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Zombie Film Review:

The Dead Next Door

Year: 1989

Director: J.R. Bookwalter

Tagline: How do you kill something that won't die?

Review: A unique film, which although I do have a week spot for genre pieces, seems to aim a little too high for the budget constraints… The film looks at a ‘Crack' Zombie hunting unit, helping scientists to find a cure for the infection that is wide spread, but is continuing to increase in severity. Despite its low budget, some aspects are pretty amazing, like the crowd scenes and some of the SFX… but very bad lighting in some scenes make them almost unwatchable… Something that a low budget production should have taken into account.

Zombie Quality: **

Varies greatly throughout the film, sometimes there are great looking prosthetics, other times there are simply splashes of red paint, very badly applied and the poor make up jobs do drag down the good.

Zombie Behaviour: ***

They eat flesh and a very thin plot device to allow a slight break away from the more traditional zombie, but a five minute choreography session with the zombie actors would have gone a long way to create a more uniform ‘zombie feeling.'

Zombie Threat: ***

It's a zombie world, but with the lurching and general ropey staggering of the zombies it would be a miracle if any of them could actually catch you, and even more unlikely that you would be scared of them.

Gore Content: ***

Just like the make up, the effects vary greatly in quality, BUT the film aims high, doesn't cut corners with the claret and there are some basic animatronics here too, so 3 stars for effort!

Overall Quality: ***

This is not a classic, with poor acting, lighting, obvious budget constraints, etc. This labour of love though is one for people who enjoy the genre and are not going to be disappointed by a B-movie… Good zombie entertainment, slightly frustrating though as with a little more thought this could have become an out and out classic!