Thursday, October 14, 2021

dead air.

With the laydees of the house away in Liverpool, myself and young Master Cass have been left to our own devices this week so thought it only fair that he get's to pick at least one of the 31 Days of Horror treats.


The Video Dead (1987).
Dir: Robert Scott.
Cast: Michael St. Michaels, Thaddeus A. Golas, Sam David McClelland, Al Millan, Roxanna Augesen, Lory-Michael Ringuette, Jennifer Miro, Rocky Duvall and Vickie Bastel.

"You don't understand he likes to go into the woods and try to mate with skunks only skunks don't like to mate with poodles so they spray him and then he really gets turned on!"

Gin soaked writer Henry Jordan (St. Michaels best known for his portrayal as the  Inter-Security Guard in the Mrs. Z episode of Diff'rent Strokes) awakes from his piss stained sleep one morn to find that a television set has been delivered to his house without him ever remembering ordering one.

But saying that, from the state of the arse on his trousers he doesn't remember when he last wiped his backside either.

Realizing that a free teevee means an almost daily dose of the quite frankly luscious Naga Munchetty on BBC Breakfast he readily accepts, only to discover that the sole programme the television picks up is a tedious black and white zombie movie excitedly entitled "Zombie Blood Nightmare".

 Which is nice, if a wee bit harder to wank over.

Naga: Just because.

Despite his best attempts to turn off the teevee (even going as far as to unplug it), the set keeps broadcasting, bring the undead ever closer to the screen till one day, in a bravado display of torchlight and fag smoke the Zombies manifest in the real world.


Would you believe it? Turns out that the dopey delivery men had delivered the set to the wrong address, it was meant to go to the Institute for Paranormal Research next door!

Not that it does Henry any good seeing as the pair find him tied up in the hallway of his house decked out in a party hat and rubber galoshes.

And  dead as disco.

"Laugh now!"

Jumping forward in time (but not space unfortunately) three months and the world's oldest (and squared chinned) teenager Zoe Blair (Augesen in her only screen role) arrives at the house.

It seems her parents have purchased it at a knock down price to celebrate their return from  the Middle East after some hush hush business affair and it's Zoe's job to get everything ship (or house) shaped before they turn up festooned with bizarre rugs, stuffed animals and deadly toy donkeys.

 Also there to help is her cool 'punker' brother Jeff (Duvall, one time Artistic Director at Dance Arts Conservatory) who, rather than tidy up and clean the toilet decides to chat up the local bequiffed rich bitch and professional dog walker April Ellison (stone wash queen Bastel, most famous for appearing on all fours in the fantastic coke n' kinky sex whore scene in The Bad Lieutenant, you know the one where Harvey stumbles about with his cock out), inviting her in for 'drinks' and a chance to admire his fluffily spiked, rodent like hair.

 Ah true love eh?

"One day, if I'm lucky, Harvey Keitel will pretend to cum on my arse." See girls, dreams CAN come true!

Unfortunately just as Jeff is about to show her his Adam Ant coloured vinyl collection (ask your parents) the dog (a feisty little thing named Chocolate, played here with stunning realism and charm by Bachelor in his only screen role) escapes into the woods behind the house where it unfortunately comes across a zombie that just happened to be wandering around.

For the last three months.

With no-one noticing.

Not too surprisingly the zombie kills the dog, leaving not only April in trouble with the owners but with Jeff the chance to show off his wacky sense of humour as he devises an oh so amusing reason to explain the dogs death.

Obviously eaten by zombies doesn't ring true in this part of America whereas choking on a teenage boys ball does.

Filthy pervert.

Daniels: Tiny hat.

Anyway back to the plot where that very afternoon, a chubby cowboy in a tiny hat by the name of Joshua Daniels (McClelland, nothing worth mentioning, sorry Sam) comes to the Blair's front door looking for the television set.

He claims that he bought it at a car boot  sale but mailed it to the Paranormal Institute after it killed his wife.

Sounds plausible.

Not to Jeff tho' who turns him away before heading into the cellar to look for the magical teevee for himself.

What a rascal.

Dragging it back up to his room and armed with tissues and 'the pot' Jeff turns the teevee on (saucy) and settles down to enjoy the zombie mayhem.

Just as it looks as tho' the plot might kick in the screen goes all wibbly wobbly and the zombies are replaced by the image of a stunning blonde bombshell in a shear black nightie (ex Nuns founder, the late, great Miro) beckoning seductively to Jeff and our troublesome teen, not believing his eyes gives a double take that'd do Les Dennis proud.

In a flash of light (bulbs) this vision of beauty is made flesh and before long is snogging the face off lucky Jeff.

Miro: she's got something to put in you.

But like most blondes she disappears just before the moment of climax leaving Jeff confused, angry and with a strange dampness glistening in the moonlight.

We've all been there.

Hiding his erection with a copy of Titbits whilst gazing at his new lady friend back on the screen our teen tearaway is shocked (kind of) when a sweaty tramp appears behind her and cuts her throat, revealing her true for of that of a hideous rotten zombie.

But with a smashing blouse mind.

