Director – J.R. Bookwalter (Zombie Cop, Robot Ninja)
Starring – Pete Ferry (Money for Nothing, Take Shelter), Bogdan Pecic (Chickboxer, Maximum Impact), and Michael Grossi
Release Date – 1989
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4.5/5
When I was in high school the horror addiction was in full effect. I was already upset with the works of Romero and Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy. These movies are still among my favorites to this day. High school was a strange time for me just like with most people. I found myself looking for fun and obscure 80s horror flicks and a few friends of mine were as well. One night while searching the outer reaches of Ebay we came across a VHS lot consisting of Midnight Skater, The Dead Next Door, and Skinned Alive.
My friends didn’t really care for these three films but I absolutely loved them. All three were far from perfect but god damn if they wasn’t awesome. Not long ago Tempe Video and director JR Bookwalter released The Dead Next Door on blu. I reached out to MVD and they were kind enough to send over a review copy. Thanks guys.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a group of government agents who are part of the Zombie Squad. This team is sent out to rid areas of the undead and bring back specimens so the scientists can work to find a cure. They hear of a doctor that is now deceased that was close to finding a cure. When they travel to his lab they encounter more undead than they expected, as well as, a religious group that believe the zombies are part of God’s plan. It’s race against the clock to find a cure before one of their own turns.**Spoiler Alert**
I like fun movies. I don’t care if they have the best gore and an amazing cast. What I like is when a director takes what he has to work with and makes something fun. A movie can have a cast with no experience and no budget but still offer up some entertainment. The Dead Next Door is far from perfect but its impossible not to love it.
The acting in this one is great. The cast doesn’t have an extensive cinema career but they still deliver great performances. Their characters are bold and fun to watch. They all have their own personality and stand out. No confusing who with who. I really like that especially when you consider the film’s budget and cast experience.
The story for this one is nothing new. A government agency working to find a cure during the zombie apocalypse has been done before especially by 1989 with Romero’s Day of the Dead already released to the masses in 1985. In fact, this film has several nods to Romero’s work scattered throughout. With that being said, it does toss in a fun religious angle that I loved. Religion scares the shit out of me so anytime organized religion is tossed into a film I get excited. The film does have a little issue with pacing but the blood and acting more than makes up for it.
Finally, the film has several gory deaths and amazing effects. We have some awesome puppetry tossed in with some amazing practical effects that really makes the film look bigger than the budget. Overall, The Dead Next Door is a must for any b-movie horror fan and a great substitute for new horror fans looking to fill that void that The Walking Dead can’t anymore. Check it out.
Classic Dubbed Mix
Restoration of the Dead Featurette
Capital Theater Screening Q&A
The Nightlight Screening Q&A
Behind the Scenes Footage
Around the World Gallery
Behind the Scenes Gallery
Tempe Digital Trailers
Richard Returns Interview
1999 Akron Location Tour
20 Years in 15 Minutes
Three Miles Out Music Video
2000 Frightvision Reunion
Temp DVD Trailers