Posts Tagged ‘statistics’

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Kicks, Bare Hands, Cane, Knife, Teeth, Towel Rod

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Reviewed by: Pontifex Aureus

In essence, Cronos is a vampire movie. It’s a very different kind of vampire movie, but a vampire movie nonetheless, and while it can be considered a horror movie, I prefer to think of it as a dark fantasy movie. That’s because Cronos is not scary—not one little bit. But don’t let that bother you, because while it may not be scary, it is original, it is highly imaginative, it is rich with devilish imagery and possesses a thoroughly human character. These characteristics are hallmarks of all high-quality dark fantasy.

In Veracruz, Mexico, an elderly antiques dealer, Jesus Gris, and his granddaughter stumble upon a strange and ancient artifact created by a 16th century alchemist. The artifact, the Cronos Device, grants the user eternal life, as Jesus soon finds out upon accidentally triggering the insect-like machine. The price for eternity is steep however, as Jesus begins to develop a terrible craving for blood and draws the attention of an evil man who would claim the device for himself.

Jesus and Aurora Cronos Close-Up

You have to admire a vampire movie that never once uses the word “vampire”. Cronos is a wonderfully understated movie, never clobbering you over the head with its themes. It’s just as well that the film doesn’t mention vampires, since the movie is more about humans than vampires. We have three central characters: Jesus Gris, a kindly grandfather and respectable shop owner who becomes so addicted to the vitality offered by the Cronos Device that he winds up licking blood off a men’s room floor. We have Dieter de la Guardia, a ruthless businessman so against the idea of natural death that he spends his life in a germ-free room with a cabinet full of his own body parts. And lastly, there’s Angel de la Guardia, the bootlicking nephew to Dieter, who wants nothing more than for his uncle to die and leave behind a fat inheritance.

Jesus Using Cronos Nose Bleed for Dinner

In much the same way that a vampire is motivated by its desire for blood, these people are motivated by their desire for power. Each is ruled by their desire—the desire for youth and vigor, as in the case of Jesus and Dieter, or desire for wealth, as in Angel’s case. Each is a kind of power. They live wretched lives and all but Jesus are willing to kill to fulfill their desire. It’s this complex interplay of human frailty that makes Cronos such a sly winner. Keep this in mind while watching and you’ll find a rich layer of symbolism throughout the film (lots of religious subtext—Jesus Gris is phonetically similar to Jesus Cristo, the Cronos Device is concealed in an angel statue, Angel de la Guardia means literally “guardian angel”, and so on).

Perlman Broken Nose Jesus Vampire

Aside from all these subtle qualities, Cronos has several other things going for it as well. Being a Guillermo del Toro movie, it carries his visual flair for dark fantasy. The Cronos Device itself is a work of art, looking like a golden clockwork scarab, it is suitably creepy and evil-looking. There’s also the wonderfully muted performances by the whole cast, but especially by Federico Luppi in the role of Jesus Gris, as he transforms from twinkly-eyed grandpa to skin-peeling vampire without ever feeling over-the-top.

Cronos is a sumptuously dark fairy tale brought to you by the modern-day master of dark fantasy; if you’re a del Toro fan, you should find plenty to like here. Incidentally, this film also marks the first collaboration between del Toro and Ron Perlman, for you Hellboy fans out there. So if you’re looking for scares, look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for a visually striking, stylish, thought-provoking vampire movie, then look no further than Cronos.

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Reviewed by: Pontifex Aureus

Originally titled “The Texas Nail Gun Massacre”, Terry Lofton’s seminal cheese-fest, Nail Gun Massacre, featured the tagline “Cheaper than a Chainsaw” in a sly (no wait—ham-fisted) homage to the 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. If by “Cheaper than a Chainsaw” they meant the entire cost of production, then yeah. Firmly within so-bad-it’s-good territory, Nail Gun Massacre is actually quite watchable; in fact, if Nail Gun was in on its own joke, this bad horror movie could actually pass for a good comedy. But despite Nail Gun Massacre’s numerous crimes against cinema (bad acting, bad FX, total lack of atmosphere), perhaps its greatest failure is in its fundamental inability to tell a coherent story. It really says something about a movie when being formulaic would be an improvement.

