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Let’s Talk About Peter Jackson’s Dead-Alive

Dead-Alive, Directed by Peter Jackson, 1993.

This film goes by two titles with two covers. There are many cuts of this film depending on where you live due to the gore. It was originally released as Braindead (1992) in New Zealand, but was relased under the title of Dead-Alive (1993) in North American. A distribution company was concerned it would be confused with another film with the same title, so Dead-Alive it became.

In the UK and Australia, it was released in its full 104 minute totality. The Brits and Aussies found the gore to be light-hearted and comical so they had no qualms with the gore scenes. Two different cuts exist in Germany: The 94 minute cut removed most of the grislier bits. The uncut version is actually banned in Germany. It is also illegal to publicly exhibit the film in Germany. (wikipedia) The over-the-top gory violence also means the film has been banned in South Korea and Singapore. In Finland, the film was unbanned and released uncut in 2001. On Rotten Tomatoes, Dead-Alive ranks at an 88% Tomatometer and 87% Audience Score.

Original New Zealand Release 1992

This was my first experience with a Horror/Comedy style film. A few friends and I rented this back in 1993. We all piled into my small room and waitied. We probably should have reconsidered eating snacks during this screening.

The story contains an overbearing smothering mother, who ends up getting bit by a Sumatran rat-monkey while spying on her grown son at a zoo while he makes time with a local hottie. Vera is a cautionary tale of what can happen when you’re too overbearing and controlling as a mother.

This film contains zombification, dismemberment, unintentional cannabilism, and one gruesome lawnmower scene that reportedly used 80 gallons of fake blood shooting out five gallons per second! It really is one Supreme Splatter fest!

Yes. This is the same Peter Jackson that did Lord of the Rings.

Quite possibly the most disgusting dinner scene ever!

Mmmmm, delicious creamy custard, just how I like it.

I think it was about here when we set down our snacks.

The spectacularly bloody, gruesome and very wet lawnmower scene!

A real lawnmower was used for this scene. The main actor, Timothy Balme had to be super careful not to lose a limb himself or hit the other actors while filming. They fed wax limbs into the mower blades for maximum gore and splatter.

I can sincerely attribute Dead-Alive as my introduction to Gore Horror. I loved the effects. I feel like if a movie makes you want to vomit, the effects team has done their job. It truly is an art form. After this I went on a life long spree of watching and collecting gore films. Dead-Alive is truly one of my all time favorites!

When Lord of the Rings came out I was like, Peter Jackson? Really??? Who knew?

Thanks to Bloody Disgusting for some cool new info! Check out their piece as well!

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Let’s Talk About Gore

In Sequence from top left: Misery 1990, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning 2006, Hostel  2005, The Hills Have Eyes 2006, The Thing 1982.

In Sequence from top left: Misery 1990, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning 2006, Hostel 2005, The Hills Have Eyes 2006, The Thing 1982.

I’ve always had a fascination with Gore scenes in Horror Movies. I see it as an artform. If you can make the viewers sick to the pits of their stomachs, CONGRATULATIONS! You Win!

Today, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite, most gruesome, goriest scenes that have stood out in my mind and haunted my dreams for decades. Scenes that have made me shudder with disgust and horror. One scene even made me vomit. Nice work Hostel.

Misery 1990, based upon the riveting novel by Stephen King, or as I refer to him, (God), directed by Rob Reiner. The story finds the author, Paul Sheldon being held captive by superfan, Annie Wilkes. Literally one of the BEST female antagonists ever written. After Wilkes finds that Sheldon has escaped his room and snooped about her home she finds a solution. Hobbling. Hobbling a person is the act of crushing the bones in a person’s ankles and feet so that they may not walk; it is mostly used as a form of torture. When Annie got that club out… Well, it made for one MASSIVE gasp in the theater. Ouch!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning 2006. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman. I literally walked out of the theater after seeing this thinking to myself, “What did I just gain from watching this?The Beginning was FILLED with gut-churning, vomit-inducing gore. One of the most violent films I have ever seen. Infact, there’s a censorship report on this movie. Several different cuts of the film exists depending on the country you live in. The most memorable and barf-worthy scene for me was the leg amputation of Uncle Monty. Watching that chainsaw rip through Uncle Monty’s legs as the blood spews forth made me set my suddenly unwanted popcorn to the floor. I left this movie feeling quite nauseated, I questioned whether I could even watch another horror movie after that. Imagine!

Hostel 2005, directed by Eli Roth (Quentin Tarantino’s protege). I actually really enjoyed this series despite the gross factor. A unique story based upon three young men traveling abroad. They stay in a Hostel only to discover there’s something far more sinister going on in the Slovakian city they chose to stay in. (Supposed to be hot ladies there or some shit) The scene that really stuck out was the torture of Kana, the young Asian woman that is eventually “saved” by the film’s “hero”, Paxton. She’s held and tortured in the worst ways. The eyes; I can’t handle eye stuff, and this was one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve ever watched. Watching that blow torch edge towards Kana’s eye until it basically explodes and oozes down her face made me run to my bathroom and vomit, just a little bit.

The Hills Have Eyes 2006, directed by Alexandre Aja. He had a lot to live up to from Wes Craven’s 1977 classic. The 2006 version however takes gore to a whole new level that simply couldn’t be replicated in the 70s. This was a truly violent and distubing film. A family takes an RV vacation and ends up stalled out in an empty canyon. What they don’t know is that they’re surrounded by a bunch of inbred mutants exposed to Agent Orange that have been residing in a highly radioactive area that was used for nuclear testing by the US Government in the 40s. There’s a violent sexual assault scene that literally made me furious. There’s so much gore in this movie it’s hard to pinpoint one moment. The best part was when the film’s heroes, siblings, Brenda and Bobby, with the help of Brother-in-law Doug finally reach the mutants full of rage and loss, the payback is horrifically delicious. I highly recommend this film if you want a thrill ride that leaves you feeling like you need a therapy session or two.

Last, but not least, is one of my first ever experiences with gore. John Carpenter’s The Thing 1982. Starring the forever handsome Kurt Russel as bad ass RJ MacReady. Wow. This is literally one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE Horror movies. Set in remote Antarctica, a team of research scientists get more than they bargained for when taking in a stray dog that’s being shot at and pursued by a helicopter. (Thanks Clark) We soon learn that this “dog” is by no means a dog but rather an alien lifeform that can replicate any living being. An alien lifeform that threatens the future of the ENTIRE PLANET! What?! No! But yes, after teammate Vance Norris becomes one of these things, MacReady takes the flame thrower to him. What happens next kept me sleeping on my parent’s bedroom floor for the next three months. As the Norris thing’s body starts to burn, the Norris-Thing’s head tears itself away from it’s shoulders and slowly slides down the side of the table onto the floor, where it extends a long tentacle from it’s mouth and grabs onto a desk before slowly pulling itself underneath it. It then grows six spider-like legs and pair of insect eyes on stalks, thus becoming the Head Spider. After the men put out the fire with extinguishers, the Head Spider tries to scuttle away while they aren’t looking, but is unfortunately spotted by Windows and Palmer, the latter making an incredulous statement which alerts MacReady who turns around and incinerates the Head Spider before it can escape. (Excerpt from who explains it far more eloquently than I, and a site I have visited countless times over the years)

That Spider head gave me nightmares for months. I would look under my bed every night (I was 8 or 9 when I saw this movie) before jumping on top only to lay there wondering if my cat was actually a cat or…

What gore scenes stand out to you? What movie left you somewhat emotionally scarred? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Creepy Horror Family

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She Really Needs a Priest

The Exorcist, 1973, Tobe Hooper/ Steven Spielberg. Photo from

I started this blog as a way to pay homage to all the great horror movies of the past, present and near future. I have been a horror fan my whole adult life, and I will share with you some of the best, bloodiest, most gruesome & gory moments in horror all in quick read format. You won’t find lengthy outlines, or pretentious criticisms here. Just the best, the bloodiest, the most blood curdling moments in horror history.

If there’s a film you’d like me to feature, please reach out in my comments and make sure you’re following me on social media!

Stay scared Horror Family.


My First Horror Experience

Poltergeist 1982 Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg- Photo courtesy of

It was 1983, my Aunt had just purchased one of these new devices called a VCR! Suddenly all the box office hits were available to view in the comfort of your own living room. Having seen the film in the theater the year before, my Mom and Aunt were eager to bring this hot tape home (after rewinding it of course).

They plunked me and my cousin down, (both eight years old) gave us a bowl of cheesies and off to the races we went!

My cousin, a burly boy, much more fearless than I, appeared overly excited, meh, he was always weird though. Myself, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that I’d probably be spending some evenings sleeping on the floor next to my dad in the near future as a result.

Things that still stick out today 37 years later…

The Hand: Yep, that made me jump!

The Thunderstorm: I still count between thunder claps and lightening strikes.

That clown: Well that sparked a life-long fear of clowns for me; or Coulrophobia as it’s properly called.

THE POOL! Poor JoBeth Williams had NO idea she was swimming/drowning next to real corpses and skeletons. I bet she still has nightmares about it. I do.

What was your first Horror Movie experience? How old were you? What sticks out in your mind still? Let me know in the comments.