Lionel has a problem - an overbearing mother who won't allow him to have a life of his own. Fortunately, his mother dies. She is bitten by a Sumatran spider-monkey (arachnidae rodenta stopanimationata) becomes very sick and dies. She comes back to life, however, as a flesh-eating zombie and then she really starts making Lionel's life miserable. Lionel is so dedicated to taking care of his mother (in life and in undeath) that he cannot even see that a local girl named Paquita is smitten with him. The story becomes weirder and weirder as Lionel tries to hide his mother's zombified state from the rest of the townsfolk. But since she keeps biting people (and thus turning them into zombies) Lionel is forced to house her victims as well - until his home is filled with zombies. Through it all Lionel tries desperately to keep up an appearance of complete normalcy.
The hands-down single best character in the entire film is Father MacGruder, who, during the funeral for Lionel's mother (whom Lionel has hilarious difficulty keeping in the casket) starts to suspect that something is amiss. Lionel goes back to the cemetary that night to dig up his zombified mother (!) and encounters grave robbers, who then in turn encounter Lionel's mother. The robbers become zombies themselves and Lionel now faces three zombies! Father MacGruder appears in his red silk pajamas just in time to save Lionel from the zombies. Father MacGruder is exactly the kind of Irish Catholic priest I would want to be. MacGruder takes on the zombies single-handedly, as a kind of spiritual Bruce Lee, throwing circle kicks and judo chops in a flurry of righteous might. After knocking the zombies down Father MacGruder declares, "I kick ass for The Lord!" Despite an impressive fight, Father MacGruder is bitten, and joins Lionel's growing stable of zombies back at his mother's house.
Lionel is able to keep his mother's undeath hidden because she has a nasty habit of biting (and thus zombifying) anyone she meets. But before too long Lionel has an entire community of zombies he's got to keep under control. He goes so far as to scold them and try to make them sit at the dining room table! And of course, amid all the carnage and comedy there's lovely Paquita to consider. Will Lionel finally sever the umbilical cord? Will he become a man and face down his mother, once and for all? Will he proclaim his love for Paquita? Of course he does, and in a spectacular fashion. This movie is absolutely not for the squeamish - it is gory beyond words. Director Peter Jackson pours on the gore in such a way that you'll either become inured to it and just give in to the comedy of it all, or be turned off completely. If you're looking for genuinely humorous approach to zombies, then you must watch this film. Just be sure to bring a barf-bag.