Joshua Benton as Clarence Singer
Sarah Grant Brendecke as Sherry Morgan
David Crane as Bob Jules
Andy Forrest as Reverend Farnsworth
Chad Guerrero as Deputy Jimmy Ray
Elizabeth Lambert as Candy
Directed by Kevin Tenney
Toronto After Dark couldn’t have organized this screening better having it take place after the annual Zombie Walk. Well over 1,000 zombies showed up and walked the streets of Toronto including showing up at the local bar across from the cinema. Walking in and ordering a beer was eclipsed with moans of patrons topping me with, “beeeeeer!” I can’t complain though since it later made for a fun cinema experience. Originally, director Kevin S. Tenney’s (Night of the Demons) Brain Dead was to find a giant mutated spider that terrorized a small group of survivors in back woods America. Instead we have a story of parasitic organisms from space that turn people into zombies who love eating the most perfectly shaped brains I have ever seen.
A fisherman is the first to go as a meteorite falls from the sky and embeds itself in his head; shortly after, he turns into symbiotic zombie redneck. Clarence (Joshua Benton) and Bob (David Crane) are on the run from the law. They hole up in a nearby cabin in the woods where the rest of the film takes place. Evoking heaps and heaps of similarities to Evil Dead – including a lead character who only speaks in one liners (I will give credit where credit is due though, some of the things Clarence belts out are hilarious) – they are joined by two sorority sisters, Sherry and Claudia, one Reverend Farnsworth and his buxom secretary Amy.
If gratuitous boob shots (every actress but one shows all), blood and exploding heads are what you want then this delivers. It certainly has a charm to it as it is very reminiscent of your typical ’80s horror film including the incessant need to have every segue scene use an overlay. What it does better is the gore. Director Tenney went on to say at the fest that CGI is terrible for FX work unless it is done immaculately and I think we can all agree on that, especially with the work Gabriel Bartalos (Leprechaun, Basket Case) has done in this. The blood and guts are really top-notch and anyone who comes to see this looking to have their blood lust satiated will NOT be disappointed. Ignoring the obvious similarities to the Evil Dead, Brain Dead is a worthy addition to the genre.