In the town of Seagoville, Texas, a crew of construction workers gang-rape a young woman and soon thereafter, local construction workers are being murdered by a crazed killer with a nailgun. Wondering who the killer is yet? Have you figured it out? Anyway, a local sheriff and doctor begin investigating the series of nail-related murders and bumble around without ever meeting the killer until the lame final confrontation.

Nail Gun Killer Doctor and Sheriff

If that synopsis is vague and unsatisfying, well, so is the movie—a symptom of the lobotomy-style storytelling. This is an even more fatal flaw than simple bad writing; writing can be bad and still be coherent, but if the storytelling itself is bad, if it has no logical progression, no structure, no clear sense of direction or purpose, then you’re left with pointless nonsense.

For example, experienced horror-viewers will know that in slasher flicks, you have your cast of kill fodder; usually a group of teenaged friends introduced at the beginning of the movie. Not so in Nail Gun Massacre; instead we are introduced to the cast of characters in sporadic bursts, two or three at a time, throughout the movie, and most of these characters do not meet, interact, or have scarcely any relation to each other at all. The plot structure of this movie is like a blob of ice cream melting in the sun—messy and all over the place.

Nail Hand Nailed Prayer

In addition to that, Nail Gun Massacre also features all the usual problems that bad movies have. Bad acting? How about a guy that falls over dead onto a BBQ grill, starts tipping over, pushes himself back up, and then looks at the camera? Bad FX? How about wobbly nails and a non-firing nail gun? Bad writing? Here’s a direct quote: “Do you remember when you could sit outside and not worry about the mosquitoes and the killers?” Even the soundtrack is bad; it is literally someone yelling WAAAHH and MUAHAHA into a synthesizer so persistently that you’ll find yourself daydreaming about what death is like.

Roadside Nailer Nail Face

And the ending? Jeeesus…there’s simply not enough room to go into that in a single review, so I’ve added an addendum at the end; look there for a more in-depth discussion of one of the stupidest endings in all of horrordom. Still, despite repeatedly spitting in the face of all that is good and decent in film, Nail Gun Massacre is a fun movie to watch, if only to laugh at how much of a train-wreck it is. But I can’t recommend this movie for the same reason I can’t recommend huffing spray paint—it’s bad for you and it’ll make you stupid; but, meh…it’s kinda fun.

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Addendum:

Let’s get this spoiler out of the way right now: the killer is Linda, the girl that gets raped at the beginning. Oh my God! Bet you didn’t see that coming! Especially since the killer’s fairly snug jumpsuit reveals to us early-on that the killer is obviously a woman. Although, there is actually some controversy about the killer’s identity, and understandably so, because the storytelling is so horrendously poor and the movie is so war-crime-ingly directed that you may very well not notice who the killer is.

Many people, after having seen Nail Gun Massacre, believe that the character Bubba is the killer because early in the movie, he very unsubtly states that he’ll be seeing the victims “…sooner than [they] think.” Plus, at the end of the movie, the killer dies, is unmasked, and is revealed to be Bubba. Okay…that’s a strong case for the “Bubba is the killer” theory, but hear me out.

Number one: since the whole movie takes place in broad daylight, we can very clearly see that the killer is female, judging by the curvaceous hips and the fact that the killer is way shorter than Bubba. Number two: At one point the killer states: “You guys played with me; now it’s my turn to play with you” and “…nobody came when I screamed”. Number 3: After Bubba’s death, when the doctor declares that it’s all over, the sheriff utters the unbelievably corny line: “Is it? Is it over?” Number four: as the doctor and Linda walk off into the sunset, Linda’s right arm falls to her side, revealing that she is holding the killer’s motorcycle helmet, and we hear a dramatic DUUUNN from the soundtrack as this happens.

