Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Video Dead (1987)

I was absolutely convinced that there was a sequel of The Video Dead but apparently, although there were plans to do it, it never happened. Looks like we're gonna have to do with this one, which isn't a punishment either.

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. 

It shouldn't come as a surprise to you that The Video Dead isn't a 'good' movie. First of all the dubbing plainly sucks. Did they record it in an empty bathroom..? Furthermore the movie, when zombies aren't roaming around, tends to get a bit boring. 

That doesn't take away that it's still an entertaining one though. The 'The Ring'-like concept is fun and the scenes in/on the tv are actually creepy as fuck. The zombie make-up looks pretty brutal, although they look like burn victims more than anything. There's one 'zombie' in this movie who wears a wedding dress and who absolutely creeped the fuck out of me. What also needs to be noticed is the music score and the gore. Both are done pretty decently, although you shouldn't expect an all out gorefest. 

There's not a single moment in this movie that doesn't look cheesy and amateuristic. Hell, the forest scenes look like they were directed by Andreas Schnaas. Still you got to give it to director Robert Scott. He came up with some fun additional ideas. The zombies for example aren't normal zombies who are just looking to fill their stomachs, they're actually jealous of the 'living' and see themselves as disgusting creatures. That's why they kill the living, which I thought was a cool idea. That's exactly why I thought the last 20 minutes of the movie were the best, as that's the part where they play around with those ideas the most.

The Video Dead is not close to being a good movie. But that's not why this thing was made in the first place. It's made to entertain, which I think it did. There's a decent music score, some fun gore, cool make-up and some awesome ideas from director Robert Scott.

Fun Facts: (Source:IMDB)
Actor Jack Stellman would get so into his zombie role that he wouldn't talk to his other cast members, he would instead glare at them from across the room or grunt when they spoke to him. All of the zombies in the film had to audition for their roles by grunting/growling and performing their best zombie walk which were then incorporated into the finished film. Mr. Stellman came into his audition completely silent and in character, staring at the director with his "glare" and only delivering inaudible noises when asked questions. He was cast on the spot. 

While filming the infamous coming out of the television scene, actor Jack Stellman nearly fainted from breathing in the Co2 used to create the fog effect and had to be taken outside for air.  

After the film was finished, the distributor thought it wasn't gory enough for a zombie film and gave the production team additional funds to go back and shoot some gory bits that they could edit into the film. 

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