The Video Dead is a US horror-comedy that was released in 1987 and was written and directed by Robert Scott
The movie was released straight to video, but it found some minor fame amongst some zombie enthusiasts, and compared to many other genre films from the same era, The Video Dead has stood up to the passing of time pretty well.
So what’s it all about?:
With Hulu, Netflix, and bootleg thumb drives of Pawn Stars Season One over at Goodwill (get ‘em while they’re hot!), who even owns a TV nowadays?
Losers, that’s who.
And good thing, too, considering all those cathode rays, laser beams, and Miss Cleo ads were slowly killing us all.
Never was the trash culture of television more poignantly critiqued than in 1987’s zombie bruhaha The Video Dead, where the zombies emerge from a cursed television set. And by “poignantly critiqued” I mean the zombies emerge from a cursed television set!……..That’s symbolism, y’all.
Small Screen Scream Queens:
Said haunted TV first arrives at the home of a writer who discovers it only plays a zombie movie within this zombie movie called Zombie Blood Nightmare.
Under normal circumstances, that’d be way cool, but not here, as it doesn’t take long for the zombies to emerge and string the writer up dead in his hallway before fleeing into the woods.
Up next for zombie tormenting are protagonists Zoe (Roxanna Augesen) and horror-nut Jeff (Rocky Duvall), who move into the deceased writer’s home at a special post-death low, low price! Jeff’s teenage horniness is his hamartia when a sexy blonde appears on the cursed TV screen and beckons him to “make love.” Fortunately, the scene cuts out before we see that, but when he moves the TV from the attic, the zombies are unleashed and free to terrorize the kids and neighborhood.
The Video Dead has some nice gory gimmicks, like when Jeff chainsaws a zombie down the middle and a few rats squeak out of it (shout to Bloody Disgusting). After all, Jeff confesses that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) is his favorite movie. There’s also some well-played zombie defense when a household iron goes straight to the zombie dome. But, The Video Dead is missing gloss in order to standup against the Hollywood productions of the day. Its straight-to-VHS release comes as no surprise with production born for the small screen.
I Want My ZTV:
Adding even more to the boob-tubery, The Video Dead was played along with other classics on USA’s Saturday Nightmares (What? You don’t remember USA’s Saturday Nightmares?), meaning a movie about the dead on TV played on a now-dead TV show devoted to dead things — that’s just delicious.
The Video Dead is the only writing credit for writer and director Robert Scott, whose most prominent industry work comes from assistant directing the television American dramas House M.D. and Heroes.
I’m a 90s child myself, but why is it that nearly all 80s films — even those about innard-craving zombies — seem to take place in a syrupy, fuzzed out utopia? For goodness sake, a song plays with lyrics that literally go “everyday is Saturday night” I have to imagine it has something to do with the first Nintendo coming out in 1985….and maybe the death of disco. Anyway, a 1980s Nightmare on Elm Street-esque harpsichord synth soundtrack rocks the house in The Video Dead, as does plenty of saccharine charm (the lightest of blue jeans and big curly hair). Maybe all that 80s TV wasn’t as bad for our brains as I thought.
Watch the official trailer for ‘The Video Dead’:
Watch The Video Dead below:
|Buy the film at Amazon.com|
|Buy the film at Amazon.co.uk|
Written by: Ben Mueller