Okay, so those are some good reasons for thinking that Linda was the killer, but if that’s the case, then WHY DOES BUBBA SAY HE’LL SEE THOSE VICTIMS SOONER THAN THEY THINK?! Why would Bubba EVER see the victims AT ALL if Linda was the one doing the killing? Was Bubba also killing? If so, nothing happens in the movie that would suggest this other than him wearing the costume at the end—but then that could be explained by saying that Bubba was merely taking the rap for his sister. My guess is that the character Bubba was a clumsy attempt at inserting a red herring into the storyline, but it is done so poorly that it defies all sense and logic. Secondly, we need more than a dramatic DUUUNN to highlight the fact that the killer is Linda; what should be a cool Basic-Instinct-style surprise ending is instead so lazy and ambiguous that many people don’t even notice it. Or maybe I’m just imagining things and Bubba really was the killer; in any case, the ending should not be this difficult to figure out!

So there you have it: one of the most colossally incompetent and nonsensical endings to a horror movie ever. Whether you believe that Bubba was the killer or Linda was, the ending still leaves you with logical loose-ends so flagrant that you’ll rage against the audacity of the mind that created Nail Gun Massacre.

One of our greatest goals here at splatterjunkie.com is to quantify gore in order to make comparisons between movies. One way we have done this is with our Gore Quotient, which is a measure of the proportion of screen-area that is occupied by blood throughout a given movie. With the Gore Quotient, we are able to quantitatively tell if one movie is bloodier than another movie and by how much.

What we can’t tell at the moment is if a given movie is bloodier than average or not. We don’t know what the average amount of bloodiness is for a horror movie and we can’t calculate this average without calculating many more Gore Quotients. How many more Gore Quotients? Well, using IMDB’s advanced search feature, we looked up the total amount of feature film and direct-to-video horror releases between the years 1890 and 2014. The number we came up with was 18,480. That’s 18,480 total horror movies made worldwide since 1890.

Normally, to calculate an average, you would add up all your numbers and then divide by the amount of numbers, but 18,480 is way too much to sort through. So instead of dealing with all those movies, we simply take a representative sample from which we can determine what is true of the larger population of horror movies. Our total population is 18,480 and using the wonderful sample-size calculator at http://www.macorr.com, we were able to determine that a representative sample with a 95% confidence level and a 5% confidence interval would consist of 376 movies.

That means that we would need to calculate Gore Quotients for 376 movies in order to calculate the overall average amount of bloodiness amongst all horror movies. With a sample size of 376, we could be 95% sure that the average we get from the sample is true of the whole population of 18,480. Once we have this representative sample, calculating the average bloodiness would only be the beginning; we could perform all manner of statistical tests with our data and we could be 95% sure that our findings would be true of all horror movies.

For example, if we wanted to see how many horror movies feature most of their kills in the last 30 minutes, we could look at our Kill Graph data, determine how many movies meet that criteria, and then calculate the percentage. Let’s say that we find that 40% of our 376-movie sample (with confidence level 95% and confidence interval 5%) features movies where most of the kills occur in the last 30 minutes, then that means we can be 95% sure that between 35% and 45% of all horror movies have most of their kills in the last 30 minutes. Granted, there’s a lot of room for error between 35% and 45%, but our accuracy will steadily improve as our sample of movies grows. Long-term, we’re aiming for a confidence interval of 2%, which would decrease our error substantially. For that level of accuracy, we would need a sample size of 2,125 movies.

We’re not there yet, but one day we’ll reach our first goal of 376 movies reviewed and then we can get really get our statistics on. We are working toward a total understanding of gore, both to satisfy the curiosity of the average horror-junkie and to advance the study and knowledge of horror movies as a legitimate research area. That’s something you won’t find at any other horror review site. We are splatterjunkie.com, spread the word–Horror Through Math!

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Bare Hands, Kitchen Knife, Knitting Needle, Wire Hanger, Revolver

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Reviewed by: Jenicide

October is near. Yes! Our favorite month of the year is approaching. So what better time to get to a favorite upon many horror fans than a review on the 1978 classic, “Halloween”?

When it comes to horror films, John Carpenter’s Halloween is considered by many as a holy grail of a horror movie; one that introduced the iconic masked killer, Michael Myers. More than likely, if you are reading this, you know how the movie goes, but to be consistent in our reviews, here’s a quick synopsis for you: A young Myers is left in the care of his older sister, Judith, whom he murders in cold blood on Halloween night, 1963. Fast forward fifteen years later, Myers, having been under the care of his psychiatrist Dr. Loomis, (played by the late, great Donald Pleasance) makes his move and escapes. Loomis realizes the evil nature of his patient and is hell-bent on recapturing Michael, whether he gets support or not. Now back in his hometown of Haddonfield, Myers stalks three high school girls who are unaware they are now his targets. Particularly the level-headed, reserved Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis’ film debut). Their Halloween turns from a carefree evening of babysitting and teenage hi-jinks to death and terror.

