‘A mind is a terrible thing to taste…’
Brain Dead is a 2007 American comedy horror gore film directed by Kevin S. Tenney (Witchtrap; Witchboard, Night of the Demons) from a screenplay by Dale Gelineau. It stars Joshua Benton, Sarah Grant Brendecke, and Michelle Tomlinson.
A small meteor hits a couple of fishermen in backswood USA and turns one of them into a slimy zombie. The local police investigate.
Meanwhile, two escaped convicts, two lost female hikers, a hypocritical televangelist and his attractive young assistant stumble into a deserted fishing lodge miles from civilisation. The convicts hold the others captive until they discover the missing fisherman have been decapitated or turned into brain-eating zombies by a parasitic alien goo…
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 – Evil Dead is a clear influence, as are half the horror movies of the 1980s.
The 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, giving this a definite old-school exploitation appeal.
David Flint, MOVIES & MANIA
“Fans who are expecting Night of the Creeps or Slither (two movies which Brain Dead takes heavy influence from) may be slightly disappointed. However, if you go into this movie expecting something like Ice Cream Man or last year’s indie slasher Simon Says, you’ll be in for a bloody treat.” Dread Central
“Competently packaged pic never takes itself seriously, but lack of sharper wit and any novel twists keep it watchably forgettable.” Dennis Harvey, Variety
“It is refreshing to see an older filmmaker (Tenney was in his 50s while making this) willing to push the envelope. Brain Dead isn’t going to change your life, but it will leave you entertained for 90 minutes with its focus on the three Bs (blood, boobs and beasts). What more could you ask for?” Video Junkie
“The majority of the acting is well above par for such a cheesy bit of B-movie mayhem, and when topped off with bad make-up, gross-out practical effects work, and more bouncing boobs than you can shake a stick at (four out of the five girls go topless and they’re all size C cups or above), this sickening little bit of splat-stick makes for a perfect evening of brain dead fun.” Brutal As Hell
“Brain Dead isn’t going to change anyone’s life, and probably won’t better anyone’s opinion of Tenney–but it shouldn’t harm his reputation either. If you’re looking for something to pass the time–something with lots of gore and nudity that doesn’t ask too much of your higher thinking functions–then this one fits the bill.” Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies
“I understand this is not high art, this isn’t even tack it up on the fridge with a magnet art, but at what point do you draw the line? When the same joke about the rundown fishing shack being a ‘real fixer-upper’ is uttered by each group as they come up to it, that’s three times for those keeping count at home, and that is done one right after the other, that’s not funny. That’s just plain lazy!” Screen Anarchy
Cast and characters:
- Joshua Benton as Clarence Singer – Death House
- Sarah Grant Brendecke as Sherry Morgan – Dexter
- Michelle Tomlinson as Claudia Bush
- David Crane as Bob Jules
- Andy Forrest as Reverend Farnsworth
- Cristina Tiberia as Amy Smoots
- Jim Wynorski (director of Chopping Mall, Gila!; et al) has a cameo role as the sheriff
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