[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Braindead_1489.jpg]]

'''Braindead''' (1992, also known as ''Dead Alive'') is Creator/PeterJackson's third feature film, a gory comedy in the vein of ''Film/BadTaste'' and ''Film/MeetTheFeebles''. It is about a young man named Lionel whose life takes a turn to the worse when his overbearing mother is bitten by a rat-monkey of Sumatra, infecting her with a strange disease that rapidly turns her into a hungry zombie that starts infecting every unlucky fellow that she comes across. If having a zombie mom wasn't enough of a problem, Lionel also has to deal with his opportunistic uncle Les and hide his deadly secret from his girlfriend Paquita.

It is a {{Squick}}tastic gore fest. Intentionally hilarious in all its splattery glory. That's probably all you need to know.

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!!Tropes:

* {{Adorkable}}: Lionel.
* AnArmAndALeg: At the beginning of the movie, when the explorers assistants discover that their boss has been bitten by the rat monkey, they chop off his right hand, then his left arm, and then his head once they see he got bitten on the forehead.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler: Uncle Les, the thugs that assault Lionel in the cemetery... and then Lionel's mom as we learn that she murdered Lionel's father and his mistress.]]
* {{Badass}}: Lionel may be a wuss and a mama's boy, but still manages to destroy dozens of zombies and survive almost unharmed.
** He may be a {{Jerkass}}, but let's face it, Uncle Les proves to be this when he carves up dozens of zombies singlehandedly with only a pair of knives.
** Also Father [=McGruder.=]
** it seems to be in the blood. Lionel's mother gets bitten by the sumatran rat-monkey...her response? smack the thing with her purse and then pulp its head under her heel!
* BadassPreacher: [[TooCoolToLive Father McGruder the Kung Fu Priest]], with the immortal line "I kick arse for the Lord!" Subverted in that [[spoiler:his badass causes his downfall]].
** He's [[spoiler: owned by his own badass really. He kicks a zombie's head off. The zombie head lands right on his shoulder. He gets bitten.]]
* BlackComedy:It's essentially a BoyMeetsGirl story...with demonic zombies and a MyBelovedSmother.
* BloodierAndGorier: Compared to every other film. This one holds the record for ''goriest film ever''. There's a lawnmower and a room full of zombies... you can guess what happens next.
* BloodKnight: Uncle Les becomes one when he gets his hands on a pair of cleavers
* BloodyHilarious: The gore is so over the top, that it gets to be this way.
* BreakTheCutie: Happened to Lionel years before the film began when his father died in a swimming accident. [[spoiler:Turns out that was a lie made up by his mother. The real moment came when Lionel witnessed Vera drowning both his father and mistress in the bathtub.]]
* ChainsawGood: '''''Lawnmower better.'''''
* ChasedByAngryNatives: the explorers running away from Skull Island with the captured Rat Monkey are chased by angry tribesmen with spears.
** Perfectly justified as said natives know exactly what the Rat Monkey's bite does: "Shangaia!"
* ChurchMilitant: "I kick arse for the Lord!"
* CreatorCameo: Jackson appears as the undertaker's bumbling assistant.
* CreepyBasement: Lionel keeps dumping the zombies downstairs despite it being easier to kill them all.
* {{Delinquents}}: Lionel meets a group of these while he goes to the cemetery to certify that his zombie mom won't raise from the grave. It doesn't end well for all of them.
* DisappearedDad: Lionel's dad dropped at sea to save him [[spoiler: the truth is that his mother murdered him for having an affair]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: A horrible, infectious disease spread by a nonhuman primate, eh?
* EnfantTerrible[=/=]UndeadChild: Baby Selwyn. Who was conceived ''after'' its parents' zombification and was born apparently about a day later.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: Lionel and Paquita certainly think so when they look at some monkeys in the zoo...only to change their minds once they see their rather gruesome neighbor, the Sumatran Rat Monkey.
* EvilMatriarch: Lionel's mother. She bullies him relentlessly and sabotages his social life. After her zombification, she gets worse.
* EvilSoundsDeep: [[spoiler:After Vera turns into giant bloated ''thing'', she regains some lucidity and the ability to speak with a very deep and not-so-feminine voice.]]
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: These zombies seem ''Franchise/EvilDead'' level of demonic.
