“Tales From The Quadead Zone” (1987)

By Jerome Reuter


Tales From The Quadead Zone is almost impossible to describe. On one hand, it’s a horror anthology. On the other hand, it’s one of many horror films from the 1980’s shot entirely on VHS. One things for certain, in recent years it’s achieved cult status. One of the two films made by Chester Novell Turner, the other being Black Devil Doll From Hell. Both were recently redistributed on DVD, and Turner himself has gained a resurgence of popularity.

When it comes to horror films shot on VHS, you can’t help but have a soft spot for them. At the end of the day, they’re schlock. However, making a narrative with a low budget is a challenge that’s faces many an independent filmmaker. You have to make what resources you have work for you. One of the many reasons works such as Violent Shit and Video Violence still hold clout. When in doubt, adjust your tracking.

This work is centered on a mother reading stories to ghost of her son. From a book aptly titled, ‘Tales Of The Quadead Zone.’ The mother serves as the host of the adventures into horror we embark upon. So, what are these tales of the macabre you might ask? Lets find out.

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Our first segment is about a redneck family. More specifically, they’re a family that turns dinnertime into a fight for survival. Each night sandwiches are brought out, and it turns into a game of who gets to eat for the night. An older brother gets the bright idea to kill off certain family members insuring there will be food for everyone. This story doesn’t have a resolution, just title cards to let us know spoilers.

Our second story is a segment simply titled ‘The Brothers.’ It follows the revenge of one brother who was never successful in life upon his brethren, who is recently deceased. This segment regards a story of betrayal, and fraternal bloodshed. What’s more redeeming than dressing your dead  brother like a clown?


The third story is what happens to our narrator, Shirley. I won;t give anything away, but let’s just say everything comes full circle.


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