Peter Jackson’s zombiefest follow-up to Bad Taste (1987), set in a New Zealand suburb in the late 50s, is one of the most relentlessly, gleefully nasty movies ever released, incorporating mutant monkeys, zombie flesh-eaters, death by lawn mower, kung-fu priests and jokes about The Archers.
It also contains the queasiest dinner scene since La Grande Bouffe, involving spurting blood, dissolving flesh, human ears and bowls of claggy rice pudding.
When 25-year-old socially awkward virgin Lionel (Timothy Balme) falls for the lovely Paquita (Diana Peñalver), he provokes his domineering mother’s jealousy.
Soon after, a toxic nip from a diseased Sumatran rat monkey at the local zoo transforms Lionel’s mother – through several putrescent stages – into a hideous, pustulant monster craving human flesh.
The finale, in which Lionel reduces a horde of flesh-eaters to a mulch of blood, flesh, and offal with the aid of a Flymo (pictured above), is probably the goriest scene ever. Three hundred litres of fake blood were used in the scene.
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Mum (Vera Cosgrove)
Angela Robinson Witherspoon