The Dead Next Door (1988)

While battling the growing zombie population, a government group known as the “Zombie Squad” tries to uncover a Doctors serum that will put an end to the zombie infestation once and for all. This so-called cure is supposed to kill the virus living inside the undead hosts, eradicating the zombies, and eliminating the problem. While working to discover the whereabouts of the cure, the squad members are confronted by a religious cult. The cult members are convinced that the zombies are “Gods Will” and, out of their high beliefs, will do anything necessary to protect the undead that they hold so sacred.

As the film begins, we hear a news report on the zombie infestation. As the reporter is closing his segment he announces that “The ‘Jefferson’s’ and ‘Sanford & Son’ will not be shown at their regularly schedules time, this evening.” This immediately made me aware that I was in for a completely “Severed-tongue-in-cheek” film experience.

The film does have its fair share of comedy, but it doesn’t drown the viewer in an over-abundance of it. I personally thought that it had just the right balance of comedy and horror. I’m not a huge fan of horror comedies, especially ones that overdose me with an over-abundance of comedy. But as this film progressed, I noticed that I didn’t exhibit the usual signs of annoyance and aggravation that I usually exhibit while watching a horror comedy. That’s not to say that I was ‘amazed’ by this film, oh no, it is bad. The acting ranges from atrocious to just slightly bad, and I think that was because I was just adapting to it throughout the film, lol. However, I did, oddly enough, find myself slightly entertained by this flick.

The zombie effects are, of course, old school special effects, with gallons of fake blood. The zombie makeup is much more than painted faces, their were actual prosthetics used, and they were, at times, quite impressive for a film with an obvious shoe-string budget.

Tributes to so many horror icons are embedded into the films character names. There are characters named after: Tom Savini, George Romero, Sam Raimi, John Carpenter, and Stephen King. Although, the characters the bare their names are complete fools, so I don’t know if it was meant as a homage or an elbow in the stomach.

I’ve read reviews where people ranked this film on an unbelievable level, and had I saw this as a kid, I may have done the same. However, my taste in film has matured, slightly, throughout the years, so the rating it gets today isn’t the five star rating I would’ve given it at the age of 8. I thought the film was entertaining, It didn’t bore me, but it’s still not a platinum-class film. It has some cheesy humor, and some decent special effects, but that’s about it.

In conclusion, this film isn’t gonna be for everyone, and I would recommend Romero’s work over this film, but if you feel like watching a cheesy 80’s zombie film, than you may enjoy it. Just eliminate all expectations, and prepare yourself for “Tongue-in-cheek” humor.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

PS: Don’t forget to check out the “Goretastic Goodies” section, I have added some new goodies for all.


  1. Wow, I can't believe I've never seen this before. Checking it out, ASAP.

    Good review!

  2. The FX are really impressive for the budget, but I always check out before the halfway point