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Brain Dead DVD review


A brainless zombie movie that may need its high smut-quotient to find any audience at all...

Brain Dead (2008) - DVD

From the first peek at the trailer it was clear this was going to be trashy cinema, but would it be the kind that would entertain and enthral? In a word, no. The billing of this as a comedy/horror is strange because it is neither funny nor scary. In fact, it’s dire.

The story is a predictable enough one: a ragtag band of strangers end up shacked up together in a cabin in the woods when there are zombies on the loose wanting to feast on their brains. End of pitch, end of plot.

Movies like this can be entertaining - ramp up the fear, have the characters getting on one another's nerves, then watch it go. But you need a good cast for that - and a good script. Brain Dead has neither, and should go down in the annals of filmmaking as one of the worst movies ever made.

The film's woeful acting comes from a predominantly female cast who would be better-placed in a pornographic movie because a) they can’t act, b) they talk dirty and c), they take their clothes off at every opportunity. There are more big breasts on show here than at the Playboy Mansion, which is perfect if you are a man looking for some 'personal time', but not for the zombie aficionado.

Only Joshua Benton, a poor man’s Sawyer (from Lost) who plays Clarence, provides passable acting - and that’s not saying much when he’s got so little by way of competition. David Crane, who plays fellow convict Bob, is hardly Tony Curtis in The Defiant Ones, even when he and Clarence are handcuffed together and fleeing the law. He grunts through the entire movie until he’s zombied. When that happens it’s a mercy - for film fans.

In fact, with this cast you will be cheering on the undead, because if they ate someone else it would be one fewer bad actor to watch through your fingertips. But it’s Cristina Tiberia, who plays Sister Amy, who’s the worst actor of the lot. When it’s suggested that she may have been infected by the zombie parasite, hiker Sherry - who we’re supposed to believe is a medical student - rebuts the notion. ‘There’s no sign of brain damage.’ How could anyone be sure when everything that came out of Amy’s mouth was downright dumb? Still, the easy-on-the-eye actress was clearly not chosen for her acting prowess. She wasn’t alone on that score, I strongly suspect.

The special effects are done on the cheap, but still manage to furnish passable zombies. The only complaint is that the first cop zombie looks more like a Star Trek lizard-esque alien. As for the brain-chomping and splitting, never done it myself, but I doubt it happens as it does in Brain Dead, with the head splitting in two like a melon.

The only interesting thing in the whole movie was the way people became zombies: a gelatinous alien life form resembling black tar seeps into people’s brains. What a change from the usual 'one bite and you're undead'.

My favourite part of the movie? The final credits. Mainly because I could take a note of all those involved in this rubbish and avoid watching anything they are involved in.

Brain Dead is a truly awful movie and you’ll never get those 90 minutes back.

1 star


‘Behind the Screams’ making-of featurette

1 star


Brain Dead is released on 21st February, 2011


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