular title but if you can’t get your hands on that flick, then this is a passable substitute. It’s not a great film but it’s certainly a fun film and if you’re looking for gratuitous violence, nudity and some pretty immature, but effective, humour, then look no further.

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

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