26 January 2006 | Jonny_Numb
"The dee-ee-ead, are after me!"
"Raiders of the Living Dead" is a low-budget zombie rip-off that is inexplicably and consistently interesting; if nothing else, it has imagination and innovation on its side. A reporter and his partner scope out an ominous locale in the dead of night and stumble upon zombies. A child genius works on his doctor grandfather's laserdisc player and winds up creating a laser. And a zombified Scott Schwartz (the kid from "A Christmas Story"?) hijacks a truck for no reason and tries to blow up a nuclear power plant, only to be claimed by the zombie menace. While slow in spots, and sporting more of a 1980s look than a Sears catalog, "Raiders" exists in some weird limbo between "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things," "Burial Ground," "Return of the Living Dead II," and even "Zeder" (the climax takes place in an abandoned prison). Is it a masterpiece of cinema? Certainly not, and perhaps my generous "5" rating is due to the fact that I watched the atrocious "Reefer Madness" earlier today. Still, it is a diverting item with OK makeup effects, a cheeky attitude, and a toe-tapping, synth-heavy theme song.