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BRAIN DEAD
DVD region 2. Isis.

Brain Dead (2007)When a meteor plummets to Earth and leaves a hole in a fisherman’s head, all hell breaks loose, with a slimy parasitic alien taking possession of the dead body and going on the rampage in search of brains, which it’s zombie host will gleefully rip from the heads of its victims. And luckily for the alien, there are plenty to be found out in the woods, as a deserted cabin rapidly fills up with two escaped convicts (one a psychotic killer, the other arrested for a traffic accident and both handcuffed together, Defiant Ones style), a sexy hiker and her man-hating lesbian friend, and a lecherous televangelist and his very nubile assistant, all of whom have lost their way at the worst time possible. Before you can say Evil Dead, they find themselves faced with an attack by the increasing number of parasite zombies, and their number is rapidly whittled down.

Brain Dead (2007)When a film comes with a less than original title and is hyped as being ‘from the director of Witchboard and Night of the Demons’, your expectations are not going to be very high – and it’s probably because of that that I found Brain Dead to be passably entertaining nonsense. Director Kevin S. Tenney seems only too aware of the limitations of his film, and so camps it up in the style of a Troma movie – though thankfully without the underlying mean-spiritedness that ruins so much of that studio’s output. The acting is pretty awful, though the dialogue is so bad that even a top thespian would struggle with it, and the film is riddled with clichés and moments riffed from other movies – the aforementioned Evil Dead is a clear influence, as are half the horror movies of the 1980s. This retro feel extends to the outré gore scenes (a head ripping at the start is hilariously tasteless), the wonderfully gratuitous nudity (all the girls get naked, and none of the nude scenes expands the story one iota) and gleefully offensive moments (like a particularly bad case of vaginal discharge), giving this a definite old-school exploitation feel.

Of course, 1980’s horror was a low point in the genre’s history, but for those of you who like it – and bizarrely, there are plenty of people who will refer to Tenney’s Night of the Demons as a classic without any trace of irony – this will no doubt be up your street. While rubbish by most standards, Brain Dead is undoubtedly amusingly – and knowingly – trashy, and pretty much the sort of thing to watch with a few friends and a few beers..

DAVID FLINT

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