The Dead Next Door

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The Dead Next Door
DVD cover
Directed by J. R. Bookwalter
Produced by J. R. Bookwalter
Written by J. R. Bookwalter
Starring Pete Ferry
Bogdan Pecic
Michael Grossi
Music by J. R. Bookwalter
Cinematography Michael Tolochko Jr.
Edited by J. R. Bookwalter
Amsco Studios
Suburban Tempe Company
Release dates
Running time
84 min.
Country United States
Language English

The Dead Next Door is a 1989 zombie horror film written, produced and directed by J. R. Bookwalter.


The movie features an elite team of soldiers, the "Zombie Squad", who have been enlisted by the government to deal with a growing epidemic of zombies, while scientists work towards a cure for the virus that creates them. The squad must also fight against a religious cult which wishes to protect and enable the zombies, believing them to be a punishment ordained by God. Many of the characters are named after people who have made their marks in the horror and zombie movie fields, such as "Savini", "Romero", "Raimi" and "King".


Sam Raimi served as executive producer on the film under the pseudonym 'The Master Cylinder' using a portion of his payment from Evil Dead II.[1] Bruce Campbell dubbed the voices of two characters, Raimi and Cmr Carpenter. The movie was produced over nearly four years, in Akron, Ohio. Although unsure of the exact figure, in an interview director J. R. Bookwalter estimated that the film cost $125,000 to produce.[2]

The film was shot on Super-8, which is an amateur grade film generally only used for making home movies. Everyone involved worked on the film for a deferred salary.[2] The film is notable for highly graphic gore effects.

Critical reception[edit]

AllMovie wrote, "very stylish for what is essentially an epic-scale home movie [...], this remains Bookwalter's best effort", comparing the film's fast pace to that of a "live-action video game".[3]


The score for the film was composed by director J. R. Bookwalter. The soundtrack has been released on CD and in MP3 format by Tempesound.[4]


  1. ^ "The Dead Next Door (1989) - Trivia - IMDb". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Albright, Brian (2012). Regional Horror Films, 1958–1990: A State-by-State Guide with Interviews. McFarland. p. 42. ISBN 1476600422. 
  3. ^ Firsching, Robert. "The Dead Next Door (1989) - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Tempe DVD: DEAD NEXT DOOR, THE (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD)". Retrieved 10 August 2012. 

External links[edit]