Alien Dead

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The Alien Dead
DVD cover
Directed byFred Olen Ray
Produced by
  • Fred Olen Ray
  • Chuck Sumner[1]
Screenplay by
  • Martin Alan Nicholas
  • Fred Olan Ray[1]
Music by
  • Franklin Sledge
  • Chuck Sumner[1][2]
CinematographyFred Olan Ray[1]
Edited byMark Barrett[2]
Firebird Pictures Production[2]
Release date
  • 1985 (1985)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Alien Dead is a 1980 American horror film directed by Fred Olen Ray. Ray co-wrote the script with Martin Nicholas. The film involves a meteor hitting a houseboat which causes the people onboard to become zombies who eat alligators, and eventually people.

The film was one of the last films featuring actor Buster Crabbe among a cast of unknowns. It was filmed in 1980 and released to home video in 1985. Reviews from Variety, Kim Newman and other retrospective horror guides have been negative noting low budget and bad acting.


A meteor strikes a houseboat in the swamps near a southern town, which causes the people on the houseboat to become zombies. When the zombies run out of alligators to eat, they begin killing people in the town. A local scientist tries to figure out how to stop the zombies.


  • Buster Crabbe as Sheriff Kowalski
  • Raymond Roberts as Tom Corman (billed as Ray Roberts)
  • Linda Lewis as Shawn Michaels
  • George Kelsey as Emmet Michaels
  • Mike Bonavia as Miller Haze
  • Dennis Underwood as Deputy Campbell
  • John Leinier as Paisley
  • Rich Vogan as Krelboin
  • Martin Nicholas as Doc Ellerbee (as Martin Alan Nicholas)
  • Norman Riggins as Mr. Griffith
  • Nancy Kranz as Mrs. Griffith
  • Shelley Youngren as the Angry Wife


The Alien Dead was made in Florida in 1980.[3] Buster Crabbe was paid $2,000 for his role in the film.[3] One-third less than his salary for the 1945 Western Prairie Rustlers.[3]


The film went direct-to-video in 1985.[2][3] The film has been released on VHS by both Academy Home Entertainment and Genesis Home Video with an 87 minute running time[1]


Variety reviewed the VHS release of the film, declaring it "an amateurish monster film."[3]

Steven Puchalski describes the film a "third rate Night of the Living Dead" with laughable effects, though he calls it "eminently watchable for schlock fanatics".[4] In a negative review, David Johnson of DVD Verdict states that the gore is sparse and the story boring.[5] Kim Newman referred to the film as "cheap" and "unwatchable" and described it as part of a trend of "films made by rabid fans of Famous Monsters of Filmland" who "wind up choking on their own in-references and third-hand plots" and were stuck on "cutesy ideas like giving all the characters the names of Roger Corman 1950s repertory company".[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Stine 2001, p. 41.
  2. ^ a b c d Vermilye 2014, p. 190.
  3. ^ a b c d e Vermilye 2014, p. 191.
  4. ^ Puchalski, Steven (2002). Slimetime: A Guide to Sleazy, Mindless Movies (revised ed.). Headpress/Critical Vision. pp. 15–16. ISBN 9781900486217.
  5. ^ Johnson, David (2004-05-07). "Alien Dead". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2013-11-09.
  6. ^ Newman 2011, p. 246.


  • Newman, Kim (2011). Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s [Revised Edition]. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 1408817500.
  • Stine, Scott Aaron (2001). The Gorehound's Guide to Splatter Films of the 1960s and 1970s. McFarland. ISBN 078649140X.
  • Vermilye, Jerry (2014). Buster Crabbe: a Biofilmography. McFarland. ISBN 0786451807.

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