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3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 3 June 2012
well this caught be by surprise.this is one of the best c zombie horrors ever.yes c not b.why?awful camera work/bad acting/bad make up effects/a budget of about £100.the main actor played by peter ferry is actually dubbed by evil deads bruce campbell.and thats not surprising when him and sam raimi put money in to the production of the film.but putting that all aside.first time writer and director j.r.bookwalter does a decent job with his weird camera angles and adding the names.raimi/king/romero/savini in to the screenplay is genius.its very watchable because its so bad.there are some very funny moments and the film is very gory even if the special make up effects are so bad.there are 2 versions of this film.the cryptkeeper version is uncut but suffers from poor pic/sound quality but does have some very good extras.the anchor bay version has better pic/sound quality and even though its uncut it has been edited in places probaly for pace and the end music score has been changed.i absolutely love this film my advice watch it and enjoy zombie film making at its worst.
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A blood drenched masterpiece to the low budget splatter gore genre. Crawling through the rotten entrails of George Romeros previous masterpieces, The Dead Next Door plays homeage to Savin's indesputable talent to melt your eyeballs away with a barrage of imaginative and stomach distubingly well executed gore. For all you splatter fans out there, this is one to own.
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on 15 January 2013
I truly wanted to love this movie in a big way. I knew Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell were involved. I knew that it was hailed as a cult classic. But I did not know that while overall a good time, the movie has long stretches of DULL. I guess director JR Bookwalter, who shows great talent actually, couldn't pace the movie too well, and when I say that I mean that the pacing was either to fast or way too dull. The best thing about the film though were the awesome gore effects, from melting zombies to decapitated heads eating a finger and lots of blood and guts. The effects were truly what elevated this film to a higher level of entertainment.

The plot was about a scientist who has developed the ultimate virus, one that reanimates the dead and drives them on an undying quest for human flesh. Zombie among humans, living in peace... I don't think so. But there is a cool scene of human protestors (those fighting for Zombie Rights) being attacked by the zombies. The government is forced to organize a crack team of soldiers called "The Zombie Squad" charged with seeking out a cure for the virus and eliminating all the undead. The team is sent out on a mission into Akron, Ohio, where the virus originated, in search of the lost notes of the doctor who created it. They also encounter a religious cult and their leader (some weirdo wearing sunglasses), who want to kill them.

In spite of its meager budget the film managed to be very interesting. There's a lot of cool little ideas thrown here and there that I had not seen on any other zombie flick. For example before Land of the Dead ever came up with their own little zombie killing squad, this movie had already thought it up. I loved the idea of that. I also loved the idea about a religious cult who think that zombies should be left alone since they were sent by God to destroy humanity and make them pay for their sins. And I had never seen zombies with restraints in their faces so they couldn't bite you! Cool ideas even though you have little money to make your movie.

I also liked the make up effects which were actually pretty cool. He is uncredited but director Sam Raimi secretly funded this movie pitching in with a little money...and its obvious that little bit of money went to the zombie effects. There's some cool looking rotting corpses in here and I gotta give the movie kudos for that.

On the downside the film looks like if it was lit with a flashlight. And I'm not exaggerating, sometimes actors are on the scene and they don't even show up because its so dark! The quality of the lighting was what really messed up this film. If only it had been well lit, it wouldn't feel so amateurish. As it is, you can tell that these were just a bunch of kids learning how to make a movie. Which isn't bad because as a result the film has a certain energy and imagination that other films lack, but on a technological level the movie suffered.

