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Zombie Lake


Title: Zombie Lake
Year Of Release: 1981
Running Time: 83 minutes
DVD Released By: Image Entertainment
Directed By: J.A. Lazer (Julian de Laserna and Jean Rollin)
Writing Credits: Julián Esteban (story), Jesus Franco

Starring: Howard Vernon, Nadine Pascal, Pierre Escourrou, Anouchka
Taglines:
1. The Most Terrifying Zombie Massacre Ever To Come To The Screen.
Alternate Titles:
El Lago de los muertos vivientes (Spain)
The Lake of the Living Dead
Zombie Lake (USA)
Zombie’s Lake (Europe: English title)

Review Date: 4.17.05 (updated 1.1.10)

Shadow's Title:"The French Town Full of Morons vs. The Retarded Dead "

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Characters
The Mayor – This idiot is the local elected leader. He does nothing when the trouble first begins, then he whines when he should be taking the lead, and when he finally does take charge, he quickly submits to the will of a twelve year old girl! One can hope he was impeached him at some point.
Chanac – I have no idea what this moron did for a living in town, but he sure spent a lot of time at the pub. In fact, he seemed to be all over the place, turning the film into a live action Where’s Waldo – in any crowd scene, if you look long and hard enough, you are bound to find him.
Katya – She is a reporter that comes to town to learn more about the lake and possibly write a story on it. Her demise gives new meaning to the word “Idiot” as only the heir to the kingdom of idiots could be taken by a zombie as unaware as she was. Curiosity killed the cat...and the reporter.
Muette – This ding-a-ling was some local French broad that was saved by a German soldier during an Allied bombing run. She repays him by screwing his brains out in a barn and then getting knocked up. Later she dies for no reason after giving birth to Helena the wunderkind.
Daddy Zombie AKA Soldier Boy - Saves and then knocks up Muette. Later he is killed by the French resistance and tossed into the lake. Decades later he returns az a zombie to wreak gavoc on the world of the living as well as forge a relationship with his daughter.
Helena – Love child of Muette and Soldier Boy. Somewhat soft-spoken, but don’t let that image fool you for a second. She is the real power in town. Seriously, she demonstrates her ability to control both the zombies and the Mayor, who follows her around like a whiny bitch/sycophant.
One–Eye – A German soldier in the same unit as Soldier Boy who meets the same untimely end when they were all gunned down by the French resistance. Did not approve of Muette and Soldier Boy’s relationship. In death he has gotten even grumpier and picks fights with other zombies.
Spitz - One of two cops that come to investigate the murders. The IMdB lists his name as "Stiltz" but the dubbing cleary says "Spitz" so I went with the latter. He has a very small part, barely showing up in the film. I only include him here because he was played by the film's director. D'oh!

 

The Plot Hold your cursor over an image for a pop-up caption

Wait at least 10 years after eating before going swimming.The film opens with a shot of an idyllic lake on a bright, shiny day, complete with a swan lazily swimming about and accompanied by music that sounds like it was lifted from a department store. No, strike that. It sounds like it was lifted from a department store from the 1970’s. Truly terrifying!!

Anyway, as the credits unfold in French, we see a young woman making her way through the woods to a gazebo adjoining the lake. No sooner has she arrived and taken a perfunctory look around, than she begins to disrobe. At the one minute and seven seconds mark we the audience get to see her boobs. At a whopping one minute and fourteen seconds we get to see Bush – and I ain’t talkin’ about Dubbya himself. No, what I mean is that the producers of this mess realized that the movie they had was so utterly craptastic, that they were going to have to go to great lengths to make sure the audience stuck around for the entire duration of the film. What could work better than the promise of naked female flesh? This has got to be some kind of cinematic record for the fastest a film has shown full frontal nudity. While I can appreciate the view, this does NOT bode well for the remainder of the film. Any film that has to resort to nudity so early is clearly trying to compensate for something…in this case, a really shitty movie.

No beating around the bush here, a quick snatch and this twat has the sign hidden.So Nature Chick completely strips and stretches out on her back atop a nearby log to sunbathe. The camera does a slow pan over her naked form, beginning at her feet and working up to her face. It is at this point that we realize that the carpets definitely match the drapes with this chick. After sunbathing, Nature Chick decides to go for a swim. She walks closer to the lake’s edge and uproots a sign, then flings it into the weeds. It is at this point that Nature Chick has proven that while she may have a nice body, intelligence is something she has managed to get by without in life. The sign bears an image of a person swimming, clearly overlaid with a bright red X. Next to that is the image of a skull and crossbones and an arrow pointing in the direction of the lake. Now, while I admit that hieroglyphics are not my forte, and can give Nature Chick the benefit of the doubt and not expect her to be an expert either; I somehow doubt that this is a Rebus Puzzle exhorting people to keep an eye out for swimming pirates. Only an idiot would ignore such a sign and jump in the lake.

A few seconds later Idiot Nature Chick jumps in. We are treated to several shots of her swimming, from both above and below the water line. She does the backstroke for a bit, showing off her mammaries for the camera, then a submerged shot shows her treading water and gives us a glimpse of her privates that would have blown my socks off if I had seen this movie in Junior High. Indeed, I can’t think of any modern films that are not pornos that are this revealing. The annoying music that has been plaguing the film so far finally fades out at this point, and one can only hope that it means something is going to happen.

Now we see a man under the water, looking up at Idiot Nature Chick. As he nears the camera we are able to see more details about him and discover that one of his eyeballs is hanging loose from its socket and his complexion is a sickly green color (that music must have made him sick). Dear lord, this must be a zombie! Several more gratuitous shots of Idiot Nature Chick splashing about follow, then we see the zombie’s hand emerge from the water and then slowly…and I do mean slowly, sink back below. Why the zombie did this is a mystery, but it did reveal one thing – the zombie’s hand is not very green. In fact, it’s almost a healthy pink color. This alone should tell you what you are in store for with this film - that the make-up FX are so mind-boggling cheap, that it gets washed off while in the titular lake.

