The Dead Next Door

Overview

The feature debut of ultra-low-budget horror auteur J.R. Bookwalter, this fast-paced zombie mini-epic is very likely the most expensive movie ever shot on Super-8 film. Playing with the long-established mythos of George A. Romero's Living Dead trilogy, The Dead Next Door was produced with the help of many of the Evil Dead crew: financial backer Sam Raimi is credited as "Master Cylinder" and one of the characters is named after him; Evil Dead co-writer Scott Spiegel plays a role; and some character voices are ...
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Overview

The feature debut of ultra-low-budget horror auteur J.R. Bookwalter, this fast-paced zombie mini-epic is very likely the most expensive movie ever shot on Super-8 film. Playing with the long-established mythos of George A. Romero's Living Dead trilogy, The Dead Next Door was produced with the help of many of the Evil Dead crew: financial backer Sam Raimi is credited as "Master Cylinder" and one of the characters is named after him; Evil Dead co-writer Scott Spiegel plays a role; and some character voices are dubbed by Bruce Campbell. The story centers on the members of the "Zombie Squad" -- an assault team trained in the hunting and extermination of the living dead -- and their mission to track down the scientists who developed a zombie-making virus and find the rumored antidote. Of the many lethal obstacles in their path, the deadliest comes in the form of a religious cult whose leader sees the zombie epidemic as a precursor of Armageddon -- and is hell-bent on expediting it. Very stylish for what is essentially an epic-scale home movie and gushing with plentiful home-style gore effects, this remains Bookwalter's best effort and contains numerous witty homages to the Romero films which inspired it.
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Special Features

Full-frame presentation (1.33:1); Audio commentary with writer/director J.R. Bookwalter, actor/co-producer Michael Todd and cinematographer Michael Tolochko, Jr.; Featurette: "20 Years in 15 Minutes"; Auditions; Behind-the-scenes still gallery; Behind-the-scenes footage; Deleted scenes; Music video; Production still gallery; Frightvision 2000 Reunion; Video storyboards; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
Gory and fast-paced, the popularity of The Dead Next Door among young viewers probably springs from its resemblance to a live-action video game rather than any intrinsically impressive qualities, other than the fact that it ever got finished in the first place. Shot over four years at a cost of over $120,000 (Sam Raimi originally put up $8,000), it was later redubbed by Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell. Despite its inflated reputation, the film is likely to strike all but the most rabid devotees of low-budget splatter as the reductio ad absurdum of what was already a thin plot line during the subgenre's major period of popularity in the 1970s: Zombies eat people, and the uneaten people shoot them. This Nintendo style of filmmaking has caused more than one wag to label it "chop 'em and pop 'em," but if mindless bloodletting is what the viewer seeks, this is admittedly one of the more skillful attempts. The collector's edition contains extra scenes and a half-hour documentary about the film's troubled production. Creator J.R. Bookwalter went on to make many genre films, including The Sandman and Polymorph.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/9/2005
  • UPC: 013131298796
  • Original Release: 1989
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:18:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Ferry
Jolie Jackunas
Robert Kokai
Bogdan Pecic
Scott Spiegel
Bruce Campbell
Technical Credits
J.R. Bookwalter Director, Score Composer, Producer, Screenwriter
Jon Killough Production Designer
Sam Raimi Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Zombie Invasion (Main Titles) [5:33]
2. The Dead Don't Die [8:14]
3. Explanations [10:32]
4. Lab Search [6:12]
5. Cult of the Undead [5:29]
6. Human Sacrifice [6:25]
7. Guinea Pig [5:05]
8. The Serum [5:03]
9. Sermon for the Living Dead [5:02]
10. Feeding Time [5:27]
11. Vengeance [7:39]
12. End Credits [7:33]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Chapter Selections
   Extras
      20 Years in 15 Minutes
      Commentary
      Trailer
      Behind-the-Scenes
      Deleted Scenes
      Video Storyboards
      Video Pre-Shoots
      Auditions
      Music Video
      Reunion
      Still Galleries
         Behind-the-Scenes
         Production Stills
      Also on DVD
         Day of the Dead
         The Evil Dead
         Evil Dead 2
         All Souls Day
   Audio Setup
      Dolby Digital 5.1
      Dolby Surround 2.0
      Commentary With Writer/Director J.R. Bookwalter, Actor Michael Todd and Cinematographer Michael Tolochko
   Play
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