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Bad Cinema: The Video Dead (free)

  • Central Library 201 West Mifflin Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Later this season, UW Cinematheque will pay tribute to the late George A. Romero with screenings of his zombie classic Night Of The Living Dead (Nov. 18) and his 1973 film The Crazies (Dec. 2)—but first, a reminder that the enduring zombie fascination Romero ushered in has also led plenty of filmmakers astray. In Robert Scott's 1987 straight-to-video release The Video Dead, the zombies live inside a TV that can turn itself on (even when unplugged!) and that haplessly gets shipped to a suburban neighborhood. The TV also only shows a movie called Zombie Blood Nightmare (no doubt intended as some kind of homage), and the zombies will emerge from the screen and into the real world unless a mirror is placed against the screen. Also, two of the protagonists are a pair of teenage siblings who move into their new house in the neighborhood alone, while their parents are away in Saudi Arabia. To be fair, The Video Dead makes some honest stabs at dark humor and gory effects, and isn't as much of a blazing shitshow as some entries in the Madison Public Library's Bad Cinema series. That said, it's definitely clunky in execution, and unless you just have to catch anything and everything with zombies and/or a heap of gore in it, you likely won't find much satisfaction here. —Scott Gordon

Earlier Event: October 18
Cousin Stizz, Big Leano, Swoosh
Later Event: October 20
My Favorite Murder (also Oct. 21)