Now I cannot go a minute longer without talking about the lake itself. Sure, it looks absolutely fine – above water. Below the water line it is a completely different story. Now the water has a much different look and feel about it, appearing much clearer than the surface shots would suggest. Even the lighting is different…and it is no wonder why! Above the water the sun is shining brightly in the sky. Below the surface when we look up at Idiot Nature Chick as she swims about, we can see four distinctive lights that are much less luminous than old Sol. And what is that over there? Can that be a wall just a few short yards away, clumsily hidden by an old tarp? Why yes it is. Holy crap! The underwater scenes were shot in a freaking indoor swimming pool!!! Worse, the moron producers don’t even try that hard to hide that fact. They just toss a few weeds in the pool to help it represent the lake and leave it at that. I’ve heard of cheap, but this is a new low in frugality.

Anyway, to wrap up this overly long examination of the opening sequence, the zombie pokes his head up out of the water momentarily and then sinks from view. A few more shots of Idiot Nature Chick swimming follow, then the zombie rises from the water behind her, grabs her and pulls her below the surface. Much struggling ensues, and right in the middle of this epic confrontation…

…The film jumps to some outdoor tables in a small town. WTF?! What happened with Idiot Nature Chick and the zombie? The film just left them in mid struggle! What kind of piss poor editing is that? Now we see a waitress serving some customers, one of which is Chanac. He mentions a girl that left her bag nearby and wandered off. When asked if she knows where the girl went, the waitress tells him that she went to the lake. Chanac says that if she hasn’t returned by morning, he will go see the mayor and they will go looking for her. Wouldn’t the cops be a better choice to organize a search? Maybe this guy and the mayor are peeping toms and just want to get a free peek at the girl prancing around nude.

Speaking of the mayor, the film now turns to him, showing him relaxing in his home and listening to some music. There is a knock on the door and Chanac enters. It must be the next day if he has dropped by for a visit. The mayor asks if there is any sign of the missing girl and Chanac says that there has not been any. He even went all the way to the lake and found the missing girl’s clothes. He pulls them from a bag and I half expected him and the mayor to bury their faces in them and start sniffing away like a couple of pervs. The discarded clothes seem to confirm the mayor’s fears (no doubt that fashions are changing very fast) and Chanac says that people are beginning to talk about the girl’s disappearance. Then get this – the mayor then says that if she hasn’t turned up by the next day, he’ll call the police! An entire day has passed and he hasn’t informed the police! Who elected this moron? I’d demand a re-count if I were them. The Mayor then says that he feels there is more to this affair than meets the eye while Chanac thinks the girl drowned. Events later in the film will show why these two statements reveal these men to be complete and utter morons.

Now we are back at the lake where the One-Eyed zombie pokes his head up out of the water again. Then we see a young woman pushing a wheelbarrow over a bridge and along a cobbled path. Now back to One-Eye emerging from the lake. Then back to the woman as she beats some laundry inside a building. Now back to One-Eye still leaving the lake. More laundry work with the woman before she places her stuff (which have somehow changed from the first time we saw them) in the wheelbarrow and begins walking back the way she came. To digress for a second…why in hell did this woman need to walk to all the way to this particular building just to beat her laundry? Can’t she beat it just as well at home? Now One-Eye is walking through the weeds alongside a building in that peculiar gait that many zombies exhibit – as if they had an egg between their ass cheeks and they were deathly afraid of breaking it.

“I swear there is a spider in your hair. Now just hold still!”To cut this short, One-Eye suddenly lunges out from behind the corner of a building as the woman walks past and grabs her. He violently pushes her to the ground and begins tearing at her neck with his teeth as she screams in agony. The music builds to a fevered pitch as he rips her throat out, pieces of his own rotting face falling off in the process. The woman struggles pitifully, but dies a horrible death.

Ok, wait. I lied. None of that really happened. I apologize for misleading you. It’s just that this film is so suicide-inducing bad, that I’d thought I would try and liven it up a wee bit for you. It actually went more like this: She walks past the building, he stumbles into view and collides with her then they both awkwardly fall to the ground where he starts smooshing his lips around on her neck as she lets out token screams that sound more like moans heard in a porno. The music never changes, even when One-Eye “lunges” at the woman, and remains the same dull sounding organ music throughout the entire scene. The blood from the woman’s wound is entirely too red and not viscous enough while the zombie’s loose flesh looks like a piece of wet paper stuck to his cheek. His green make-up makes him look more like the Jolly Green Giant after an all-night coke binge. At one point the victim just rolls her head back and forth, eyes wide open, while One-Eye gums her neck. At least act dead, woman! The “wound” he is inflicting is non-existent. It is just represented by some of that horrible looking fake blood smeared on her neck. To sum it all up rather succinctly: The scene is atrociously filmed, acted, produced and scored. Then again, the same will be said of this entire film.

Sit down kids, cuz there is lots more where this crap came from – we’re barely eleven minutes into the film!

So now we see three men awkwardly carrying the girl’s body through town. One can only assume that One-Eye skedaddled back to the lake after that lame rampage and someone found the girl’s corpse on the roadway. A bell tolls loudly nearby and as the men progress down the streets, they are joined by about a dozen or so townsfolk, who all just silently follow the trio like it’s some big parade. The three men finally make their way to what I can only presume to be town hall, as the Mayor emerges once they have unceremoniously dumped the girl’s body on the ground before the door and beaten a hasty retreat (except for one). The tolling bell suddenly fades out after sounding about eighteen times – who knew they were on military time (either that or it was eighteen o’clock)? The Mayor looks at the dead girl and then surveys the crowd, which includes Chanac. They all just stare back at him with the same blank expressions on their faces. Not one single person seems shocked or angry about a murder. Not one person is demanding explanations or that something be done. Not one person seems fearful that they or a loved one may be next to die. Screw the dead guy in the lake, I’m beginning to think the Zombies in the film’s title refers to this lot. They seem affected by nothing at all and project all the emotional resonance of a Prozac study group. Zombie Town would be a more appropriate title at this point.

The one guy still standing over the body turns out to be the dead girl’s father. He leans over and closes his daughter’s eyes and pulls her skirt down (her undies were showing). The Mayor gives a quick speech and says that nothing can be done until the Police arrive. What? This town has no police at all? Police have to be imported? Not even a constable? How pathetic is that? Until the cops can pry themselves away from their donuts and haul ass to this town, the “cadaaaver” as the Mayor pronounces it, needs to be taken to the hospital for an autopsy. The Mayor tells the girl’s father that he knows how he must feel about his poor daughter and the guy just says, “Yeah, I know,” and then turns to leave. He looks at his daughter again but there is not one single hint of emotion on the man’s face. His daughter has just been savagely killed and his face has that “far away” look like he’s trying to pinch one off while on the crapper.