The writing like another reviewer mentioned was pretty weak as the dialogue just wasn't really that interesting and the characters were constantly making idiotic mistakes which led to their deaths. At first it was quite funny but then it quickly became irritating. How many times do we have to see a character lay his hands on a table near a rotting corpse before being bitten? uh!. Anyway, the actors were also dubbed during production with the main lead being voiced by Bruce Campbell and they all have names like Savini, Carpenter, Raimi ect. which shows that director J.R. Bookwalter was a hardcore horror fan, he was also 19 years when he first made this, which is quite impressive. So overall while not the cult classic that some horror fans have said it was, it still is a decent and fun low budget 80's zombie flick.
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2004
Great microbudget tribute to Romero's Dawn of the Dead. If you like Troma movies it's like one of those but without the sleaze. Plenty of splatter and gore of the type you'd expect in movies like this. But don't expect realistic effects or great acting.
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on 2 January 2004
I love Cheaply made horror and Zombie movies , but this film didnt make enough sence , i know its all obviously fictional but the lack of good idea's put into the way people are killed in the story are pore and not very well thought up , why would you laze against a table with a zombie semi-strapped to it (trust me they knew the zombie was there).
loads of blood, loads of gore . the look of the zombies and the gore factor made me give this movie the 3 stars not the story or the acting they where both pore at best .if you like cheap budget horror with loads of blood and gore this is a good one time movie .
shame because money or effort where not needed to make this better . just a little common sence during filming.
3 stars from me
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on 20 August 2014
This is THE worst film I have ever seen!!
Acting is crap-children in a school play act better than this!, the Zombies are clearly crap mechanical rubber props that move so slowly a Snail could sail past them! Typical B Grade Budget Film.
Even the picture is crap, and it's not full screen on your TV-think looking at a picture through a key hole-that's how much you'll see.
But don't worry, you're not missing anything!
I made the mistake of buying it, without bothering to read any reviews, what a mistake!
Glad I only paid £1.00 for it off a popular auction site-now I can't even get shot of it for 50p!!
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on 4 December 2001
A mad scientest produces a virus which turns humans into flesh-eating slaves. The Government fights back with its crack force, 'The Zombie Squad'. It's mission, to seek out and destroy the living dead.
This film has it all in abundance. Gushing blood, splattered brains, religious cults hell-bent on replacing humans with zombies...
Don't miss this one, it's a corker.
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The story's skin and bones, the acting is terrible, and the whole thing is shot with a Super-8mm camera but, bless young J.R. Bookwalter's dark little heart, there's blood and gore at every turn of this low-budget zombie film from 1989 (newly remastered in 2005). The Dead Next Door really was Bookwalter's brainchild, as he wrote, directed, and appeared in the film - all at the tender age of nineteen. Of course, this movie would never have been made without the help of Sam Raimi, who helped finance the project and, under the pseudonym "The Master Cylinder," produced it. The Raimi factor is rather obvious - e.g., you have characters named Raimi, Savini (after Tom Savini), and Carpenter (after John Carpenter); you have some characters watching Evil Dead on television at one point, and you have Bruce Campbell dubbing for a couple of characters.

This time around, the zombie menace originates in Akron, Ohio. A Dr. Bow (Lester Clark) was trying to bring dead tissue back to life or something, but he sort of goofed up, producing a virus that takes control of dead bodies and sends them out to collect further human flesh for the virus' consumption. A few years later, zombies are running amuck all over the country. The newly created Zombie Squad does its best to protect citizens from these cannibalistic undead killers (despite a group of vocal liberals who want to protect zombie rights, apparently believing they can reason with these undead brutes just by sitting down with them over a cup of tea), but the fact that the whole force seemingly consists of less than a dozen people is sort of a handicap. To make matters worse, their numbers are actually dwindling pretty fast, as several of the good guys aren't too good at paying attention (especially in terms of where they put their hands) whenever zombies pop up. Cutting to the chase, the Zombie Squad is sent out to Akron in search of Dr. Bow's original zombie formula, as the surly Dr. Moulsson (Bodan Pecic) believes he can use that information to come up with an antidote to the zombie virus. While there, the squad runs into a religious cult, led by Reverend Jones (Robert Kokai), intent on using zombies for their own nefarious purposes. That really complicates things for Raimi (Pete Ferry) and his Zombie Squad mates.

