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The Alien Dead

USA 1980
produced by
Fred Olen Ray, Chuck Sumner, Henry Kaplan (executive) for Firebird International Pictures
directed by Fred Olen Ray
starring Buster Crabbe, Ray Roberts, George Kelsey, Mike Bonavia, Dennis Underwood, John Leirier, Martin Nicholas, Norman Riggins, Nancy Kranz, Ellena Contello, Shelley Youngren, Fred Olen Ray, Chuck Sumner, Bernice Kelsey, Ken Triplet, Jocelyn Davies, Donn Adrian, Bob Wagner, Wesley Place, Edi Stroup
written by Fred Olen Ray, Martin Nicholas, music by Franklin Sledge, Chuck Sumner, the American Bluegrass Express, Paul Jones and Sugar Lee, special makeup by Allen Duckworth

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A small swamptown, nowhere, USA: When the wife of a poacher is killed, nobody takes too much notice, and the Sheriff (Buster Crabbe) is way too comfy to pick up investigations, he just blames it on a local alligator. And when locals tell him there haven't been any alligators around for quite some time, he just puts a prize on the gator's head, just to attract enough hobby hunters from neighbouring towns to eventually bring him a gator head.

Reporter Tom (Ray Roberts) soon enough comes to the conclusion that it couldn't have been an alligator, even the cornoner's report suggests something else, but since the sheriff is stubborn, he investigates on his own ... and soon picks up a hot blonde, Shawn (Linda Lewis), who accompanies him everywhere, including onto the swamp, where they are attacked by the "monster" that killed the woman - which is not a gator or any other kind of beast at all, but a horde of flesh-eating zombies. When they report this to the Sheriff, he calls them liars of course, but the local game warden (Mike Bonavia) and the coroner himself (Martin Nicholas) see it differently, and the four of them soon learn that the whole thing might have to do with a meteor coming down several weeks ago that had turned the occupants of a house boat into ... well, flesh-eating zombies. Back at the swamp, our heroes have to find out the living dead have since gone on a killing spree, and won't stop from killing them, too ... only Tom and Shawn ultimately escape - out onto the swamp ...


Alien Dead is one of director Fred Olen Ray's earliest movies - and it shows: Now it's not that Fred Olen Ray has ever really escaped low budget filmdom mind you (and there's absolutely nothing wrong with low budget cinema by the way), but this one shows a man who still has to get a hang of his craft: Alien Dead is often awkwardly edited and sloppily filmed. Other than that, you do find most of what has become a typical Fred Olen Ray-formula here already: A sci-fi/horror plotline that has been told many times before, a veteran genre star (Buster Crabbe), some humour (something that came more to the fore only over the span of the years), boobs, and of course the occasional gruesome scene to keep horror fans interested.

Now it's certainly not Fred Olen Ray's best film, but interesting for at least those into the director's oeuvre nevertheless.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD