British Board of Film Classification

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Braindead

There's been a lot of buzz since we classified the trailer for The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug last week, with fans clearly eager to enjoy the next instalment of Middle Earth adventures as directed by Peter Jackson. Although it hasn't always been a matter of elves, wizards and dwarves for Mr. Jackson, and here we open the file on one of his early 'splatter' films - Braindead.

 
 

A blend of zombies, romance, horror and gore, gore, gore (and more gore) Braindead tells a tale of a young man struggling to balance his blossoming lovelife with the burden of an undead Mother who just won't stop attacking and zombifying the local townsfolk. The BBFC examiner reports reveal a team delighted by what they saw, who describe the film as "one of the funniest splatter movies ever made". They recognise that the "yucky moments" may trouble audiences who are less familiar with this genre but reason that Braindead "is played for belly laughs rather than screams". They consider the obvious prosthetics and "ridiculous, bordering on lovable" monsters as part of a film that is more "entertaining grand guignol farce" than "horrific and sadistic".

There is some discussion in the reports about a possible 15 certificate but experience of the opinions of young people, along with an awareness of the level of horror that audiences in 1992 would expect from a 15 film, led to the decision that an 18 certificate - uncut -  was most appropriate for the "astonishing amount of gore" and "excesses (comic as they are) of the delirious final reel." 

Braindead was classified 18 on film in November 1992, and was again rated 18 for a video release in 1993. It remains at that category.

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