The story is enough to hold the movie together, but it hangs several seemingly important sub-plots out to dry. The acting is just bad all the way around. This film, as the viewer quickly discovers, is truly all about the blood and gore. I was a little concerned early on because there was obviously someone just off-camera throwing "blood" against the wall whenever zombies attacked, but the special effects improve significantly from that point on. The best moments come in the form of multiple feeding scenes, wherein we get to watch zombies tear into victims' bodies and just stuff themselves with blood and guts. I really give the special effects guys a lot of credit (especially since all of those working on the film were essentially volunteers) - not only are the effects well above average for a low-budget film, they include some unnecessary but highly appreciated extra touches - e.g., when a decapitated head manages to bite someone's finger off, we get a shot of the finger oozing out of the head's neck. It's this kind of dedication that allows a low-budget horror film like this, with its weak plot and terrible acting by one and all to find a nice little niche in the hearts and minds of gorehounds like me.
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The story's skin and bones, the acting is terrible, and the whole thing is shot with a Super-8mm camera but, bless young J.R. Bookwalter's dark little heart, there's blood and gore at every turn of this low-budget zombie film from 1989 (newly remastered in 2005). The Dead Next Door really was Bookwalter's brainchild, as he wrote, directed, and appeared in the film - all at the tender age of nineteen. Of course, this movie would never have been made without the help of Sam Raimi, who helped finance the project and, under the pseudonym "The Master Cylinder," produced it. The Raimi factor is rather obvious - e.g., you have characters named Raimi, Savini (after Tom Savini), and Carpenter (after John Carpenter); you have some characters watching Evil Dead on television at one point, and you have Bruce Campbell dubbing for a couple of characters.

This time around, the zombie menace originates in Akron, Ohio. A Dr. Bow (Lester Clark) was trying to bring dead tissue back to life or something, but he sort of goofed up, producing a virus that takes control of dead bodies and sends them out to collect further human flesh for the virus' consumption. A few years later, zombies are running amuck all over the country. The newly created Zombie Squad does its best to protect citizens from these cannibalistic undead killers (despite a group of vocal liberals who want to protect zombie rights, apparently believing they can reason with these undead brutes just by sitting down with them over a cup of tea), but the fact that the whole force seemingly consists of less than a dozen people is sort of a handicap. To make matters worse, their numbers are actually dwindling pretty fast, as several of the good guys aren't too good at paying attention (especially in terms of where they put their hands) whenever zombies pop up. Cutting to the chase, the Zombie Squad is sent out to Akron in search of Dr. Bow's original zombie formula, as the surly Dr. Moulsson (Bodan Pecic) believes he can use that information to come up with an antidote to the zombie virus. While there, the squad runs into a religious cult, led by Reverend Jones (Robert Kokai), intent on using zombies for their own nefarious purposes. That really complicates things for Raimi (Pete Ferry) and his Zombie Squad mates.

The story is enough to hold the movie together, but it hangs several seemingly important sub-plots out to dry. The acting is just bad all the way around. This film, as the viewer quickly discovers, is truly all about the blood and gore. I was a little concerned early on because there was obviously someone just off-camera throwing "blood" against the wall whenever zombies attacked, but the special effects improve significantly from that point on. The best moments come in the form of multiple feeding scenes, wherein we get to watch zombies tear into victims' bodies and just stuff themselves with blood and guts. I really give the special effects guys a lot of credit (especially since all of those working on the film were essentially volunteers) - not only are the effects well above average for a low-budget film, they include some unnecessary but highly appreciated extra touches - e.g., when a decapitated head manages to bite someone's finger off, we get a shot of the finger oozing out of the head's neck. It's this kind of dedication that allows a low-budget horror film like this, with its weak plot and terrible acting by one and all to find a nice little niche in the hearts and minds of gorehounds like me.
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on 19 March 2009
If your looking for a zombie film with ingenious plot twists, terrific performances and intellectual debate look elsewhere. If however, you are looking for a no brain bloodbath with terrible acting, buckets of blood, the stupidest special forces since 'Zombie Creeping Flesh' and many a laugh, some intentional some not, then this is the film for you.
I think its important to remember that this was made on a shoestring budget, and was made as a homage to other horror films. Half the cast are named after directors in the genre. Its not going to change the world, but this film does deliver a very entertaining hour and a bit. 4 out of 5
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