Sometime later the Mayor is outdoors quizzing two small boys on whatever it is they saw the night before, but before they spill their guts the scene switches and we see the Mayor entering a room, which we will come to learn is in his private residence. The room is cramped and the walls are littered with pictures and paintings. He pulls a book from a shelf, takes a seat at his desk and begins to look it over. What happened with the two boys? Did the Mayor get the information he was after and then left them to return home, or did he savagely murder them and stash their bodies in the woods? Or perhaps he pulled a Michael Jackson by giving them some Jesus Juice (this is France after all, wine should be in abundance) and suggested a snugglefest? Inquiring minds want to know! On second thought…maybe we don’t want to know. Yeah…yeah…what happens in France, stays in France! I don’t wanna know!

Back at the tavern that we saw earlier, a woman has arrived in town and is snapping pictures, including one of some locals having drinks at an outdoor table. She enters the interior of the establishment and after ordering a drink (and looking straight into the damn camera), announces in a loud voice that she is a reporter come to do a story. Some of the locals insist that there is nothing to write about in these parts. I don’t know about that. It seems she was well on her way to composing a photo essay on rural French drunks. Then Chanac appears (this guy is everywhere!) and asks her what she might make the focus of a story. She mentions the weird lake nearby, referred to as the “Lake of Ghosts” by some people. Chanac suggests that she go see the Mayor, as he knows all about the lake. Chanac even offers to take her over to the Mayor’s place himself. They get up and leave. At this point, I wish I could do that…leave that is.

The Mayor it seems lives in an ancient castle. It is not a huge place, but it certainly looks like it has been around for many hundreds of years. I suppose it is the logical abode for a civil leader who is as ineffective as this clown is – he’ll need the fortification to repel lynch mobs. Chanac directs the reporter gal toward it and tells her to just walk right in, but does not accompany her to the door. A few moments later, the Mayor seems pissed that someone has barged into his home – perhaps she interrupted him while he was sniffing the missing girl’s shorts…or doing something worse? Those small boys never did show up again…hmmm. The reporter introduces herself as Katya something. The Mayor tries to claim that he has no time and wants her to come back the next day, but she says she is in a hurry and cannot. She then says she wants to ask him about the lake and pulls out a book on otherworldly phenomenon and gives it to the Mayor to read. This is like giving crack to a whore, as the Mayor’s demeanor instantly changes and he invites her to stay a while.

Mirror, mirror on the wall… Who is the worst film crew of them all?He leads her to his study where they each take a seat. Now, this is a pivotal moment in the film. Oh, not for anything that has to do with the story, but rather for displaying exactly what kind of talent these filmmakers had. You see, as the Mayor and Katya enter the study, the camera follows them into the room. The study has a mirror on the wall opposite the door, and as the camera moves in to get closer to the seated actors, you can see the camera crew reflected in the mirror! This goes way beyond a boom mike dropping temporarily into a shot, or bad lighting that reveals unwanted shadows. This is truly and pathetically sad, and manages to push this film near the top on the list of movies made by utter morons whose incompetence is only outweighed by their sheer ineptitude. See the screencap at right to see what I mean.

ANYWAY…the Mayor asks Katya why she is interested in the Lake of the Dead (wasn’t it the Lake of Ghosts just a few minutes back?). She wants to know about how the lake got its name. The Mayor says that the lake’s original name was The Guardian Lake…either that or The Goddamned Lake – the dubbing makes it hard to be sure which one, and that the townsfolk gave the lake its new name more recently. He says there is a story behind the name change, but no one cares about it anymore and there is no way to “update it” (whatever the hell that means). Katya insists that she would like to hear the story, so the Mayor begins recalling the events in question…and our big flashback begins. Hang on, cuz it’s a doozy.

Begin Flashback

“Aaaaaaaaaaah!” (Home Alone IV: Lost in Time)We see a German troop transport with about seven men inside. They pull up to a stop near the outskirts of town and the men jump out and take up defensive positions around the vehicle. This is accomplished by throwing themselves on the ground in various idiotic poses. An enemy plane begins a strafing run and one soldier fires his machine gun at it as it passes. An instant later a bomb dropped by the plane detonates nearby and one man goes up in flames. Another guy is shot in the face as he tries to exit the vehicle. To say that this scene is goofy is a massive understatement. The guy shot in the face just grabs his cheeks Macauly Culkin style and then flops over the car door. All the sounds, from the plane, to the guns firing, to the bombs exploding, are just dubbed in and makes the scene play out like Benny Hill sketch – only without the funny sped up movements and Yakety Sax music. Plus there is the fact that these morons stopped right out in the open during a plane attack. I for one would think pulling the vehicle closer to a building or actually running and hiding behind something other than what the plane is shooting at would make for a good idea. But, then again…that is just me.

Now we see a local woman running across a field. As the enemy plane(s) fly by overhead, she covers her face and screams as sound effects are dubbed in. I felt like screaming, too. Instead of taking cover, the woman just stands there out in the open, screaming. I’m really beginning to think that the people of this town have been breeding idiots for generations if this woman is any example. So, one of the German soldiers picks his ass up off the ground near the car and runs over to the French woman. He grabs her and pushes her to the ground, then shields her with his own body. A bomb goes off nearby (and I use the term “bomb” very loosely here – it was more like a box of firecrackers, but the sad thing is, the bomb did not explode anywhere close to where she had been standing. If it had been a real bomb, then yeah – she was close enough to get seriously hurt, but this thing went up with all the energy of a wet matchbook. And don’t even get me started on the obvious fact that a considerable amount of time passed between the actors hitting the ground and the bomb detonating, evidenced by a jump in the frame.

So now the planes have gone and Soldier Boy passes out. From what, I have no idea. His fellow soldiers come and haul him away while the woman stares blankly. They take him to a commandeered local house, now used as a field infirmary. The woman…all hell, let us just make up a name for her, as I never heard it mentioned. Then again, I may have missed it. We’ll call her Muette, which I think is a very appropriate name for her (look it up in your French-English dictionaries). She follows and gazes longingly at Soldier Boy through the window as he’s getting his wounds tended. Another soldier approaches her and gives her a mean look, chasing her away. It is obvious that he does not approve of her being there. He is also somewhat familiar. Why…it’s One-Eye the zombie from earlier in the film! Could that really have been only twenty minutes ago? It seems like a lot longer.

