The Dead Next Door title

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

The Dead Next DoorThe zombies are on the march in Ohio, in B-movie director JR Bookwater’s cult 1988 film “Dead Next Door” and much to the dismay of the local authorities, it seems the re-animated corpses are not just extras from the local movie studio, as they go around tearing chunks out of people and spreading their infection.

To counter the growing zombie menace, the government despatches an elite specialist unit, known as “The Zombie Squad”, to find out what’s going on and try and pacify the area.

Tracing the zombie outbreak to the town of Akron, they discover a bizarre religious cult, lead by a crazed priest named Jones (Jim’s younger brother?), who are worshipping the undead as divine beings and a fierce battle quickly ensues.

Hugely funny and exceptionally gory (would zombies really want to rent “Dawn of the Dead” from the local video library?) , this film appears to have been inspired by the likes of “Return of the Living Dead”, and Peter Jackson’s “Bad Taste”, as well as borrowing elements from various George Romero films to potently good effect.

If you haven't seen this oft overlooked gem, I advise you do so immediately.

Overall marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "Where do you run when they're everywhere?", "Another Evil Dead".

  • The executive producer listed in the credits as "The Master Cylinder" was actually Evil Dead director Sam Raimi, who helped co-finance the film using the money he received from "Evil Dead 2".

  • The films budget was $75,000 and the director often boasts this as being "The most expensive film ever shot on super 8mm".

  • The priest "Jones" was based on the infamous religious cult leader, the  "Rev Jim Jones".

  • Scott Speigel, producer of Evil Dead 1 & 2, has a small role at the start of the film playing one of the Zombie Squad officers. He plays "Richards", the officer who gets his fingers bitten off by the headless zombie.

  • Several of the main characters were named after people associated with the horror genre. Raimi was named after director Sam Raimi, Savini after special effects guru Tom Savini and Carpenter after director John Carpenter.

  • Director JR Bookwater appears in the film as Jones' henchmen "Lloyds".

  • Tom Savini was originally going to have a small role in the film, but unfortunately he was busy working on "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" at the time and so had to pull out.

  • For the scenes in Washington DC with the zombies outside the White House gates, the crew didn't have permission to film, so they attempted to quickly steal a few scenes whilst no one was around. Unfortunately, no sooner had they finished they were pounced upon by the police and secret service agents and arrested. Fortunately, they allowed them to use the scenes they filmed.

  • The voice of lead character Raimi (Pete Ferry) was dubbed by Bruce Campbell. He also dubbed the voice of Carpenter (Jeff Welch).

  • The movie the Zombie Squad are watching in the rec room was "The Evil Dead".

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

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