The Video Dead
|The Video Dead|
|Directed by||Robert Scott|
|Produced by||Robert Scott|
|Written by||Robert Scott|
|Starring||Michael St. Michaels
Thaddeus A. Golas
|Music by||Leonard Marcel|
|Editing by||Bob Sarles|
|Distributed by||MGM Home Entertainment|
|Release dates||November 1987|
|Running time||90 min|
A writer finds that a television has been delivered to his house without him ever ordering one. Accepting the television anyway, the writer discovers that the only program the television is capable of picking up is a seemingly endless, plotless, black and white zombie movie titled "Zombie Blood Nightmare". Despite unplugging the television set, it nonetheless reactivates and begins spawning the zombies from the movie, who attack and kill the writer. The next day, the delivery men arrive to claim the set, realizing that it was meant to go to the Institute for Paranormal Research; they find only the body of the writer, bound in his front hallway and dressed in party clothes.
Three months later, teenagers Zoe and Jeff arrive at the house ahead of their parents, who are moving back to the United States after years abroad. Jeff quickly befriends dog walker April and accompanies her home, where the dog she is watching escapes into the woods behind their neighborhood. It stumbles upon the zombies that had initially escaped the set, and which have been living in the wilderness ever since. The zombies kill the dog, leaving it for Jeff and Zoe to find; the zombies then begin following the pair back to the neighborhood.
That afternoon, a man named Joshua Daniels comes to their front door looking for the television set, claiming that he bought it at a yard sale and mailed it to the Paranormal Institute after it killed his wife. Jeff turns him away, but later that night discovers the television set, which has mysteriously migrated to the attic. A bizarre woman briefly appears on the set, beckoning to Jeff, before a man appears and kills her, revealing her to be a zombie. The man tells Jeff that he is "The Garbage Man," and that the only way to prevent more zombies from coming from the set is to tape a mirror to it.
The next day the zombies arrive in the neighborhood, killing April's father, his maid, and their next-door neighbors before laying siege to Zoe and Jeff's house. Jeff, Zoe, and April hole themselves up along with Joshua, who has returned in another attempt to reclaim the television set. Joshua explains the psychology of the zombies: Realizing that they are in a liminal state between life and death, the zombies kill humans out of envy. They are repulsed by mirrors because it reminds them of their own hideousness, and attack when they sense fear. The zombies can be incapacitated by being severely wounded and buried, thus "convincing" them that they are dead; they can only be destroyed by trapping them in an enclosed space, which will cause the zombies to go into a psychotic state and cannibalize one another.
Despite fortifying the house, a zombie manages to break in and kill April. Zoe and Jeff lock the zombie out of the house after it leaves carrying April's body and then wait out the rest of the night. The next morning, Joshua and Jeff head into the woods to hunt down the zombies. Laying traps around an abandoned children's clubhouse, Joshua sets up a sniper position inside and then hoists Jeff up on a swing to use as bait. The zombies converge on the clubhouse and Joshua picks them off one-by-one with a bow and arrow. One of the zombies escapes the massacre, and Jeff and Joshua head off in pursuit; Joshua is killed, and a fleeing Jeff catches his ankle in a bear trap Joshua set up for the zombies. The zombies, realizing that they are not really dead, animate and converge on Jeff, killing him. They then make their way back to kill Zoe.
Remembering that the zombies only attack when they sense fear, Zoe opens her door to them and invites them in. The zombies enter a docile state and allow Zoe to serve them food before they set off exploring the house, noticing that the zombies are fascinated by pictures of dancing couples in a magazine, Zoe lures them to the basement with the promise of teaching them to dance and then locks them in. The zombies go berserk and eat one another; once they are dead, their remains are sucked back into the television, where "Zombie Blood Nightmare" finally comes to a conclusion with a "THE END" title card.
Sometime later, Zoe's parents come to visit her in the insane asylum where she has been institutionalized, having entered a catatonic state. They reassure her that she will be well cared for, and further tell her that they've brought her a surprise: "Her" TV from home. An orderly brings in the TV set and turns it on, causing "Zombie Blood Nightmare" to restart. A terrified Zoe watches as a zombie turns towards the screen and begins advancing on her, prompting a scream.
- Michael St. Michaels (Henry Jordan)
- Thaddeus Golas (Deliveryman #1)
- Douglas Bell (Deliveryman #2)
- Al Millan (Taxi Driver/Undead Ironhead)
- Roxanna Augesen (Zoe Blair)
- Lory Ringuette (Mover #1/Undead Half Creeper)
- George Kernan (Mover #2)
- Rocky Duvall (Jeff Blair)
- Sam David McClelland (Joshua Daniels)
- Jennifer Miro (The Woman)
- Vickie Bastel (April Ellison)
- Libby Russler (Maria)
- Garrett Dressler (Mr. Ellison)
- Melissa Martin (B-Movie Housewife)
- Cliff Watts (The Garbageman)
In popular culture
- The hardcore punk band, The Video Dead, took their name from this movie.
- The hardcore/noise punk band Saul Turteltaub has a song called "The Video Dead" off of their split CD with Agathocles, Night Train To Terror (2007).
- Episode 6 of "Doc Mock's Movie Mausoleum" reviews this movie.