Halloween Girls Michael Myers Young

So what made “Halloween” such a beloved masterpiece? It relies on basic ingredients and excellent execution; the suspense factor, a creepy score (composed by Carpenter), and great acting. The suspense is played out beautifully throughout and reaches a crescendo during the final game of cat and mouse between Michael and Laurie. Adding to the suspense is the spine-chilling music featuring those edgy, stinging notes that are now so iconic. The acting is subtle and effective with extra points going to Nick Castle for his nuanced performance of Michael Myers; he is able to convey mysteriousness and an animal-like quality all under a blank, emotionless mask. He is not a man, he is an evil presence in the shape of a man; the fact that he is even credited as The Shape shows that he is not to be understood as a human character, but as a malevolent force of nature. All these elements combine to create a dark atmosphere that makes this film scary without the need to rely on buckets of blood.

Ghost Michael Myers Tombstone

“Halloween” was made cheap but with a lot of love. It only had a $300K budget, with the director maintaining full creative control of the film and with hardly any special effects at all. It simply utilizes pure fear under circumstances that could happen to the average person in an average town. You could relate with some characters; they could be your friends, the kids you babysit, or so forth. Many members of the crew were friends of Carpenter and the late producer Debra Hill, so they all pitched in when needed. And today, it still ranks as one of the most successful independent motion pictures ever.

Of course, there are the sequels and the remakes that stemmed from this film. Some entries, building on Myers’ inhuman character, present him as being literally supernatural (is he? Or isn’t he? Was this really implied in the original film? Oh, so much to think about!), and delving deeper into the roots of his madness while upping the gore factor. This leads to great discussions/debates on the character and the quality of the series…but we can get into that in another review.

Loomis Gun Myers Face Emerge

Overall, “Halloween” is an excellent film and a must-see on your horror movie bucket-list, if you have one, or if you’ve been living under a rock. This film proved it could terrify you without bloody guts or massive gore. Michael Myers became a household name in the horror realm, alongside other characters under the new slasher sub-genre, where the movie monsters were redefined by putting them in human form. Not to mention catapulting Jamie Lee Curtis into her classic “scream queen” status that led to a steady career in the mainstream world. Donald Pleasance’s career was also affected as he went from playing villain-type characters to avenging Loomis-type roles which continued until his passing in 1995. Plus, John Carpenter, who achieved notoriety after this, went on to make more classics throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s that we will be sure to review in due time. As one of the early films that helped define the elements of the slasher genre, Halloween is well respected and highly recommended for your viewing pleasure.

Updated Splat-Stats Info

Posted: September 19, 2014 in News
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Very soon we will be updating our Splat-Stats info page in order to make it a little more readable and a little less technical. The original info posts will still be available under the “Info” category, for those of you who wish to see them.

Also, in light of the recent arrival of two new contributors to our offices, we will be adding author names to every article and review from now on.

Things are moving along swiftly here at splatterjunkie.com and it’s only going to get better, so keep your eye on us and we’ll do all we can to keep raising the bar.

Movie Review: Ravenous

Posted: September 16, 2014 in Reviews
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Bare Hands, Knife, Tomahawk, Black Powder Revolver, Musket, Mallet, Cavalry Saber, Log, Pitchfork,

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Reviewed by: Pontifex Aureus

Every now and then a weird little oddball movie will pop up and truly surprise me. Ravenous, at first glance, looks like your run-of-the-mill cannibal in the woods movie, but not so; instead the movie takes a slight supernatural turn as the cannibals literally gain strength and heal wounds from eating human flesh, making this feel almost like a vampire movie. And while a dark, gritty tone would have been perfectly acceptable, the movie surprises me again by taking a bit of a humorous bent; not all-out comedy, but certainly tongue-in-cheek.

