The Video Dead
Written & Directed by Robert Scott
Jeff Blair...Rocky Duvall
Zoe Blair...Roxanna Augesen
Joshua Daniels...Sam David McClelland
Teenagers Jeff and Zoe Blair move into their new house early in the hopes of getting it ready before their expatriate parents arrive from Saudi Arabia. Almost immediately, strange things begin to happen as Jeff is told that a famous author had been murdered in their house only a short time ago. Then he is warned by a traveling cowboy named Joshua Daniels that a cursed TV had been delivered there by mistake. Jeff gives this "totally gnarly dude" the brush off...only to find the television in question stowed away in the attic.
Wasting no time, he carries it to his bedroom and plugs it in to watch some cheesy zombie movie, only to find out that his life is about to become a cheesy zombie movie. Before Samara was even a glimmer in her daddy's eye, these undead bastards were creeping and crawling their way out of television screens to wreak havoc on unsuspecting viewers.
Soon, the whole street is under a silent but deadly attack as the reeking returners turn Shady Lane into a buffet of flesh, and no one is off the menu.
It's your typical, run-of-the-mill direct-to-video zombie flick, albeit with a few interesting elements that keep things enjoyable. These zombies don't follow all the rules, as they chuckle like stoned college kids while chowing down, and have a pretty good working knowledge of power tools. At one point, one of the zombies actually wields a chainsaw! And they avoid mirrors, not because they don't cast reflections, but because they do. As we're told by the zombie-hunting cowpoke, the undead can't stand to look at themselves.
The problems are obvious: there's not much in the way of plot, and too much time is spent watching random strangers being assaulted by the undead. There is an awful lot unexplained: where did the TV come from? How did it pull zombies from the movie into the real world? Who the hell was the Garbage Man, and what was his purpose? How is it that Jeff could dispose of an entire zombie hand in his garbage disposal, but mine breaks if I try to do the same with potato peels? And, does it only work on zombies, or could the television theoretically deposit, say, Veronica Mars into a man's bedroom?
Inquiring minds want to know.
It's definitely corny and dreadfully dated, but that's part of the appeal. I had to laugh when Zoe said that she was attending college where she was majoring in aerobics and minoring in music video--too bad these days it's all P90X and daily marathons of Sixteen and Pregnant. She's probably looking for work, if anyone is casting a new horror flick...
"Skunks don't like to mate with poodles, so then they spray him, and then he really gets turned on!"