Some really crappy music kicks in at this point and you’d better get accustomed to it, as it will be played ad nauseam throughout the remainder of this film. It is now night and Soldier Boy meets up with Muette somewhere. She leads him into a barn – well, it doesn’t look like barn, but there is a lot of hay all over the place, and suddenly it is bright as day outside. That was a long walk from the outside to the inside! The two begin kissing and divesting themselves of their apparel. Soon enough they are naked and writhing around in the throes of passion. This goes on for quite some time…at least it sure seemed to last forever to me. Finally, when the literal roll in the hay is over, she removes a necklace and places it around his neck. It is funny, because at this point she is still buck naked but he has already got his pants back on. Love ‘em and leave ‘em! Now we suddenly see Soldier Boy and his unit (not that unit, I mean the other soldiers!) driving along in their transport. A quick cut to Muette shows a tear running down her cheeks (not those cheeks!). The implication is that Soldier Boy has received orders to move on and she has been left behind. The shot of her face fades to black.

POW! BOOM! Now we’re at the front. A battle rages in the snowy woods for control of a strategic building. Of course, the film doesn’t say that – I’m just trying to make it sound a wee bit more exciting that having to watch flies mate. Allied Soldiers in white camouflage are laying siege to the building, which is held by Nazis in white camouflage. More dubbed sound effects make an appearance and numerous scenes of soldiers running, shooting (or pretending to shoot their guns), falling and dying now follow. It’s almost impossible to tell who is who in all these shots, but it is funny to watch these guys fall over “dead” to sound effects rather than seeing squibs or any other method for faking gunshot wounds. Then we see a bunch of guys gathered around a radio. The French resistance is announcing that the German forces are withdrawing and all resistance groups should do whatever they can to hinder this retreat. I guess the French proclivity for not bathing wasn’t enough.

We see the Germans leaving, their tanks rolling down a road and the soldiers marching onward. Nowhere is there so much as a snowflake in sight! A few seconds ago they were being forced to retreat after fighting in the snow but, now things have seemingly warmed up over night! Soldier Boy makes a quick stop to see Muette before leaving the area. She is laid up in bed and nearby is a bassinet with a baby in it! Oh my goodness, somebody was not wearing their armor on that day nine months prior. Muette’s mother informs him that the baby’s name is to be Helena. He kisses Muette and then hastily departs...no doubt before getting roped into something he’ll regret. Oh wait, that already happened when he agreed to make this movie.

Now he and his fellow soldiers are back in their car and hightailing it out of dodge. Evidently they either run out of fuel or the car breaks down, as they all pile out and continue their journey on foot. They make their way through the woods and decide to take a break at one point. For people who are trying to retreat, they seem amazingly determined to be seen, as they stop in the middle of a small path where someone has stacked a bunch of cut wood nearby. As they light up cigarettes and pipes, members of the French resistance jump out of the brush and begin firing their guns. All of the Germans are quickly mowed down and we see how One-Eye got his name when he takes a bullet in an eye socket – revealing his fake blood hose as he slowly slumps to the ground. We see Soldier Boy laying there dead and then we suddenly cut back to Muette’s house. Her mother is quite sad and pulls the sheets over Muette’s head. It appears that she has died. I’m guessing that the implication is that she sensed her lover’s demise and decided she could not go on anymore either. If so, it is kinda dumb, as he was leaving her behind anyway!

Remember to let your Nazis marinate for at least 36 hours before resurrecting them.Back in the great outdoors the French resistance group is looting the dead bodies, removing boots (later, when the German soldiers return as zombies, none of them will be missing any footwear), guns, knives and other things. It appears that Chanac and the Mayor were both members of this group and astoundingly enough, they don’t seem to have aged a single day since the war! They must be in on Dick Clark’s secret. The Mayor (though he wasn’t mayor then – I hope) says that they cannot leave the bodies lying around. Other German soldiers would find them and exact a terrible revenge on the locals. So, they decide to throw all the bodies in the lake. Splash! One by one the dead Germans are tossed into the lake’s waters, where they slowly sink from view. Then we see a shot of the Mayor, obviously set sometime later (years perhaps), staring out over the lake at night.

End Flashback

At long last we are back in the present, with Katya and the Mayor. She says that she better understands why the lake received its current name and knows how the Mayor feels. He dismisses her claims by firmly saying that no one knows how he feels. She thanks him for his time and leaves.

Now we see Muette’s mother and a young girl that she is calling Helena. This must be Soldier Boy’s kid! She seems to be hiding in the same barn and on the same hay where her parents conceived her. Ewww. Her grandmother pulls her away and that is that. Why that scene is in there is beyond me. I suppose it is to establish the fact that Helena is now a young girl who appears to be eleven or twelve.

Ok, we’re approximately halfway through this mess, give or take five minutes. Now prepare yourselves for the truly idiotic. A white Volkswagen Transporter (what we Americans would call a Volkswagen bus or van) drives along a dirt road and stops next to the lake. I just cannot go any farther without bringing to light another glaring problem with this film. Indeed, I’ve been biting my tongue for quite some time and have only waited until now to discuss it because the Volkswagen helps illustrate the problem all the better. It is a simple matter of mathematics and the complete inability on the part of the film’s makers to comprehend such a simple expression as 2 + 2 = 4, or more relative to this film, 44 + 12 = 56 and not 44 + 12 = 80.

You see, we know that Helena was conceived nine months prior to German forces retreating from France. The Germans began withdrawing by August of 1944 when the Normandy front collapsed. So, if she was born in 1944 and is now twelve years old at the very oldest, it would make the events in the film occurring in the year 1956, right? Then why is the Volkswagen Transporter shown in the movie the same model manufactured between the years 1967 and 1979? Why are all the haircuts (including an Afro on one guy) and clothing styles much more reminiscent of the late 70’s/early 80’s rather than the late 50’s? You wanna know why…I’ll tell you. It’s because the filmmakers are idiots! Complete, utter and total morons who haven’t got the slightest clue how to make a decent picture and sure as hell unaware of the word “continuity” and the ramifications it has on a film production. These guys are so colossally stupid, they have the audience believe that a twelve year old girl living in 1980 France was born during the Second World War!

Pre 1967 model.1976 to 1979 model.Model in movie.Good lord, I’ve seen elementary school plays about barfing dogs and bed-wetting cats that were better produced than this film. And if you don’t believe me, just take a look at the pictures at left. The first is an image of the Volkswagen Transporter produced between the years 1950 and 1967 – the time period in which this film should be occurring. The second is the model for the years 1967 through 1979. The final image is a screencap from the film, showing the vehicle in question. It’s clearly the more modern model. MORONS!!

