The Dead Next Door (1989)

Written, produced and directed by J. R. Bookwalter, The Dead Next Door has some famous folks helping out, as Sam Raimi served as executive producer — The Master Cylinder — and Bruce Campbell dubbed the voices of Raimi and Commander Carpenter.

This took four years and about $125,000 to make. It’s not technically SOV, as it was shot on Super 8.

Against the wishes of some still alive humans, the government creates Zombie Squad 205, an anti-walking dead special task force after the undead start to take over the world. Raimi, Mercer, Kuller and crew head to Ohio –Bookwalter’s home — and battle a cult that wants to keep zombies alive because God told them to. That is, if they can get the team to stop watching Evil Dead and in action.

This movie came out as there were few zombie films and had so much hype. It’s a low budget but high talent love letter to Romero’s films, feeling very much a continuation of Day of the Dead. I’m not sure if fans wanted so much humor, but that’s what they got. It feels like a video game and I mean that in all the very best of ways.

It’s short, sweet and drowning in sheer gore, too.

You can watch this on Tubi or buy it from Makeflix.

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