The Video Dead

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Ever heard of a little piece of trash called “The Video Dead”? Probably not…It was a straight to video 1987 release written and directed by a Mr. Robert Scott. After dabbling in horror feature films with The Video Dead, Scott moved on to more horrific material working on such suckfests as Beverly Hills 90210 & Jag (okay, truth be told I have seen every single episode of 90210 and as far as Jag goes…I have never seen the show but I wouldn’t say no at the chance of spending some time with Catherine Bell). So I’ll give Scott a break.

Ok, so the film starts off with loser Henry Jordan (Michael St. Michaels-dig that name!) getting an unwanted delivery of a television (that looks like it is from 1977, not 1987) and within minutes of exclaiming “I don’t even watch TV!” he watches what looks like a secene out of Night of the Living dead on his new found TV and the set wont turn off! Eventually Henry goes to bed, and the zombies on his TV screen start busting out of the screen and infiltrate Henry’s home. The next day the bumbling delivery guys realize they made a mistake (as the TV was supposed to go to some group that was studying the occult-duh) so they go to retrieve the TV only to find Henry dead.

Three months later…The Blair family take possession of the house (21 Shady Lane-wink wink), and some dude comes by STILL looking for the lost TV. When the son; Jeff Blair (Rocky Duvall) finds the TV in the attic he’s fucking pumped (hey it’s a free TV!) so he invites his new hottie neightbor, April (Vickie Bastel) in for a glass of water (!!!)-then her dog runs out into the woods, runs into a zombie (as it appears the zombies have been hiding out in the woods) and the two go on a chase for her dog. April then goes on to tell Jeff about the shit that went down in the house they just moved into and Jeff shrugs it off cause April fine—yeah boy! Anyway later that night Jeff smokes some dope, hooks up with some girl who crawls out of his new TV, and some guy on the TV tells Jeff that he has to lock up the TV cause it’s all evil and shit. Jeff does just that and for no reason the zombies come out of the woods and start attacking the neighborhood…and at just about the same time the dude who was looking for the TV earlier comes by looking for the TV again and explains that it is possessed and coins the phrase: “The Video Dead” when he refers to the zombies that are coming out of the set. Sadly, April gets kidnapped, the dude has a plan how to get her back and wipe out all the zombies, and well…the rest of the movie plays out like a fucked up hillbilly version of the evil dead or a vigilante flick.

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Now let’s talk about specifics…the acting in this film is garbage and it’s no surprise that most of the stars only have one screen credit…this one. Well, maybe that is too harsh…but I just can’t tell if they are supposed to be as silly seeming as they are, or if they are just plain silly. Statements like “My dad is sleeping with the maid, see you later” and such, make me wonder if Robert Scott wrote these lines or just told these people to ad lib-if it is ad lib then kudos to them, but if this shit was actually written then Mr. Scott was lucky to be working with the ranks of Luke Perry and Jason Priestly years later. That said, I was surprised with everything else going on in this craziness…The zombies look pretty good, the soundtrack (while sometimes strangely out of place) is pretty tight, and there were times where I literally laughed out loud…I mean…there is a scene where a zombie kills someone by stuffing them into a washing machine…. it’s genius-kinda.

Sadly, it doesn’t look too good either…or maybe it just didn’t age well…maybe with a bigger budget this would have been a better film, but for a movie filmed in California in 1987 it literally looks like it is filmed in some backyard in Moose Jaw, Canada in 1979. Either way, it’s a fun ride with a somewhat original story, and worth tracking down a copy if you can find one, as it isn’t available on DVD, so your best bet is to find a used copy on VHS at a flea market or something…check it out…boy!

Charlie “Skunks don’t like to mate with poodles!” Brown

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~ by exploitnation on March 2, 2008.

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