Reviews: Brain Dead
Brain Dead's okay, but it could have been better
So I just watched Brain Dead... and I don't really know what to say. I expected to get a quick, hilarious and incredibly bloody comedy - after all, I did read on IM Db that it's the BLOODIEST FILM EVAR and it's directed by goddamn Peter Jackson! So it's gotta be awesome, right! What I got instead was a schizophrenic film that couldn't decide whether it was serious or silly. Don't get me wrong, there were parts that I laughed mega-hard at: the initial bit with the guy who gets bitten, the Sumatran Rat-Monkey, all the bad Army of Darkness-level Special Effect Failures, the awesomely hilarious final fight with the lawnmower (probably my favourite scene), the fact that Lionel's zombie mum looked like the Bubbles DeVere from Little Britain, the fountains' worth of blood and gore, the silly Slapstick humour. Those were all cool and funny. Also, the two main characters came across as well-characterised and sympathetic - hell, Paquita's Babelfish-quality dialogue even came across as kinda charming. The others were outlandish caricatures that were hit (Father MacGruder, getting the best line) or miss (Uncle Les). Problem is, those cool bits were surrounded by boring soap opera and unfunniness. Plus, Peter Jackson doesn't know when to quit. I guess some bits tried to be super-over-the-top hilarious but just came out kinda very wrong and disturbing - the uterus bit was really Mind Screwy in a Freudian Evangelion-ish kinda way before the geyser of blood returned to the realm of Bloody Hilarity, and the attempted rape was just disturbing, period. Also, Jackson uses a really weird filming style here, with tons of close-ups and really weird camera motions, that made me feel like I was watching the movie in the wrong aspect ratio (I wasn't). The editing was also choppy and kind of rushed at first, adding to the movie's indecisive tone. So, yeah, I was expecting a fun comedy. What I got was a movie that's got a great beginning and end (especially the end) but sags super-hard in the middle. Needed more editing and more Rapid Fire Comedy - I'm sure I would have loved it the way I do Army of Darkness if Jackson would've just removed all the desperately Unfunny bits and the ones that Cross The Line Twice (Rape As Comedy? Freudian zombie vagina? No Just No).