Braindead

Before he became justifiably famous for The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson made several wildly inventive horror comedies, the most wildly inventive of which was Braindead (also known as Dead Alive).

The film is set in Wellington in 1957 and centres on Lionel Cosgrove (Timothy Balme) whose overbearing mother, Vera (Elizabeth Moody) is bitten by a Sumatran Rat Monkey. She deteriorates quickly, and rather disgustingly falls apart — quite literally. Not long after she dies, and promptly returns.

If you’ve ever seen the sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, and can imagine Hyacinth Bucket as a zombie, you’re pretty much there.

And then things begin to get really silly.

Lionel, still the downtrodden son, tries to cope as best he can without letting on the truth of his mother’s condition. Inevitably enough, things quickly spiral completely out of control and we are treated to an escalating stream of utter insanity.

Braindead is pitched as a horror-comedy and, while it is undeniably gory, the film is much more a comedy than a horror film. It’s a slapstick comedy with plenty of blood and some cracking one-liners that still have me laughing out loud every time I watch it.

First trailer for Peter Jackson produced Mortal Engines

I like the look of this:

Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.

There are seven books in the Mortal Engines series and it looks very much like Universal are setting this up as a series of films.

The Trailer