RAIDERS OF THE LIVING DEAD (1986)
Article 5424 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Samuel M. Sherman
Featuring Scott Schwartz, Robert Deveau, Donna Asali
What it is: Dead is right.
A reporter encounters zombies while on a story. He teams up with a teenage boy who has built a laser gun from an old laser-disc player to defeat them.
Four things caught my attention while watching this movie. First, it was actually a bit nostalgic to watch a movie that opened with the old “Independent-International” logo; I didn’t know they were still around at this time. Second was seeing Sam Sherman’s name as the director. He’s mostly known as a producer; his only other directorial credits I’m aware of are a documentary on Chaplin and extra footage for CREATURE WITH THE BLUE HAND. I’m really surprised he didn’t come up with an alternate title for the movie with the word “blood” in it. Third was seeing Zita Johann’s name in the credits, returning to the silver screen after a fifty-year break; I can only imagine what lured her into this one. Finally, I was delighted to see the name of Robert Deveau in the credits; it’s his only screen credit before appearing in three Larry Blamire movies. For the record, he does the best that he can with the severely undernourished script he had to work with; in fact, the acting throughout the movie is acceptable. Unfortunately, that doesn’t save the movie from being what it is: a tedious, unfocused bore of a movie that just barely dredges up the effort to tie together the disjointed scenes during the first half. The zombies in this one seem to be old school zombies; at least, there are no scenes of them chowing down in the print I saw. And the movie should get an award for the worst title that uses the “—— of the Living Dead” format; despite the fact that the title seems designed to recall that of a certain Spielberg movie, you won’t be confusing the two. As a whole, the movie would have been better if Al Adamson had been alive and directed it, and that’s not a recommendation.