Ok, so where was I? Oh, yeah, a healthy young specimen representing the female of the species jumps out of the vehicle, dressed only in shorts and a skimpy shirt. She stretches and then calls to her friends to exit the vehicle. Eight more young women pile out, all dressed in shorts and tight T-shirts. Finally, things in this film are looking up! Sadly, it is just an illusion.

For some unknown reason the film jumps to the Mayor sitting at his desk, reading aloud the autopsy report on the dead girl. I am assuming it is the dead girl whose body was paraded through town and not Idiot Nature Chick who went missing in the very beginning of the movie. No one seems overly concerned with her anymore, and I doubt she will ever be referenced again. Anyway, whoever conducted the autopsy has concluded that the girl was killed by a wild animal and suggests to the Mayor that something be done to capture or possibly kill the critter. This just shows how inept the local forensics team is, if they cannot distinguish the difference between bite marks made by an animal and ones made by human teeth. The Mayor crumples up the paper and throws it away in disgust, mumbling something to himself about “what do they know.” He obviously knows that the real culprits are the zombies in the lake. Now, remember earlier in the film when that first girl vanished? The Mayor said there was more to it than what met the eye, while Chanac thought the girl had drowned. Why in the hell did they say those things? Here the Mayor makes it pretty clear that he knows zombies are responsible for the death of one girl, so when the previous one went missing near that particular lake, he should have known instantly why. Likewise, it seems that Chanac should be aware of such things as well. He was part of the resistance group that killed the Nazis and tossed them into the lake. He knew that the Mayor knew a lot about the lake. He seems to be pretty tight with the Mayor. So he should have known, too! This sort of lack in logic makes for a very annoying film.

So back to the girls at the lake. They began bouncing a volleyball around and two make their way to the lake’s edge. Before you can say “Show Girls” one is stripping down to nothing (she obviously is not wearing any bras or panties as the removal of two clothing articles results in her being completely naked)) and is wading into the water. Soon both are splashing around in the water and the second girl’s clothes vanish faster than alcohol in a Noel Coward play. We get more revealing underwater shots of the girls that were filmed in the same indoor pool as all the previous ones in the movie. Then zombies are revealed at the bottom of the pool…er…lake. Soon enough ALL the girls – the entire volleyball team – are stripping and jumping into the water buck naked. Much splashing and titty bouncing ensues.

More underwater shots of their nether regions. More shots of zombies. A strictly by-the-numbers affair. One girl – the first to have exited the vehicle – goes back ashore and is getting dressed. It is at this point that the zombies attack, each rising up to grab a naked girl and pull her down. Who can blame them? The lone girl on shore watches in horror as all her friends are pulled to a watery grave. Then she runs off in a panic, still half dressed.

It is interesting to note that nine girls in total exit the van, yet the most we ever see in the water is seven. We know that only one girl survived, so I want to know what happened to that missing girl.

By the way, just what caused the murdered Nazi soldiers to return as zombies? Weird germs brought back from space? A magical incantation? Some new virus spreading across the globe? Possessed by invisble aliens from another galaxy? What!? A reason is never given. They just get dumped into the lake and years later, they come stumbling back out in damn near mint condition. Sure, they’re a wee bit green, but other than that, they have not decayed at all. Maybe it is a magic lake! Kinda like the burial ground in Pet Cemetary – anything thrown in comes back to life…and damn near perfectly preserved. Hell, if the lake can keep those Nazis nice and juicy for that long, why not throw a shitload of steaks in there for safe keeping? Indeed, why not bottle the water and make a fortune by selling the ultimate preservative? These townsfolk are morons if they never considered that. Then again, the way so many of them seem to have a slow aging process, maybe they are sampling those waters.

“Damn, I didn’t realize that was on the menu. I’ll take two!”In town, people are gathered in the pub when the girl comes storming in half naked and repeating “The Lake!” over and over again. Then she collapses on a table as everyone gathers around – no doubt to get a good look at her bare boobies. Chanac approaches – jeez this guy is everywhere! Does he have a twin or a clone or something? Does he live at that damn pub? He suggests taking her upstairs and two men quickly jump forward to grab the girl and carry her up the stairs. I think they might have been thinking something else when Chanac came up with his idea.

The Mayor is talking with someone on the phone. At the other end we see two old guys in a room. The one on the phone is some police Bigshot and is promising to send two of his best men to help the Mayor in this time of need. After hanging up, Bigshot ridicules the Mayor to the other old guy, laughing at the stories of dead people walking about. He looks over a list of names and decides to send agents Spitz and Morane to investigate. It will be a nice vacation for them, Bigshot reasons. He talks about the entire women’s basketball team that vanished near the lake. Huh? Basketball? They were tossing a volleyball around you…oh, nevermind. The other guy asks what they will do if those stories turn out to be for real. Bigshot just laughs it off and then answers the phone when it rings again. Into the phone he says, “Hello. All right. Now I want to talk to Spitz and Morane, right away.” What the hell? How did the person on the other end know who Bigshot wanted to speak with, and also know to call him at that exact instant? There can only be once answer: all the phone lines are tapped! Jeez, what a bunch of sorry cops!

Back in the village Spitz and Morane have shown up to begin an investigation. A young girl missing? Bah. A murdered youth? Meh. An entire volleyball team (volleyball not basketball damn it) reportedly murdered by weird green men living in a lake? Yawn. Nothing seems to have worked in getting the cops to this place…but let one half naked chick run into a pub in near hysterics, then they come flying out of nowhere, no doubt in hopes of getting a look at her tits. They venture to city hall and ask to see the Mayor. Chanac (I told you! This guy is everywhere) tells them that he is not in and to look for him at his castle…er…home on the edge of town. The two cops show up at the Mayor’s digs and question him on recent events. They are naturally quite skeptical of the idea that zombies or ghosts are responsible for a murdered girl and the missing VOLLEYball team.

