Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 7 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. 78
    The "Citizen Kane" of Oedipal zombie-cannibal-right to death-comedy-love stories... So gleefully over-the-top that it's decidedly hard not to gag while you're laughing yourself incontinent... Sick. Perverse. Brilliant.
  2. A gonzo splatterfest from New Zealand that manages to stay breezy and good-natured even as you're watching heads get snapped off of spurting torsos.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    70
    There is good, broad humor amid the very gross gore effects. And when the Living Impaired stalk our hero's home, it's a family reunion out of your bloodiest nightmares. [8 Feb 1993, p.83]
  4. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    70
    Technically, this is Jackson's best to date, with state of the art creature and gore effects by Richard Taylor and prosthetics design by Bob McCarron. There's any amount of dismemberment, disembowelling, beheading, and the like, all of it handled with bloody conviction.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Gingold
    60
    An almost unrelenting barrage of gore, Dead Alive is also a constant assault on the funnybone, a film in which the graphic blood-spilling is taken so far over the top that it becomes hilarious instead of disgusting.
  6. Ordinarily I don't care for this kind of thing at all, but something must be said for Jackson's endless reserves of giddy energy; perhaps because this is so clearly meant to be silly, he generally avoids the calculated mean-spiritedness of more prestigious directors like Spielberg and Renny Harlin.
  7. Because all of this looks blatantly unreal, and because the timing of the shock effects is so haphazard, Dead Alive isn't especially scary or repulsive. Nor is it very funny. Long before it's over, the half-hour-plus bloodbath that is the climax of the film has become an interminable bore. [12 Feb 1993, p.C16]
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Sep 29, 2012
    9
    Why did the critics give this a mediocre score? It's a great film full of gore and comedy. The goriest film I saw and one of the funniest too. Plus it's directed by Peter Jackson so you should definitely watch this. Full Review »
  2. Oct 20, 2012
    10
    Dead Alive, or Brain Dead as it's known in New Zealand, is basically a love story crammed with zombies, humor, and stomach-churning gore. It's absolutely hilarious, and not in the typical zombie-comedy way. It ends up coming across as more of a spoof of zombie movies, but in a good way, a funny way. The movie is regarded as the goriest movie of all time, and for good reason. Let me put it this way if your even the least bit squeamish DON'T watch this movie you will be sick. I loved every second of it, and it's now one of my favorite movies of all time. I highly recommend this to zombie-comedy fans, or just comedy fans who can put up with all the gore. Full Review »
  3. Jul 3, 2014
    0
    Heard it was a cult classic so I decided to give it a shot. Ended up thinking it was one of the stupidest films I have ever seen and did not like it at all. Full Review »