During the Mexican-American War, Captain Boyd is punished for cowardice by being transferred to the worst post possible, Fort Spencer, an isolated little shack out in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains. Just as Boyd is getting adjusted to his new surroundings, a shaggy-haired man comes stumbling out of the woods with an incredible story of survival and cannibalism that leads Boyd and his fellow soldiers to mount a dangerous rescue mission into the woods.

Bad Ass Boyd  Ives on the Hunt

Like I’ve said, this is no ordinary cannibal movie; these cannibals can get stabbed, shot, and skewered and still come after you just as long as they can get their hands on some fresh meat. In fact, these cannibals are actually Wendigo. As an American Indian recounts in the movie, when a man eats the flesh of another man, he steals his spirit and gains his strength, becoming a Wendigo. However, the effects don’t last and the eating becomes like a drug habit; the Wendigo is forced to keep feeding, becoming hungrier the more he eats.

Yum Yum Crazy Face Deadman

It’s a very fresh premise and I absolutely loved the hero, Captain Boyd, who is so atypically unheroic. He is in fact a coward and proves it more than once in the movie; he also happens to be a cannibal (don’t worry, I’m not giving anything away, as this fact is revealed early on). Yet despite all that, he eventually finds the strength to stand against his enemy (and his own cravings) and ends up being rather likable. The villain is no less remarkable as he transforms from a raving lunatic to an implacably cool and manipulative devil-in-disguise. You’ve got to love a villain so megalomaniacal that he compares his hunger to manifest destiny. The interplay between Boyd and the villain keeps the movie moving along briskly in between massacres.

RUN Knox Stew

Speaking of massacres, there’s a good helping of blood to be had here, but nothing wildly over-the-top. There’s a few spilled guts here and a little flesh-eating there. The best parts are really the implied cannibalism; any movie that can make eating stew seem gruesome is doing something right. And I have to mention the outrageous soundtrack. The music was probably the first cue I had that this was going to be something special. It’s an off-kilter hodgepodge of wheezy concertina, demented banjo picking, and sprightly fiddle—a hillbilly nightmare of a soundtrack that ranges from manically cheerful to rabidly ferocious.

A truly original and entertaining movie all around but the real meat of the film is the battle of wits between Boyd and the villain, since the other characters (aside from the delightful Jeffery Jones as Colonel Hart) are mostly disposable kill fodder. If you’ve got a meat-tooth for cannibal mayhem, Ravenous serves it up extra-rare.

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Afro pick, magic, semi-auto pistols, bare hands, microphone stand, fire, claws, fork, four-leaf clover joint, chair

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Reviewed by: Pontifex Aureus

Ok…I will admit that I went into this review looking for an easy target to pick on; what better than something ridiculous like Leprechaun in the Hood, right? Well, surprise—it wasn’t actually all that bad! I take that back, it is bad…but I could sit through it once. The Leprechaun series was never one to take itself very seriously, but Leprechaun in the Hood takes it to new levels of stupid and almost ends up being decent if only it didn’t skimp on the gore and run out of comedic gas early on.

There isn’t much in the way of plot, but basically, a trio of young rappers rob a local gangster and steal his magic flute that has the power to make everyone like your music, no matter how terrible it is. As it turns out, the gangster himself stole it from the Leprechaun, who gets awakened during the robbery and sets out to get his flute back, discovering the joys of weed and rap along the way.

LepintheHood Cast  Leprechaun Joint

The movie starts off surprisingly well; inside the first ten minutes, we get to see a man stabbed to death with an afro pick and Ice-T pulling a baseball bat out of his afro Looney Tunes-style. After this, a few amusing scenes with the rap trio trying to pawn a guitar left me with high hopes that Leprechaun in the Hood might actually turn out to be pretty good. Unfortunately, the laughs die out quickly around the 20 minute mark and the movie becomes unbearably dumb. Where we started off well with silly but effective slapstick, we end up with lame rhymes and cross-dressing rappers by movies-end. Also, the horror and comedy aren’t particularly well blended; rather than both elements being in harmony, they seem to diminish each other, with horror and comedy taking turns at being dominant.

