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The video dead (1987) review

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Posted 19th August 2010 at 03:28 PM by pedromonkey

Zombie films, there are so many and alot of
them have a reputation, The Video Dead is one of them. Made in 1987 for televison, it was bound to have a low budget and was restricted in what it could do with that budget. The film has some interesting ideas too.

An unlabelled crate from an unknown source is delivered to a house in the woods. The homeowner unwisely accepts the delivery, only to discover it contains a TV set that starts spewing giggling zombies all over the place. When a new family moves into the now-abandoned house, the son discovers the haunted televsion and is soon told what he needs to do to send the zombies back where they belong. Knowing and doing, however, are two very different things, and the zombies are not likely to go quietly.
(Source: IMDB)


Roxanna Augesen as Zoe
probably the best performer in the film, she's forgotten about for about 45 minutes until the end. The ending is actually an interesting idea, as the zombies won't attack if they can't sense fear, So Zoe tries her hardest to mask her fear as the zombies are in the house. She hasn't made anything since.

Rocky Duvall as Jeff
not a great actor by any stretch, Rocky plays Jeff, Zoe's brother, he's the one responsible for unleasing the zombies. again like Augesen, he hasn't made anything since.

Michael St. Michaels as Henry Jordan
The Henry Jordan character is there to help Jeff hunt down the zombies, he was the one who originally had the evil Television set. Michaels is an alright actor and some of his lines are delivered badly but that could be down to the script. He's made a few films since.

Victoria Bastel as April
a pretty girl, who lives down the road from Jeff and Zoe, She becomes Jeff's sort of love interest. She's an ok actress and has made appearances in more notable films such as The Dead Pool with Clint Eastwood and Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant. Her last role was in the 1998 film Somewhere in the City.

Okay, the direction on this film is bad, not in a crap way, but some of the shots are obvious quick set ups with one or maybe two takes, some angles are off too. There are some pretty interesting shots though such as when the zombies are coming out of the television. This was nicely done. Robert Scott The director has only made one other film as helmer, a film called Ratdog, But he's been an assistant director on films and television shows since including First AD on the shows Heroes and House.

The script leaves alot to be desired. The Dialogue is bad so the acting is bad. Things are introduced and not expanded on such as the Garbage man and the whispering naked woman. They appear then disappear and that's it. There are some interesting ideas in the film and it seems that the Japanese film Ringu has borrowed some ideas, but on the whole film seems too much of a rush job.

The films only redeeming asset, the zombie make up F/X are pretty good and some of the gore is good, but it doesn't compensate for an incoherent plot and bad acting.

Ive seen my fair share of zombie films, some good, most bad, and although The Video Dead is an atrocious film, i couldn't help but find myself kind of enjoying it. Like i said the film has some interesting ideas and if only the budget was bigger and the cast were better, this would be a classic film, but unfortunately after hearing so much about it, im let down, the 80s was a decade for low budget horror and this film is more of a minor blip on the zom-film rader rather than a Cult classic as it is made out to be...

FILM: 5/10 (half marks as they gave it they're best shot)
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  1. Old Comment
    iluvdvds@Cult Labs's Avatar
    Great review Pedro! This film really did have plenty of very original ideas - which is always good to see in the crowded zombie genre. It needs a dvd release! Eeee!
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 19th August 2010 at 06:42 PM by iluvdvds@Cult Labs iluvdvds@Cult Labs is offline
  2. Old Comment
    pedromonkey's Avatar
    If it ever does get a release i'll still get it because A) it's a zombie film and B) it was still quite entertaining...
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 19th August 2010 at 07:01 PM by pedromonkey pedromonkey is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Stephen@Cult Labs's Avatar
    The acting is terrible but it all adds to the charm of the film, and you got to love the artwork. Hope we see it when Arrow release it. (yes, wishful thinking)
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 20th August 2010 at 02:47 PM by Stephen@Cult Labs Stephen@Cult Labs is offline
  4. Old Comment
    evilzombie20's Avatar
    There's a thread in the Arrow Suggestions forum for this flick...if anyone out there would like to see Arrow release it, they should head on over and ya on the poll for it. Just sayin'.
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 25th September 2010 at 08:50 AM by evilzombie20 evilzombie20 is offline
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