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The Video Dead Cover Art
In this eighties film, two teenagers named Zoe and Jeff arrive at their family's new house ahead of their parents, who are currently out of the United States and are on their way back. Upon their arrival, they are met by a strange man by the name of Joshua Daniels. The man tells the teens that he is looking for a television set that was delivered to this house by mistake. Unsure about the man, the teens quickly send him on his way.
Unknown to the siblings, the television was purchased by Mr. Daniels at a yard sale, and it ends up killing his wife. He decides to send the television set to a paranormal research institute, but it ends up in the hands of the previous owner of the house, killing him as well.
Later, Jeff is summoned upstairs to the attic where he finds the television set and watches it. A beautiful woman appears on the screen and seduces Jeff before being killed by a man. The television can power itself without being plugged in and endlessly plays a black and white movie titled Zombie Blood Nightmare. Eventually, the zombies from the movie step out of the screen and into the real world.
The zombies begin coming after the people in the neighborhood, even kidnapping a girl and killing her family. Jeff and Zoe must team up with Mr. Daniels in hopes of finding and saving the girl and sending the zombies back to where they belong.
The film had a direct-to-video release with the VHS coming out in November of 1987 and is directed by Robert Scott. The film also stars Rocky Duvall, Roxanna Augesen, Michael St. Michaels, and Jennifer Miro who is best known for being the lead singer of the punk band, The Nuns.
The Video Dead brings a different and unique take on the zombie genre as the zombies here can't seem to accept the fact, they are dead. They can't even look at themselves in the mirror out of fear of seeing their rotting faces. It's never explained why the television set does what it does. It's left up to the audience to come up with their ideas. The makeup on the zombies deserves high praise as they are quite terrifying. The zombies in this film are even given names (Jack, The Bride, Ironhead, Jimmy D. and Half-Creeper), and each one has their own back story. Unfortunately, they are not explored in the movie, but this is what they came up with:
The Bride is murdered on her wedding day; Jack D is a former athlete from the 1950s who died from drowning; Jack died in a fiery car crash where he lost arm and burnt half his face and Ironhead is a former serial killer who strangled his victims for sexual pleasure.
On the downside, the acting comes off as dull and wooden Then again, if you come to a movie called The Video Dead and expect an Oscar-worthy performance, then I don't think this is the movie for you. The film has its fair share of funny moments, especially the ending with Zoe and the zombies, and what's a horror movie without some killings? one scene involves a gruesome chainsaw death and another involving a washing machine. As gory as it is, the blood looks more like red water with rats in it. Also, viewers must be warned that there is an animal death. Though it's not gruesome (the dog dies of a heart attack after seeing a zombie) it still may leave some viewers upset.
Fans of zombie and eighties horror films are sure to get a kick out of this one. Don't take it too seriously. It's cheesy, it's silly, and downright ridiculous. It does make for a fun Friday night film. So, grab a pizza and some soda and have a few laughs as you watch The Video Dead.