Sunday, September 11, 2011

Brain Dead (2007)

It’s rarely nowadays you see something that actually feels like a movie directly from the eighties. Sure, you have wannabe’s like Hatchet 1 and 2, bragging about their pretend-to-be-retro-seventies-throwback-nostalgia-bullshit-productions. When it comes to Brain Dead it’s actually directed by Kevin Tenney, a director who did some of the more prolific eighties horror-films and still seem to have the same gut-feeling about old school splatter. Personally I don’t care whatsoever if a movie has CGI or physical effects, as long as the script is good and fun – because you still see quite clearly it’s not the reality you’re watching. It’s just a movie, nothing else.

Brain Dead (a title which can be confusing for us here in Europe, because that’s also the – almost - original title of Peter Jackson’s splatter masterpiece Dead Alive) started of like a story with a bunch of characters fighting of giant spiders in the forest, but when Tenney got a hold of the script they turned it to a classic, very eighties-style zombie/demon/alien b-movie feature. Which I think was a good thing, because it would have been more difficult making huge spiders with this budget than the zombie creatures it has now.

Anyway, a meteorite containing a alien-parasite crashes out in the wilderness and infects a fisherman who turns into a brain-thirsty zombie! A couple odd characters – two escaped convicts, a preacher and his young sexy assistant and two girls out hiking – meets up, without wanting it, out in a cottage and has to defend themselves against the creatures outside! That’s the story and believe it or not, it turns out pretty good!

Shot digital and probably with a budget lesser than my annual salary, this is one helluva ambitious and fun splatter-movie. The story itself is, as you all can see, nothing special but it comes alive with interesting characters and for once very funny one-liners and a good amount of very graphic and colourful gore. Heads are split open, shot to pieces, arms are ripped off, people ripped apart, lots of black goo and blood for the whole family. And for those caring, the female nudity is quite plentiful – I think so anyway, I always loose interest when I see a couple of tits.

Directed with a frantic energy by Tenney, this never feels like a low-budget shlock-fest. Sure, it’s cheap, but the talent of the crew and actors shines through and Brain Dead becomes a movie worth watching. Every actors is doing fine, but Joshua Benton as the unlucky convict Clarence Singer makes a very good hero and is genuinely funny. I hope to see him in bigger stuff sooner or later, because he’s good enough to find a bigger audience.

You can easy find Brain Dead on DVD and I’m sure that if you prefer and likes eighties splatter this is the move for you. Here in Sweden it’s out on a cheap disc from Dark Entertainment and also has a lot of interesting extras.

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