Afro Ice-T Afro Picked

Ok, so the story’s bad and it’s not all that funny, but does it deliver the gore? Sadly no, it does not. For a horror movie, Leprechaun in the Hood is pretty stingy with the special effects. Many of the kills aren’t even shown at all, but are either implied or happen off-camera. Other kills are simply lame, like death by green CGI lightning or the Leprechaun’s favorite attack of pointing at someone and magically blowing a hole through them. Honestly, he might as well just be going around shooting people with a gun…hell—that actually sounds like a funny premise (Leprechaun with a Shotgun)!

Post in Drag Leprechaun Kills

But worst of all, after the initial strong beginning, the movie becomes boring and not very well made. In fact the direction is so poor that some scenes don’t really make sense at all. In one scene, a man is making out with a woman who starts to morph into a monster, therefore implying that she’s the Leprechaun in disguise, right? But no, because as the monster woman makes the kill, the camera cuts to the Leprechaun laughing inside of…somewhere, some kind of void. It’s not clear where he is or if he’s watching what’s happening. Later on however, the Leprechaun gets trapped inside a safe and there we see him inside that void we saw earlier. So in that earlier scene with the monster woman, they actually cut to the Leprechaun inside a safe that he wasn’t even in yet.

Leprechaun in the Hood, to the surprise of no one, is a bad movie and its over-all boringness and unimaginativeness makes it fall short of attaining even so-bad-it’s-good status. However, it really does start off well, it’s not the worst Leprechaun movie I’ve seen (cough, Leprechaun 4, cough), and I give the film credit for its wacky premise. The idea of an evil Leprechaun running around Compton is so juicy that you really wish that they’d done more with the idea. If you decide to watch the movie, do yourself a favor and watch the first 20 minutes, stop the DVD and then imagine a better movie in your mind. Oh…and in case you were wondering, yes, the Leprechaun raps and yes, it is every bit as painful as you’d think.

We here at Splatterjunkie.com have a new, exciting feature that we are adding to the SplatStats: the Kill Graph! The Kill Graph will be taking the place of the Kill Count number, although the Kill Count is still going to be tabulated as before, it is now brought to you in graph form.

With the new graph form, not only will you get the total Kill Count, you also see exactly where in the movie the kills occur, how much time passes in between kills, the rate at which the kill frequency increases, and the total movie running time. The horizontal arm of the graph (x-axis) represents the running time of the movie in minutes and the vertical arm of the graph (y-axis) represents the cumulative amount of kills (meaning the running tally of kills). To determine what the total Kill Count is, simply look at the last point on the graph and follow the line back to the number on the y-axis. For example, if the last point is on line 12 of the y-axis, then that means that there were a total of 12 kills throughout the movie.

This feature will be included in our upcoming review of Leprechaun in the Hood (coming soon) and will be added to our existing review of Dead Alive.

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Pole Cleaver, High-Heeled Shoe, Claws, Teeth, Bare Hands, Syringe, Hummingbird Sculpture, Severed Arm, Karate Kicks, Scissors, Garden Gnome, Pitchfork, Pliers, Light Bulb, Broken Door, Hedge Clippers, Kitchen Knife, Meat Cleaver, Wash Wringer, Severed Leg, Blender, Frying Pan, Lawnmower, Amulet

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Reviewed by Pontifex Aureus

Among gore aficionados, few will deny that Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive (yep, “Lord of the Rings” Peter Jackson) has rightfully earned its place in the pantheon of the goriest movies of all time. Some will even tell you that it’s THE goriest movie of all time. Maybe so, but despite all its corn-syrupy bloodshed, the best thing that Dead Alive has going for it is that it’s just so damned funny.

Set in 1950’s Wellington, New Zealand, Dead Alive follows the story of Lionel Cosgrove, a life-long mama’s boy who finally slips away from Mother when he meets his fate-foretold love interest, Paquita. Things go well for the couple until Mother tries to intervene and finds herself unexpectedly becoming a pus-spewing zombie. Ever loyal to his mom, Lionel is forced to become her caretaker, keeping her hidden, sedated, and locked up. The cat doesn’t stay in the bag long though, and the zombies start piling up, leading to an unforgettable climax that ranks among the bloodiest in all of cinema.

