The Dead Hate the Living! (2000)

Back in the magical days of the Kennywood Hollywood Video, a place that I dream of today, I’d always see this VHS box and it was kind of intimidating, which is a feat for a movie made in 2000. As a result, I never watched it until now.

Written and directed by Dave Parker, it starts with a scientist named Eibon — hello Lucio — recording a message to tell history that he has brought the dead back to life and now he plans on becoming one of them, which is poetic and all, but if you’re going to die just to come back to life, what are you living for? Doesn’t that sound like the lyrics from a Creed song?

Then a zombie solves this for him by breaking in and chowing down.

The movie shifts to a film crew breaking into the hospital — actually the leftover set from End of Days — where Eibon did his experiments and even using his corpse to make their horror movie, which seems like the kind of thing that would never happen, except you know, all the real skeletons in just about every movie ever.

By the end of this, Eibon has become a lord of the zombies and it turns out that they come from an entirely different dimension that two of the survivors end up in because, you know, that’s what would happen to Ash. Or Liza Merril and Dr. John McCabe.

If you’re not ready for the cavalcade of references — Fulci is name dropped more times than you can count on a severed hand — you may enjoy this. I mean, the bad guy even tells his zombie henchmen to “Make them die slowly.”

That said, this is a pretty decent film if not wholly original, but that’s just fine. I mean, every rollercoaster is based on another rollercoaster. Parker would go on to make The Hills Run RedThe Dead RebornIt Watches and the “Sweet Tooth” chapter in Tales of Halloween, as well as write, edit and even act in plenty more horror films.

On the Full Moon anthology The Dead Reborn, they repurposed this movie as “Zombie Apocalypse”  and it deserves way better than to be chopped down by 66% and made to fit into this sham.

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