In THE VIDEO DEAD everything is dead. The story starts off promising then dies about ten minutes in without any hope of resuscitation. The acting was horribly eccentric and forced like bad community actors in a play written and directed by a five year old. I can't believe all these people were that bad as actors. They all had to have gone to Bad Acting Classes or something. Nobody can be that bad and not that many people all at once. It was more than a handsome old man such as myself could handle. I don't think the actors were intentionally trying to kill me with their poor acting skills but the director may have with all his awkward close ups capturing every forced unbelievable expression on their generic faces.
All the characters are about as interesting as a box of Post-It notes. In fact by the end of the movie you will hate them and rejoice in their demise knowing that with every death the movie slugs along closer and closer to its sure to be unimpressive finale. I was always curious about this film back in the day when I was a kid. It was one of those VHS covers that always caught my eye but never did I rent it. Too scary. Finally after twenty years I watched the damnable thing. It sucked. In fact THE VIDEO DEAD sucked so bad I'm pretty sure it took years off my life. Well it was nice knowing you folks.
THE VIDEO DEAD is not one of the worst movies ever made. There are worse. I think the reason why I am so mad at this film is because there is an extremely creative concept that stands as the foundation of this movie. But that is the only good thing. Everything built on top of that foundation is pure crapola. That is one big house made of poop. At the beginning of the movie this spooky old crate is accidentally delivered to the wrong house. The guy inside reluctantly accepts the crate, opens it and discovers a television set inside. He turns it on and can only get one channel that is playing an old black and white zombie movie. So he turns it off and goes to bed. But the t.v. doesn't stay off and the zombies in the movie emerge from the t.v. and kill the guy. So far so good. Three months pass and a new family moves into the house. Only the family's two college age kids are there while the parents are out of the country for awhile. Once I saw that these two bad actors were going to be the main characters I immediately felt the interest that I had for so many years instantly dissolve within my being. By the way I assume that the zombies were just standing around in a nearby forrest for three months instead of going around killing people until it was convient for the story. At least that is what the movie implies.
The concept of zombies rising out of a cursed t.v. is so cool. Its the kind of thing you would see in a 80's Butt-Rock band's video back in the Mtv days when the 'M' stood for 'music' and not 'commercials'. The concept does give the film one iconic shot of a pretty darn cool looking zombie poking it's head out from the fog spewing t.v. screen. It is a good shot and sadly the only real time the haunted t.v. is really used. The rest of the movie is pure blah with nothing making any sense. The boy is seduced by a "beautiful" woman who comes out of the t.v. and then goes back inside. Then this old guy shows up behind her and cuts her head off. The boy actually asks why he did that. The guy shows that she was just a zombie and introduces himself as the 'garbage man'. Then after explaining that some zombies have escaped he goes away and does nothing to help. He never shows up again. He had no point in this film whatsoever. In fact another old guy shows up from Texas and he explains how you kill the zombies. How he knows is anybody's guess.
There are only two ways you can kill a zombie in THE VIDEO DEAD. Because they think they are alive you can stab them and they will think they are dead and just lay there until they rot. You can't bury them because apparently that will only make them powerful again. Makes sense.....? The other way is to trap them in a confined space where they can't escape and they will go crazy and eat each other to death. So yeah, this movie is full of dumb ideas. They are not only dumb though they are annoying making the film unbearable to watch. These rules prolong the finale where after the boy and old guy are killed leaving the older sister alone she has to treat the zombies like they are alive feeding them and showing them around the house until finally she is able to trap them in the basement. It was an irritating climax to the film and even after all that they still don't die.
At first I thought the zombies looked kind of cool. They certainly had a lot of detail to them. But as the movie dragged on and on with no merciful ending insight I became bored with them. The movie has no problem showing them in broad daylight with many many close-ups to show how bad some of their make-up really was. The illusion was easily shattered. By the end of the film I was more annoyed by them than the horrible living characters of Blandville. But the zombies just would not die. The movie just kept going on and on and on.
THE VIDEO DEAD is full of bad ideas that run in all different directions trying to draw the viewer into the story. There are a few other concepts of dealing with the dead that I didn't even bother talking about because really they didn't help unless needed to for the sake of the story. There is something about mirrors warding them off but they can just break them using sticks unless they are in a basement filled with all sorts of objects that could break a mirror. Again nothing makes sense and nothing draws you into the film. Watch it if you hate yourself but don't be surprised if you feel your life force being sucked from your body through your eyeballs. It is a natural reaction to THE VIDEO DEAD. There really should be a warning label on the cover to warn of such things but I think that would have made me want to watch the movie more. I am stupid that way. Recommend it to someone you hate, folks.