Elsewhere, all the zombies are stumbling down a village road, no doubt opting for a little exercise after that gargantuan feast of women athletes. You’d think people would notice a zombie gang out and about, but no one does. The zombie formerly known as Soldier Boy stops and peers into an open window, recognizing the place as where his old flame Muette once lived. He walks right on in and meets young Helena, who is reading on her bed – the same bed in which her mother died...in fact a picture of good old mom sits nearby. Helena must be overdosed on Ritalin or something. A dead guy comes barging into her room, and she hardly reacts to it! The zombie formerly known as Soldier Boy peels back his shirt to reveal the necklace given to him by Helena’s mother – you know, the one she gave him after they humped like rabbits. Helena recognizes the necklace as the same one her mother is wearing in the nearby picture, and realizes that this smelly green intruder is her father and not some random smelly green vagrant. Daddy Zombie!! Daddy Zombie returns the necklace before leaving, no doubt to catch up with the rest of the zombies.

Now Spitz and Morane are entering the pub. Everyone freezes and stares at them like they just tracked dog shit in on their shoes. They announce that they are there to investigate the murders and would like everyone’s cooperation. Wait a minute! How do they know the missing girls were murdered? They are still missing at this point! Chanac (Who else? I’m telling you…this guy lives at that bloody pub) stands up and accuses the cops of planning to arrest everyone on the basis that they are all crazy for blaming the deaths on zombies. Then he says that the cops had just better get used to the fact that he didn’t kill them! What the F*ck?! Did they even accuse him of murder? Did they even accuse anyone in the pub of murder? Hell, did they accuse anyone in the pub of anything? No, so why is this idiot suddenly in such a huff and proclaiming his innocence? Sure, he didn’t kill those girls, but don’t you think he may be hiding something? Like a propensity for dressing in women’s clothing and herding sheep every other Tuesday?

Anyway, the cops just tell him to shut up and then ask a waitress when was the last time she saw the girls. She replies by saying that she never saw them at all. Chanac pipes in again and says that they never would have let those girls go to the lake had any of the townsfolk saw them beforehand. Now one of the cops (I have no idea which is which) says he has never seen a ghost and asks if anyone here has. One guy says that two boys have seen one, and “that’s a fact!” He must be referring to those two kids the Mayor was quizzing earlier (did anyone ever see them again…I wonder….). The cop asks “what is a fact?” and Chanac butts in again, saying the fact is that girls are being slaughtered and no one is going to accuse the villagers of the murders, wrapping up his tirade by pointing out that it is the job of the cops to stop the zombies. The cops, annoyed by the locals’ attitude, decide to split. Personally, I’m rather surprised they didn’t go Rodney King on Chanac’s ass for his in-your-face attitude.

So Spitz and Morane head on over to the lake. The Volkswagen Transporter belonging to the dead girls is still sitting there, with all their gear and clothes littered around the vicinity. The two look over the entire site, talking about ghosts and one admits to having a weird feeling. Then we see seven zombies rise up out of the lake and begin to wade ashore. One cop has his back to the lake and is taken completely unaware by One-Eye, while the other manages to get his pistol out and squeezes off a few shots at another zombie that is closing in on him from the direction of the lake. Naturally these shots do no good. What is really crazy is that while the second cop is focused on the zombie in front of him, one of the dead guys has somehow managed to get behind him and is sneaking up on him, having used the nearby vehicle as cover. That is too funny! When did this zombie have time to do that? Did he leave the lake before the others and haul his green ass into the bushes for the sole purpose of hiding, or is he some sort of “Flash” zombie that left the lake so quick and got behind the vehicle that no one even saw him? Or maybe he has the ability to fold space and teleport to any point in space with a mere thought. It is just absurd. There is no way that he could have gotten to where he was without one of the cops seeing him. Anyway, the second cop just stands there like the proverbial movie moron until the zombie before him and the zombie behind him meet and make him the middle of a zombie sandwich. Yech. The limits of the make-up are really noticeable here, as both sandwich zombies exhibit the same characteristic: the green make-up covers only their face, leaving their necks quite visibly clean and healthy looking. Also, within seconds of leaving the water, all the zombies are quite dry.

The first cop is shown being dragged into the lake by One-Eye and another shot of the second cop shows him being gnawed upon by the sandwich zombies. WAIT! Seven zombies exited the lake…where are the other four? Perhaps they are stomping around the bushes in hopes of flushing out more cops to snack on. If that is the case, someone needs to point them toward a donut shop…er…I forgot, this is France…a croissant shop, then. Maybe those four zombies are still stuck in the mud, trying to get out of the lake? They certainly don’t move very fast (aside from “flash”) and could easily have gotten mired. Then again, maybe the zombies have some weird tag-team approach when attacking people and the other four are awaiting their turn to be tagged!

Now prepare yourself for the zombie rampage!!

Two zombies enter.Single zombie attacks weirdos. Zombie is balding and without makeup except on hands. Obviously NOT one of the zombies seen entering.Weirdos inside.Having snacked on the two cops, and no doubt on a caffeine/sugar rush from slurping the coffee and donut tainted blood of said police officers, the zombies (all seven) decided to go for a walk. They stumble their way towards town, the camera only showing their feet as they traverse the roadway. In town they all seem to break up and two zombies enter a doorway, but only one zombie is shown actually entering the building. Inside, a man and woman are fiercely making out. It is almost comical because the guy is wearing a horrible looking wig. Anyway, the zombie dispatches the man and proceeds to bite into the woman’s neck. This is all shot with the zombie’s back to the camera. I’m guessing this is to hide two facts. One, The zombie doing the attacking is not either of the two zombies shown to be entering the building, and two, the actor portraying this zombie is not sporting any makeup (except for his hands) and is balding – a characteristic which no zombie seen thus far in the film has displayed. Ya think this was filmed later and inserted into the film? Duh. After that mini fiasco we are subjected to that same shot of the zombie’s feet again and then see as One-Eye busts into the pub and starts tearing the place up – though Chanac is no where to be seen this time. After that we are shown a woman bathing outdoors in a tub when a zombie comes bumbling through some corn stalks to kill her, apparently needing to leave the cornfield twice before she notices him. Then another woman walking alone is attacked and killed by a single zombie. Satiated for the time being, the zombies lumber back to the lake and wade on in.

The townsfolk are really pissed now and are taking up arms. I’d be pissed, too if I was in such a crappy movie! The Mayor gives a speech to a gun-toting crowd (there is Chanac! I knew he couldn’t be too far away) that basically says now that the zombies have declared war on their town, it’s up to them to protect themselves. He devises a plan to ambush the zombies later that night by taking everyone with a gun and hiding out at the West End of town, as the zombies are sure to take the west lane. The crowd seems pretty enthusiastic over this idea. Ummm….question: why not just walk up to the damn lake, wait for a zombie to emerge and then blow it away? That seems a lot more simple and effective. Then again, if they went that route, the movie would be over, and the filmmakers still have lots of pain to inflict on the audience.

