Tall, Dark, and Dead – 95 – The Video Dead
Title: The Video Dead
Director: Robert Scott
Leads: Michael St. Michaels, Thaddeus Golas, Douglas Bell
Favorite quote: “The reason for the mirrors is simple. The dead can’t stand to look at themselves. Same goes for when a living person comes up ag’in’ one of ‘em – when the living person shows fear, it all comes home ag’in…that they’re different. All they wanna do is kill the only thing they can never be.”
Thoughts: In my notes I wrote, “ZOMBIE BRIDE FINDS WIG = THIS MOVIE IS ME.”
It was three in the morning, and I was jittery from all the coffee I’d been drinking to keep myself awake for an all-night zombie binge, but even now, I think the sentiment holds true. The Video Dead is a lesser-known, direct-to-video 80s gem – one of those obscure zombie films that reached out and made me love it. In fact, I think it actually redeemed the entire decade.
I mean, how could it not? The movie opens with a reclusive writer who sleeps in ’til noon, blindly signs for packages he doesn’t remember ordering, lives off of pizza, and watches Zombie Blood Nightmare…my God. What have I become. Anyway, it goes on to feature personality-rich (albeit evil) character zombies who quite literally smash down the fourth wall – emerging from a possessed television set to torment a peaceful neighborhood. Yaaaay! I love metaphors for the anxiety that attended video’s move into the home and the increasing violence of the television and movies being consumed by the young! And the kid arguing that he wants to use the chainsaw because Texas Chainsaw Massacre is his favorite movie – people! I can only take so much awesomeness per movie! I am only human!
And I truly adored the zombies (of course). They were imbued with a sort of charming, malicious glee – though there were several moments where they evinced true emotion (the bride finding a wig, the immediate turn to domestic activities upon invading a home). The final scene, involving a girl doing her best to convince the zombies that she is not afraid of them, during which they treat her fairly and politely – dang. Too bad it all fell apart in the end.
There were a number of similarities to Dead Alive – the dinner scene, the independent body parts, etc. There were also many unique, complicated rules concerning the disposal of the dead, which veered a little into the realm of the ridiculous – but I found it hard to care much about them. Not when the movie had already given me so much.