Lionel Tranq  Vera Paquita

There’s a lot to love in Dead Alive. You want memorable characters? How about a karate-fighting priest or a Nazi Taxidermist? What about a Sumatran rat monkey that’s the product of inter-species rape or a blob of living, anthropomorphic intestines that’s actually kind of cute? Speaking of intestines, let’s not forget the gore. So much blood and guts spilled that to this day the house Dead Alive was filmed in still bears a few dried-out blood stains on the ceiling. If haven’t seen a man’s face being pulled off like a mask or a zombie baby hatch out of a human head, then you are missing out my friend. And yes, this is all done in tremendous old-school style; no CGI, just lots of fake blood and rubber puppets. Oh yeah…and there’s also zombie sex (because that’s where zombie-babies come from).

Cute GutsRat Monkey

But the best thing of all about Dead Alive is that it is deliriously, stupidly funny. Example: If you have a zombie baby, what’s the first thing you do? Take him out for a stroll in the park, am I right? And if he starts to act up and you have smack him up a bit…people will understand, right? Or what if you have dinner guests, but –uh,oh– your mom comes down with a little case of explosive zombie zits…what do you do? That’s right, you serve ’em up a mess o’ pudding! And have some pudding yourself; it makes for an excellent movie-time snack.

Baby SelwynPopeye the Zombie

Dead Alive (or Braindead, as it’s known overseas), is a notorious monster of a goreshow; it was banned in Germany, Finland, South Korea, and heavily edited in other countries, and though somewhat ignored in its time, it has since become a holy grail of delightfully puke-inducing splatter and nastiness—the goriest movie ever made. Be advised horror fans; this one’s rich and creamy, just the way you like it.

Hi all, after conducting the first kill count tally for Dead Alive, I realized that perhaps the Kill Count statistic is not so simple after all. For example, do I include animal kills as well as human kills? What about off-screen kills or kills that are merely implied? What about zombie kills? Aren’t zombies already dead and therefore can’t be killed? Besides which, a zombie might get chopped up and mutilated several times before “dying”, so…count each instance of mutilation or just the final one?

As such, I have decided to restrict my Kill Count to the following: On-screen human and animal kills. This includes implied kills, provided that they are implied directly (meaning by the one being killed, not a secondhand source) and  presently (meaning as they happen)  by something occurring on-screen. For example, being killed in silhouette (like behind a curtain or shadows on a wall) will be counted because the shadow is being cast directly from the victim and reflects a kill that is presently in progress. Another kill that is acceptable is an over the phone kill indicated by a scream, since the scream originates directly from the victim and again reflects a kill presently in progress.

Examples of kills that are not counted: a roomful of people in one scene and in the next scene, the room is full of gore (the kills occurred off-screen and nothing on-screen implied them as they were happening, just before and after shots). Admittedly, this will probably lead to some unpopular judgment calls; for instance, the dog that gets killed in John Carpenter’s The Thing would be counted, but the head in a box from Seven would not be counted.

Another example of a kill that is not counted: Someone saying that so-and-so character “didn’t make it” (this kill happened off-screen and is not implied by the victim directly, but by a report from a secondhand source). The only exception to the “no secondhand sources” rule is if the kill is reported by a character visually in a flashback; these kills will be counted, interestingly enough, even if it turns out that the character was lying and the alleged victim is still alive–I am measuring kills depicted, not kills that actually occur within the continuity of the story.

Also, I am only measuring direct kills; if someone gets shot and then dies from their injury later, that will not be counted as a kill. In the event that a character sustains an injury but their actual death is not shown, this will be counted as a kill if the injury is likely to result in imminent death. For example, if a character’s heart is ripped out, it will be counted even if the actual moment of death is not shown. On the other hand, someone actively being drowned will not be counted if the death is not shown, because the condition of drowning can be stopped and survived, whereas a ripped-out heart can not be undone. This holds even if it is confirmed in the story that the drowning character has died. Zombie “kills” are not included due to the difficulties stated above.

Ok, just thought I’d clear that up in case someone does a count of their own and gets a different number; I didn’t miscount, I just counted selectively according to my own criteria. And remember: statistics are not immune to interpretation and subjectivity, so let’s not view them as ultimate truth, but as useful mathematical summaries that provide us with easily digestible data.