* FanDisservice: [[spoiler: That... THING that Lionel's mom turns into is completely naked, disfigured, mutated and bloated.]] If the gore killed your appetite for the next few days, then the image of [[spoiler: her]] will kill your sex drive for the next few weeks.
* FatBastard: Uncle Les.
* TheFifties: The film takes place in 1957.
* FinalBoss: [[spoiler: Lionel's mother.]]
* GagDub: the Italian dub adds all kinds of silly puns by having the zombies "talk" and not only make meaningless grunts and noises. it just makes everyhting even more hilarious.
* GenreSavvy: Uncle Les knows how to defend his own against the zombies because he's "read the comics".
* {{Gorn}}: Raised on a pinnacle and worshiped. Combined with BloodyHilarious.
* GraveMarkingScene: Too bad it doesn't help.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: Father [=McGruder=] kicks a zombie's ass using its own arm after he rips it off.
** The zombie baby gives Uncle Les a GroinAttack using someone else's severed leg!
* GroinAttack: Nearly every character in the movie hits Uncle Les in the groin at some point, once using a severed arm as a club. The lout urinating on a zombie's grave comes off even worse.
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: During the House Party Massacre scene, one poor bastard tries to slip through a hole into the kitchen from various zombies and two people try to pull him through as Zombies start going for his lower body on the other side. When the two people finally pull him out, all that's left of his lower body is his bloodied leg bones, his pelvis and his feet still intact thanks to his shoes.
** As is Zombie Void, who while trying to break through the bottom of the bathroom door, has his stomach impaled by Lionel stomping him into the broken wood splinters. Void then crawls enough to rip himself in two so he could get to Lionel.
* HelpingHands: when you chop up a zombie, the severed parts still move and attack you, including a complete set of ''bowels''.
** Can't reach the starter for the lawnmower? Just grab a severed arm!
* HighPressureBlood: ''Braindead'' is the bloodiest movie of all time, with blood being pumped at five gallons per second during the lawnmower climax. 'Nuff said.
* HilarityInZoos: The encounter with the Sumatran Rat Monkey.
* {{Homage}}: The explorer foolishly [[Film/KingKong brings a deadly primate back from Skull Island]].
** ShoutOut: Jackson later gives a ShoutOut to ''Braindead'' in his "King Kong" remake: one of the crates coming back from Skull Island on the expedition ship is labeled "Sumatran Rat Monkey". And below that, the words "BEWARE THE BITE". In the accompanying book of the movie it is said that they live in chasms and ravines of Skull Island (AKA that scene with all the huge worms and bugs), one large picture in the book even has a hard-to-see Rat Monkey in it.
*** And the Paths of the Dead in Jackson's ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' was the same location as this film's opening scene.
* ImprovisedWeapon: A lawnmower becomes a powerful weapon against zombies.
** Jackson has jokingly claimed that the lawnmower is the preferred murder instrument in New Zealand.
* IronicEcho: At the beginning of the film, Lionel's mother complains that her son doesn't even know how to use the lawnmower properly. [[ChekhovsGun As it turns out at the end]], [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome he most]] [[LudicrousGibs certainly does]].
* {{Jerkass}}: Lionel's uncle, Les and Lionel's mother
* JustEatGilligan: So much could have been solved if Lionel had just killed his mother after she fully turned into a zombie. Or killed the zombies that she created rather than keep them all sedated. Or, when he finally did decide to kill them, to use some more traditional methods (like chopping them up or [[KillItWithFire cremating]] them), instead of using what he and Paquita thought was poison [[spoiler: (which was actually an animal stimulant)]]. But alas, otherwise, there'd be no plot, and nothing to laugh at.
** Although [[ReturnOfTheLivingDead cremating a zombie isn't always the best idea]].
* LetThePastBurn: The film ends this way, presumably destroying the remaining zombies.
* LosingYourHead: A nurse who's taking care of Lionel's mother gets her head ripped off and it's only still attached by a flap of skin.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Sort of. Paquita is initially not impressed by Lionel and finds both his presence and clumsy antics annoying... until he accidentally forms a star symbol, which she was previously told would be how to recognize her true love. It's then she gets interested.
* LudicrousGibs: The last third of the film is a total carnage, and the zombies' severed parts even have a "life" of their own!
* MadeOfIron: Selwyn takes a lot of punishment for a zombie over the course of the film and never comes out any worse for wear.
