SLASHER MONTH: The Video Dead (1987)

Yeah, I know it’s not a slasher. But it has enough references to them that I’ve decided to bend the rules a bit. It starts with a TV set — mistakenly not sent to the Institute for Paranormal Research — that ends up in a writer’s house. Even when not plugged in, it only plays Zombie Blood Nightmare, a movie that comes to life and kills everyone that watches it. Like that writer. And like pretty much everyone else in this movie.

Despite a kid telling someone that he’s seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre hundreds of times — hence me including this movie in this month of slashers — it won’t save his life. In fact, the only way to fight the zombies is to not fight them, but making them docile instead. What a weird stance for a movie to have.

Writer/director Robert Scott also was the second unit director on Dracula: Dead and Loving It, as well as plenty of TV like House and Heroes. He was set to make a sequel to this. but refused to do it for the same budget as this movie.

Each of the zombies had their own backstories that were only known to the actors playing the roles. Jimmy D. was a star athlete who drowned, yet he misses all the action he got from the ladies. Jack died in a car crash. Ironhead was a serial strangler. And The Bride was murdered on her wedding day. She’s played by Jennifer Miro, who was a member of the punk/new wave/goth band The Nuns. She’s also in the David A. Prior movie Jungle Assault, the No Wave film Red Italy and the Stephen Sayadian/Jerry Stahl (you may know Sayadian better as 80’s adult director Rinse Dream, who made stuff like Party Doll A Go-Go!, Cafe Flesh and Nightdreams, all films that if they didn’t have penetration would be legitimate movies; Stahl has written for ALF, Thirtysomething and Moonlighting as well as the more scummy episodes of CSI; he also wrote Cafe Flesh and Nightdreams) movie Dr. Caligari, a movie that looks like a porn but is really an art film starring Debra De Liso (Slumber Party Massacre), Madeleine Reynal (Jennera  from Space Mutiny), Fox Harris (Forbidden World) and Randall William Cook (the effects artist who was also the villain in I, Madman). It does have its roots in adult, as the Mrs. Van Houten character was originally played by Dorothy LeMay in Nightdreams.

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