Now we see the zombies at the bottom of their pool…er…lake. The actors are doing a pretty good job of holding their breath, but just before the scene changes, one zombie at the bottom goes hurtling up toward the lake’s surface. My guess is that particular actor just could not hold his breath any longer and needed air now. The zombies again exit the lake and the viewer is left to wonder if this is supposed to be the next day or later the same day of their “rampage,” as the sun is still shining brightly, and the Mayor did say something about the zombies leaving their watery abode at night. What follows next is just goofy. The villagers have staked out various spots in town and when the zombies come stumbling down the street, they blast away. The townsfolk fire their magic guns that never need reloading, but after about a million rounds the zombies just keep coming. The living retreat a block or two and start the whole process over again.

Somehow Daddy Zombie has gotten over to Helena’s house, where the film’s one and only “shock” moment arrives when the girl’s grandmother pulls back the curtains to reveal him standing outside the window. She faints and he once again walks right in to Helena’s room, where father and daughter share a bonding moment. She takes him by the hand and leads him outside and down a road where they run into a few more of the zombies, including old One-Eye. Daddy Zombie holds his daughter back and then goes to confront the other dead people. I guess by not killing and eating Helena, Daddy Zombie has defied the unwritten zombie code and faces expulsion from the zombie union. One-Eye grabs a knife and attacks Daddy Zombie. The fight is on! Now what good is a knife against a zombie? One-Eye may be upholding the zombie code, but he sure is dumb. He and Daddy Zombie fight while Helena and the other stiffs watch. In the end, Daddy Zombie is the winner, and seems to convey the message to the other zombies to leave his daughter alone. Then Helena runs off. Not long after that the zombies are on the move again.

 

Note - It is at this point that the movie enters its final segment, so if any of you really feel the need to watch this film and not know the ending ahead of time, skip the rest of this section.

 

The Mayor’s plan must have gone down the crapper, cuz now he’s banging furiously at Helena’s door. The girl’s grandmother tells him that Helena went off with the zombies, but when they look in the girl’s room, she is fast asleep in bed. Helena explains how Daddy Zombie protected her from the others.

Now we see the Mayor walking and talking with Katya the reporter. I thought she had to leave? Take note how she is wearing the exact same outfit that she had on earlier in the film…even though that took place days prior to this. The Mayor is whining and complaining about the zombies plaguing the town. He mumbles something about how every weapon fails to kill them and only an apocalypse could reduce them to ash. This gives Katya an idea and she suggests using napalm. The Mayor seems very grateful for the suggestion. Hello? Anyone home? What an idiot! It takes an outside reporter to suggest using fire? Geez the people of this town are first class, grade A morons! Chanac is standing nearby (naturally) and overhears this. He suggests asking some local yokel to repair his old flamethrower.

Now the Mayor is at Helena’s house. She agrees to help him catch and destroy the zombies…all except her father. The Mayor launches into another speech about how Daddy Zombie doesn’t belong in the world of the living and probably yearns for death (something the audience can empathize with at this point). Next, some other kid the movie has never shown before comes running up, screaming about somebody named Maria being found dead in the middle of the road. I wonder if that was that women from a little earlier. This seems to convince Helena that ALL the zombies deserve their final rest, including her father. She concocts a plan where she will lure them all to the mill with fresh blood, then leave while the zombies chow down and thus allowing the Mayor and his men to burn them all to zombie crisps. She tells…no, orders the Mayor to make the preparations and he agrees. Just more proof that this mayor sucks at his job – he has young girls bossing him around.

“I said no pictures!”Now we see the zombies leaving the lake again. Why don’t they just get an apartment in town? That way they could eliminate that commute. Chanac must have seen them, as he runs like hell down a road and warns Katya to get away. She insists on staying so she can snap some photographs. He runs off as she ventures off to find the zombies. Elsewhere the zombies are stomping through town again exactly like they did earlier. In fact, it’s the same damn footage! Katya gets too close while trying to snap a photo and the zombies get her. Well duh! Who didn’t see that one coming?

Out at the mill, Helena is getting things ready when Daddy Zombie comes blundering down the path. She offers him a handful of fresh blood, which he slurps up like a diner at a Japanese ramen joint. I have to wonder where this blood originated. The zombies have not been shown attacking and killing animals, only humans. I doubt blood from an animal would get them overly excited, so it must be human blood. The question remains, where the hell did it come from? Helena has a whole bucket of it. Did everyone in town slit their thumbs and contribute a few drops into a communal dish, or was some poor slob sacrificed in order to procure the precious liquid? At this very moment is there some sorry bastard running around with a tap in his jugular, cursing the townsfolk and trying his damnedest to steer clear of the zombies?

"Pardon me while I smoke!"Anyway, after Daddy Zombie slurps up the blood, Helena waves another bowl of blood at him and then lures him further into the mill. Soon enough the other zombies arrive and enter. I just realized that zombies are like sharks – they can smell blood from a long distance away. Helena gives her father another full bowl then runs like hell out of there – the first sensible thing done by anyone in this entire film!! She runs home, goes to her room and begins to cry. The Mayor enters and comforts her.

With the way now clear, the townsfolk approach the mill with a contraption that has a large tank and an equally large nozzle. This must be the flamethrower. Inside, the zombies are dishing up blood out of the bucket by using the bowl. Hey, murderous they may be, but they still have a wee bit of decorum if they’re using a bowl. They pass it around and refill it when it gets empty. Ya know, for stiffs, they’re no too dumb. Then POOF, the locals ignite the flamethrower and the room is engulfed in fire. Zombies go up in flames like dry kindling. One-Eye makes a valiant attempt at escaping by climbing into the cellar, but the Does anyone know a good therapist?flamethrower finds him and reduces him to toast. Daddy Zombie get a blast right in the face and gets thrown right out the window and into the river despite the fact that before falling, he was not standing in front of a window. Some of these scenes actually look like they were filmed as it was getting dark, which makes it all the more stupid when the film flips back to Helena and the Mayor running up to the mill and it is very bright out.

Helena calls out for her father to not forget her as she will not forget him. Um…he’s dead you idiot! With that, the film abruptly ends.