* ManiacMonkeys: The Sumatran Rat Monkey is an aggressive and hideous abomination and the root cause of the zombie outbreak.
* MarketBasedTitle: It is called ''Dead Alive'' in the US. See Name's The Same below.
* MommasBoy: Lionel. Even after she is turned into a zombie, he doesn't kill her and instead confines her in the basement. He remains devoted to her mother until [[spoiler: it's revealed that she drowned his father and his mistress in the bathtub]].
* MyBelovedSmother: Vera, Lionel's mother. Full stop.
* NotUsingTheZWord: Nope. The first thing one of the thugs says upon seeing Lionel's mother rise from the grave: "It's a zombie!"
* OhCrap: The most impressive one is when the (still "living") top half of a zombie head gets stuffed into a blender.
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler: Lionel's mom after she received the animal stimulant.]]
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: They're a combination of the [[PlagueZombie Plague]] and [[FleshEatingZombie Flesh-Eating]] variants. Their limbs or even ''entrails'' can develop minds of their own, they can have babies, and [[spoiler:after a while, may even mutate into these bloated and inhuman monsters.]]
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: "''The party's over!''"
** Also, "''I kick arse for the Lord!''"
* RefugeInAudacity: [[Film/BadTaste Almost]] [[Film/MeetTheFeebles everything]]. However, zombie nurse making love with zombie priest and then having a zombie baby is wrong on ''so many'' levels.
* RuleOfFunny: Peter Jackson finished this film greatly under-budget and ahead of time. He used the extra resources to go back and extend the scene where Lionel takes Selwyn to the park, for the sake of this trope.
* RuleOfSymbolism: [[spoiler:Lionel being dragged back to his mother's womb and fighting his way out]] (TheOtherWiki's plot summary even describes this as "an over-the-top Freudian 'rebirth'").
* ScareChord: The music makes a noticeable jump when [[spoiler:Lionel accidentally injects the zombies with stimulant]].
* SatelliteLoveInterest: Paquita's first boyfriend, Roger. Her relationship with Lionel starts like this as well, but then they both develop genuine interest for each other.
** Roger's a bit of a {{Deconstruction}}; since he had no real common ground with Paquita, she broke it off with him in very short order.
* ShoutOut: In addition to the reference to [[Film/KingKong Skull Island]], there's a Literature/SherlockHolmes story that mentions "[[NoodleIncident the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared]].
** Not to mention, the whole MyBelovedSmother subplot, as well as their house, are really not unlike ''Film/{{Psycho}}''.
* SlasherSmile: Paquita puts one on just as the zombie baby falls into the activated blender.
** Once Lionel finally has the intestine monster at his mercy, he's only too gleeful to grind it up.
* SlidingScaleOfComedyAndHorror: It is horrifying, but it is so over the top that it's funny.
* StopMotion: the Sumatran Rat Monkey.
** Somehow, that makes it even ''scarier'', in the scene where it bites Lionel's mother.
* TearOffYourFace: One of the victims of the zombie outbreak has his face torn completely off. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVEFgX4ZI6Y Well, not just the face...]] It's at a minute and 43 seconds into the video.
* ThoseWackyNazis: The veterinarian Lionel buys the tranquilizer from is one of those, with a poorly-concealed swastika under his lab coat.
* TookALevelInBadass: After being meek and submissive for most of the film, both Lionel and Paquita gain several levels in the final thirty minutes.
** [[{{Meganekko}} Rita]] was getting there.[[spoiler: Too bad she got a splitting headache...literally.]]
* VertigoEffect: Used in the shot of Lionel's face when he sees [[spoiler:the hyperactive zombies pop out of the ground.]]
* VillainousValour: Uncle Les takes out an entire swarm of zombies with only a pair of cleavers.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: When Paquita tries to dispose of the zombie baby with a blender; she almost hesitates and then the baby vomits bright-green puke on her face.
* [[WouldNotHurtAChild Would Not Hurt a Zombie Child]]: At first, Paquita hesitates to kill the zombie baby as it wails pathetically in the zombie blender...until [[VomitIndiscretionShot the above trope]] happens and it laughs about it. Then she purées that little bitch (or at least tries to) right then and there.
* YouKilledMyFather: Near the end of the film, Lionel finds out that [[spoiler:his mother drowned both his father and a woman that he had an affair with in the bathtub]].
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