Sunday, January 9

Revenge of the Dead (Zeder) (1983) - 1985 Lightning Video VHS

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This is a case of one of the nicest surprises when collecting videos. A title you weren't aware that was released by a well-known distributor later picked up by a cheapo fly-by-nighter that flooded the market with their edition. I had no idea Lightning Video first released Pupi Avati's Revenge of the Dead (Zeder) before "Creature Features" choked the marketplace with their unplayable EP-speed eyesore in the mid-'90s. The latter is easily found, just like CF's terrible-looking Gates of Hell, but this is the first time I've ever seen this particular release (which has seen better days). However, neither tape* is a desirable option for seeing Avati's undead slow burn, both are scorn of about ten minutes and falsely marketed as your usual Italian zombie flick. Aside from the out-of-print and uncut Image Entertainment DVD, the preferable uncut release is Fox Italy's anamorphic R2/PAL disc also under the Zeder title.

*EDIT: I'm hearing the Creature Features tape is edited, but this Lightning Video is said to be uncut.
The listed runtime is 100 minutes, which sounds complete, but I'll have to investigate further!

3 comments:

Kevin J. Olson said...

This is awesome, Jayson. I love these old video covers that try and pass a film like this off as something schlocky and wholly Italian. What I love about Pupi Avati's stuff is that it is simultaneously classic Italian in its look while being something different in its story. He was one of the best (especially THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS) at it. I need to see ZEDER again...it's been a really long time, but I do remember this cover art for it. Hilarious.

Curious, have you seen "555"? My brother and I watched it the other night. A classic example of awesomely bad horror stuff from the dawn of the straight-to-video era.

Eric Cotenas said...

The Lightning release was indeed the original US VHS release. The Creature Features transfer also turned up on a cheap DVD (I don't know if the Creature Features tape was cut - I used to have one - but the DVD version was certainly cut). The Fox DVD was one of the first R2 DVDs I bought (the Image release was from a 16mm print supplied by Avati's company - Image turned down their master of HOUSE OF THE LAUGHING WINDOWS until Fox Italy restored it - the Fox DVD comes from a Gaumont master). One thing I noticed about the Fox DVD is that the English and Italian tracks start immediately with the music. I seem to recall that the US tape releases start with the sound effect of typewriter keys before the music starts. Is that on the Lightning tape?

Jonny Metro said...

Awesome cover art on that one. I remember seeing that in Spotlight Video when I was a kid, but I don't think I ever convinced my mother to let me rent it...

--J/Metro

...do you dare tread upon the staircase?
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