‘The Dead Next Door’ Gets A 2K Restoration Blu-ray Release

This is a film that is very special to this journalists heart – you see, I got to be an extra in this little piece of horror history.   The Dead Next Door was filmed in Akron, Ohio – about 10 miles north of my hometown and in the mid 80’s there was quite the buzz about this young director – JR Bookwalter – who was making a zombie flick in and around the Akron area.   Rumor had it that Sam Raimi was involved in some way and well damn, how cool was that?

My buddy Chuck Hutson and I caught wind that someone had been posting up flyers around the University of Akron soliciting extras to play zombies in the film and don’t ask me how but some how – we found out that if you wanted to be a part of this you had to be a shopping center in town and a bus would pick you up and take you to the set.   Well, you bet your ass we were on that bus!   We spent the entire evening on location – an old school – went through makeup, wardrobe, the whole nine yards.   Our scene is the one that this picture is from.

Reverend Jones (Robert Kokai) crucifies Zombie Squad member Mercer (Michael Grossi) (Image copyright © 2015 Tempe Entertainment)

You see this scene – look for the big goofy bastard sitting in the crowd on the left-hand side of the screen.   I’m a face in a sea of zombies but if you know what you’re looking for – you can see me.   My moment in the sun!

Well – now you’ll be able to see my 1/10th of a second of stardom in a beautiful 2K restoration as Tempe Entertainment and MVD have announced the specs on their upcoming double disc blu-ray release and it sounds spectacular!

The press release lays it all out:

For this 2-Disc Collector’s Edition release, brand-new 4:3 and 16:9 1080p HD masters have been painstakingly created from a 2K restoration using the original Super-8mm film elements. Also included is a 5.1 surround mix which restores the voices of the original cast members for the first time ever, vintage and newly-prepared bonus materials, and much more. The DVD includes a 4:3 standard-definition presentation of the restored feature plus a candid audio commentary by the director recorded in 2001, which was previously only available on long out-of-print international releases.

The second disc also features an all-new 2017 interview with actor Scott Spiegel (director of cult favorites “Intruder” and “From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money”), as well as a 1999 tour of several locations where the film was shot. Rounding out the Collector’s Edition is a beautiful slipcover featuring newly-commissioned artwork, which will only be available with the first pressing of 1,000 units.

Special features:

Disc 1 (Blu-ray)
* 2KRestored Feature in 4:3 Original Aspect Ratio (1.33:1, 78 mins.)
* 2K Restored Feature in 16:9 Widescreen (1.78:1, 78 mins.)
* DTS HD-MA 5.1 Surround Original Cast Mix
* DTS HD-MA 5.1 Surround Classic Dubbed Mix
* 2015 Audio Commentary with producers J.R. Bookwalter, Jolie Jackunas and Scott P. Plummer
* “Restoration of the Dead” Featurette (19 mins.)
* Capitol Theatre Screening Q&A (12 mins.)
* The Nightlight Screening Q&A (16 mins.)
* Behind the Scenes Footage (19 mins.)
* Deleted Scenes & Outtakes (7 mins.)
* Storyboard Gallery (27 mins.)
* Around The World Gallery (4 mins.)
* Behind The Scenes Gallery (9 mins.)
* Production Stills Gallery (6 mins.)
* Tempe Digital Trailers: The Dead Next Door (2015 Version), Platoon of the Dead (2009), Poison Sweethearts (2008)

Disc 2 (DVD)
* FIRST TIME ON DVD! Standard-Definition Presentation of 2K Restored Feature in 4:3 Original Aspect Ratio (1.33:1, 78 mins.)
* NEW! 2001 Foreign DVD Audio Commentary with writer/director J.R. Bookwalter and makeup FX artist David Lange
* NEW! Richards Returns: An Interview with Actor Scott Spiegel (5 mins.)
* NEW! Akron Location Tour with James L. Edwards (5 mins.)
* FIRST TIME ON DVD! Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Original Cast Mix
* FIRST TIME ON DVD! 2015 Audio Commentary with producers J.R. Bookwalter, Jolie Jackunas and Scott P. Plummer
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Classic Dubbed Mix
* 2005 Audio Commentary with writer/director J.R. Bookwalter, actor Michael Todd and cinematographer Michael Tolochko, Jr.
* 20 Years in 15 Minutes (16 mins.)
* Video Storyboards (8 mins.)
* Video Pre-Shoots (6 mins.)
* Auditions (14 mins.)
* 2000 Frightvision Reunion (6 mins.)
* Three Miles Out Music Video (3 mins.)
* Tempe Video Trailers: The Dead Next Door, Kingdom of the Vampire (1991), Ozone, The Sandman, Polymorph

Packaging (First 1,000 Units Only)
* Slipcover with Newly-Commissioned 2017 Artwork
* Classic VHS Release Wrap Arts

I’d latch onto this one quick – you can pre-order you copy right here – right now!

Dave Dreher
Co-Founder / Lead News Reporter at Gruesome Magazine
Dave is co-founder and lead news reporter for Gruesome. Dave has built his resume working for Diabolique Magazine, The Horror Channel, Horrornews.net, House of Horrors and Creature Corner. He has worked with Tom Savini on his official site since 1997 and is also co-host of the popular podcast Horror News Radio.