Sunday, September 7, 2008

Condemned Cinema, Pt. II - Dead Alive

Sorry for the long period of time in between this post and the last part of Condemned Cinema. I was in Seattle for the city's Bumbershoot Music Festival. I may write a little something on that, not really sure yet.

However, let's get down to brass tacks. Condemned Cinema, part two, Peter Jackson's Braindead or in the USA, Dead Alive. First, a background on the film. Dead Alive was done back in 1992 by (now) famous director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong) in his times of putrid and gut wrenching cinema. Jackson had three films, Meet the Feebles, Bad Taste and Dead Alive that were all extremely perverse or violent. In some peoples opinions they claim these three films to be Jackson's most accomplished achievements over The Lord of the Rings Trilogy mainly because Jackson creates such outlandish effects with such low budgets. Dead Alive is the best example of his low budget gorefests. The film follows Lionel Cosgrove, obedient mama's boy, through a normal day of tea time and zombie slaying. While the film itself isn't necessarily controversial, there are some very juciy tidbits on how it was completed and distributed in the God-run USA.

Dead Alive has the highest amound of fake blood ever used in a film production. One can easily tell that by the last thirty minutes of the film. It is also regarded as the goriest film ever made (the MPAA rated it R for an abundance of outrageous gore). While another avid film watcher may contradict that fact with other films like Riki-Oh or Ichi the Killer, Dead Alive is clearly the champion. In fact, the juiciest fact about the film and why it is one the 10 Condemned Films is that in American cinemas it was chopped down to 87min. The uncut version released in Australia is 104min. The uncut version in America is 97min. So where did that 7min go? No one really knows. Maybe it was condemned (sorry, lame ass joke). Even with the near 20min of gore gone American cinemas supplied a sick bag (vomit baggie) with each ticket sold. That's right, viewers of the film were actually so horrifed by the film's (campy) gore that they got sick inside of the theater. Well, Ty Walters requested that I do this film in the series so please be back for the next part when I discuss Gasper NoƩ's Irreversible.

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