Movies - TV
Peter Jackson Wanted Dead Alive To Be A Splatter Film That Non-Horror Fans Could Love
By WITNEY SEIBOLD
Peter Jackson's 1992 film "Braindead," released in North America as "Dead Alive," while certainly an object of intimidation for gore-averse cineastes, remains, at its heart, a comedy film. Jackson has spoken in the past about how "Dead Alive" was not inspired by raw gore films like "Cannibal Holocaust," and more by the whimsical violence of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
In a 1992 interview with Film Threat Magazine, Jackson laid out his filmmaking ethos clearly: a "low" splat-stick gag is always going to take precedence over any notions of genuine fear. He said, “[L]ike 'Bad Taste,' ['Dead Alive' is] a splatter film that non-splatter fans can go see. The humor dilutes the gore to a point that is acceptable, but still there for the fans.”
Jackson can be fitfully scary, but a look over his horror films ("Bad Taste," "Dead Alive," "The Frighteners"), as well as his utterly disgusting backstage showbiz puppet drama "Meet the Feebles," reveals a definite comedic undercurrent. Like Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn" before it, "Dead Alive" uses the iconography of horror, but the language and timing of comedy.