The man introduces himself to a still reeling (and erect) Jeff as "The Garbage Man," and warns our hero that the only way to prevent more zombies from entering our world (and probably our pets) is to tape a mirror to the teevee screen.

I'll buy that.

Titbits....articles and the like.

This is all well and good but for those of you who've been following the plot you may remember that a few of the zombies (the ones they could afford make-up for) are already shambling about in the woods.

And have chosen the very next day to attack.


"I've got something to put in you too!"

Morning comes (unlike Jeff who just lay awake halfheartedly fiddling and adjusting his boxers as he wondered if his sister would notice the stain when she came to wash them) and the zombies arrive on the street, first making short work of April's dad and his manly maid before moving on to their next-door neighbours and finally laying siege to Zoe and Jeff's house.

Obviously they're making up for lost time.

Luckily our teen trio (April has come to stay due to the fact that her bedroom is covered in bits of her father) have help, for who should return but Cowboy Daniels, tool up, pissed up and ready to fight the good fight.


Ronnie Barker: The return.

Joshua, being the only semi-literate member of the cast explains to the others that the zombies, being in a flux state between life and death, kill humans out of jealousy and will only attack if they sense fear.

So far so good.

Mirrors, he adds, repulse them because it reminds them that they're actually dead (you think the smell would be a giveaway) and they can be destroyed by trapping them in an enclosed space, which causes them to go full on mentalist and eat each other.

It's almost as if the writer has taken the time to think this bit thru.

Which, frankly is a terrifying thought.

Determined to last out the night Jeff and Zoe begin to barricade the house, unfortunately they board up everything except the front door which allows a Serious Moonlight era Bowie zombie to sneak in and kidnap April.

 Our heroes decide to do nothing until morning, which is nice.

If you say run, I'll run with you
If you say hide, we'll hide
Because my love for you
Would break my heart in two
If you should fall
Into my arms
And tremble like a flower

The sun rises and Joshua and Jeff head into the woods to finally hunt down the zombies.

About fucking time.

Approaching an abandoned kids camp (complete with burnt bits of paper, some jazz mags and various bits of poor April spread around the place) Joshua has a quick scout around before deciding that it would make a perfect spot to ambush the undead.

Before busying himself setting up a sniper den Joshua has the fantastic plan of hoisting Jeff up on an old tree swing to use as bait for the zombies.

Jeff, none too surprisingly is not happy.

Davros: The wedding.

Anyway, back to the action where zombies are slowly converging on the camp as a trigger happy Joshua takes them down one-by-one with a toy bow and arrow.

Indeed this is the most action packed movie ever.

As is the way in such films, one of the zombies escapes the ensuing massacre, and Jeff and Joshua, high on bloodlust and paint fumes head off in hot pursuit only for Joshua to get munched on and a shot to fuck Jeff to get stuck in a handy bear trap.

Could it get any worse?

Well indeed it could seeing as the zombies suddenly realize that they are in fact undead (as opposed to um, dead-dead?) get back up on their feet and converge on Jeff, killing him to death.

Next stop; the house and a chance to feast out on Zoe's warm, smooth thighs.

It doesn't matter how hard you brush, you'll never get the taste of this shit script out of your mouth.

Zoe's no fool tho' and remembering that the zombies only attack when they sense fear, opens the front door and invites them in.

 Party time.

Not only that but she makes them snacks and drinks before inviting them into the basement for a dance.

She is good.

Just no idea who she's gonna smooch with to Spandau Ballet's True at the end of the night.

We'll never no the answer tho' as no sooner has the music started playing that our fearless floosie legs it up the stairs and locks them in.


As predicted the zombies go crazy ape mental and eat one another.

The End.

Or is it?

Timothy Spall: The pikey years.

Jump forward again and poor Zoe has been institutionalized (no doubt for crimes against denim) and after spending at least a fortnight dribbling over her shirt she's awoken in time for her parents (finally! they're here!) to visit and, lucky her, they've brought her a surprise.

Yup, it's the battered old teevee set from the house.

A friendly orderly pops it on the end of her bed and turns it on and after a flicker of static  "Zombie Blood Nightmare" begins.

A terrified Zoe, frozen with fear and dried spittle can only watch as the zombies turn to face her and begin to advance toward the screen.


A huge hit on it's home video release (thanks in part to it's fantastic EC style cover art and it's titles resemblance to The Evil Dead) Robert (Now a major teevee assistant director working on everything from House to Heroes) Scott's first excursion into cinema may be a heady brew of trashy gore, cut price Halloween masks, ne'er been actors, atrocious continuity and a script so badly constructed it's a wonder it didn't collapse the first time anyone breathed on it with the added bonus of the most annoying farty synth score since 1972 Doctor Who story The Sea Devils but surprisingly (and frighteningly) it works.

Sylvester McCoy prepares for an appearance in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary story....but first the chip shop!

With an estimated budget of only $80,000 (the majority of which must have gone on Vickie Bastel's hair), Scott throws caution (and and any sense of logic) to the wind filling the movie with enough humour (intentional and otherwise), home-made gunk, accidental pantie shots and admittedly bright ideas to shame most big budget horror epics.

Cult cinema at it's most enjoyable and the perfect companion piece to this.

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