TRIGGER WARNING: This blog post contains images of blood and gore.


When I was 15 or 16 years old,  I loved hardcore punk music, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and gory horror films.  I was a young punk kid.  I wore black.  Tons of black.

Dip Shit

Yeesh.  Anyways.  My top 3 favorite gore movies are Evil Dead 2, Cannibal: The Musical, and Braindead (released in North America under the title Dead Alive).  I've recently revisited all of these movies and it's fair to say that they've stood the test of time.

Evil Dead 2 is kind of a remake of The Evil Dead, with the second one presenting a much looser, goofier vibe than the original.  Cannibal: The Musical uses the gore genre as a springboard for witty humor and sight gags akin to the movie AirplaneBraindead, however, tops all of them. Using slapstick humor, plenty of gross-out scenes, impressive practical effects and buckets upon buckets of blood, this is the bloodiest, goriest movie I've ever seen.  I can't imagine another movie will ever top it with regard to the amount of fake blood splashed all around the set and actors, especially at the end.

This makes me happy

The Evil Dead trilogy was the brain child of Sam Raimi, who would go on to direct the original Spiderman trilogy and Cannibal: The Musical is the first feature length film of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Braindead, however, is actually the third feature-length film of legendary director Peter Jackson (or Petey Jax, as he likes to be called), whose birthday is October 31!  His first two movie are in the same vein as Braindead.  His first film, Bad Taste, follows three members of a paramilitary troop who try to foil the plans of alien invaders intent on harvesting humans for an intergalactic fast-food franchise.  Simply typing that sentence fills me with unspeakable joy.

Gross. And awesome. Grawesome. GRAWESOME!!!!

His second film is an all-puppet feature, Meet the Feebles, that plays like a Muppets production on a bad acid trip (or perhaps a good PCP trip, if such a thing exists).  Following the exploits of a dysfunctional stage troupe, the movie explores many sordid subjects such as drug addiction, adultery, rape, murder, suicide, pornography and many more.  Too many more, to be completely honest.  Even knowing what I knew about this movie, I really wasn't ready for just how sordid the material would be.  Willfully displaying over-the-top violence with no regard for taste is one thing.  Most of us will probably never have a run-in with organ harvesting aliens.  But Meet The Feebles handles delicate subject matter the way Lennie from Of Mice and Men handles rabbits.  They bleed, they vomit, they smoke, they shoot heroin, they eat shit, and they disappoint more often than they impress.  They're The Feebles and they are available for free on YouTube.

Braindead, by comparison, is really good-natured.  A team of explorers, while on an expedition to Skull Island, capture a Sumatran Rat-Monkey.  After the leader of the group is bitten by the Rat-Monkey, he is hacked up with a machete by his team members.

Short summation of the movie: The monkey is shipped to a New Zealand zoo, it bites a woman, she turns into a zombie, and her son tries to keep the whole incident under wraps by housing the growing horde of zombies in his mansion.  The story hits a gory climax with an incredible scene involving a room full of zombies and one man with a lawnmower.

THIS is the Peter Jackson I know.  And while my friends and I were indulging in these bloody disgusting delights, Jackson was dominating the world with his adaptations of The Lord Of The Rings.  I've recently watched all three films (thanks Mel), and they are unimpeachable.  I went in with high expectations and was still blown away (Return of the King in particular is quite good.  Poor Smeagol.)  I quite enjoyed his other films, as well.  The Frighteners was fun and King Kong was surprisingly well-executed, if a little long.

Jackson was delivered from the world of red corn syrup and bad acting with his film Beautiful Creatures.  His post-splatstick (great term) films are certainly admirable, but to my mind, nothing will compare to the corny macabre brilliance of Braindead.  Maybe one day he will follow in the footsteps of Sam Raimi and make a return to that world.  After all, red food dye and corn syrup is much cheaper than chainmail.

Happy Birthday, Petey Jax!

So, what do you think?