THE ALIEN DEAD (it fell fom the sky) (1979 U.S.) D/W/P: FRED OLEN RAY W: MARTIN ALAN NICHOLAS P: CHUCK SUMNER
The prolific Olen Ray's first completed feature (after the abandoned THE BRAIN LEECHES) is a regional horror filmed in Florida. A small-town newspaper journalist investigates some disappearances and discovers flesh-eating zombies caused by a meteor. The local actors are obviously having a good time wandering around the swamps in make-up and you can sometimes see a zombie crack a smile. They impale an old lady on a pitchfork in one scene. Heading the cast of good southern hick characters (who talk a lot) is Buster Crabbe as the Sheriff! The NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD-inspired climax has characters surrounded by the living dead in a wooden hut. Olen Ray (who also did the FX and has an acting turn)'s later films may be slicker, but they don't have the infectious charm of this slow-moving but likeable favourite. Sumner also acts.

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