 

The End. THANK GOD.


Review

Horror films have always incorporated elements of everyday life into their storytelling, twisting the mundane into something horrific. Likewise, they have taken very real horrors and utilized them in painting their macabre and terrifying images. One of the most frightening things to arise in the last one hundred years was The Third Reich. The atrocities they perpetuated upon other peoples is something that still sends chills down people’s spines in this day and age, and they serve as a reminder to the Human race to never let such things happen again. So naturally, it was not too long before someone got the bright idea to use Nazis in horror films. Despite the fact that the war was long over, cinematic entries such as The Frozen Dead (1966), Shock Waves (1977) and others made it clear that there were some soldiers of the Third Reich that were still around and very dangerous.

Along comes 1978 and George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, the long anticipated follow-up to his classic 1968 Night of the Living Dead. When exported to Italy, already the home of blood soaked horror films including the Giallo and cannibal film genre, it was re-titled Zombi and its gore quotient was met with open and enthusiastic arms. In fact, it was such a hit that it helped spawn an entirely new subgenre – the Italian Zombie picture. First up was Lucio Fulci’s 1979 effort, Zombi 2 (known as Zombie outside Italy). Conceived as a “sequel” to the re-titled “Dawn” it was not related to the Romero picture in any way, other than featuring flesh-eating zombies.

Soon, a barrage of cheap and mostly bad zombie pictures came flooding out of Italy. Filmmakers in other countries took notice and eager to cash in on the phenomenon, produced their own zombie epics. This where Le Lac des Morts Vivants got its start, when a joint French/Spanish production decided to venture once again into already explored territory by making their villains Nazi soldiers. I can just hear the reasoning now: “If Nazis are scary, and zombies are scary, imagine the scares people will get from our Nazi Zombies!” Sadly, the only thing frightening about this film is the sheer incompetence on display.

Oh, good god I have no idea where to start when it comes to this abortion of a movie. I have seen some awful movies in my day - the kind that are technically well made, but lacking an interesting story. I have also seen plenty of films were the opposite is true – movies that have a good idea at their core, but are sorely lacking the funds to realize it properly. Then there are the films that have a good idea and a decent sized budget, but are helmed by hacks and people who have no business making movies. Sadly, Zombie Lake suffers from all the negative points in the above categories. It has no budget, no good ideas, is produced by incompetents and is assembled in the most bumbling manner possible. The only way it could be any more craptastic was if it was made by a gang of elementary school kids…and even then I have my reservations about their ability to be any worse.

The Storyline.
The basic story in the film really isn’t too bad: murdered German soldiers return from their watery grave to exact revenge. However, the execution of said story is pitifully bad. Horrendous dubbing aside, the film fails utterly at setting any kind of mood or feeling of dread. All the zombie attacks occur in broad daylight, which can be frightening when handled by someone who knows what they are doing, but that cannot be said about anyone on this picture. The zombies never come off as anything more than actors in terrible paint. Their bumbling and stumbling around is just plain laughable. However, how can you take a movie too seriously as a work of horror when one of the main story elements centers on the loving relationship between a zombie and his living daughter? Anyone with common sense would have reserved such an idea for an over-the-top farce or parody (a la Dead-Alive). In a supposedly earnest zombie film, it is just flat out ludicrous. The scenes in question transcend goofiness and march boldly into sheer idiocy. Watching Daddy Zombie trying to show his love and affection for Helena was just painful to behold, and I have to wonder how the actors maintained a straight face when filming such tripe.

Characterizations and Acting.
The characters in this film are almost non-existent. They are more like vague people who pass in and out of the narrative for eighty-three minutes. None of them are explored or defined in any way. Their motivations for anything and everything they do remain a complete and total mystery. The only exception is Katya the reporter, whose purpose for being around is at least credible. Others, like the cops Spitz and Morane, are in the film far too briefly to really count as legitimate characters. Then there is Chanac. He seems to be the “economic” character. What I mean by that is that he seems to be used whenever the producers needed someone other than the Mayor and obviously didn’t want to hire someone new. Chanac is everywhere in this picture (see gif at right) and not once is his job or relation to the Mayor ever explained. I cannot really comment too much on the acting since the film is dubbed, but there are definitely moments of poor thespian talents at work. The attack scenes are simply atrocious, with victims overacting so bad, William Shatner looks like an elder statesman of the acting world. Difficult as it may be to believe, but even the zombies are bad actors. Their slow rise from the lake’s water looks comical at times, especially when Rudolph the Red-Nosed Zombie waves his arms above his head in what is no doubt supposed to be a threatening pose, but is more a cause for laughs than chills.

FX.
First, let’s take a look at the title monsters, the zombies. These guys are about as menacing as mimes on dope. They are extremely slow, and it is mind-boggling how anyone with even one functioning leg cannot escape their clutches. Their make-up is about as ground breaking as a cement block. A bright green applied to most of their faces, along with a few dabs on their hands, is about all we get. The only deformity is One-Eye, and I must admit that I saw better hanging-eyeball FX in the film Summer School with Mark Harmon. The Shrek-like green skin paint is augmented on a few zombies with scars and/or bright red splotches that are supposed to denote grievous bodily wounds. Not only do they not appear as such, but one zombie sporting a bloody face looks like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Zombie because of the cheap make-up. Worst of all is the highly apparent fact that the green skin paint easily washes off, as more than one zombie has only semi-green hands. That doesn’t matter too much in the end, as the application of the paint is reserved for the actor’s faces, and is used sparingly on other body part, making for some truly patchwork walking dead.

The Music.
The vast majority of the music is horrible as well. The recycled stuff has a modicum of scariness to it, but the rest of the film drowns in truly awful music. Nearly all the scenes with the zombies do not attempt to utilize music as a method for increasing dread and/or anxiety. Instead, all too often such scenes are scored with the same monotonous sounds (I hesitate to call it music) that never vary in pitch or tempo. Boring in the extreme! Even worse are the scenes that only have nature sounds accompanying the action. How scary is a man in lousy green face-paint, walking across a field in broad daylight with nothing but chirping birds in the background? I’ll tell you: not scary at all!

Technique.
Now for one of the biggest failures of the film: continuity. Nothing is the same from scene to scene or from earlier parts of the film to latter segments. At one point, an underwater shot reveals a bald zombie swimming around. However, the only two zombies shown any other time without any type of hat, are Daddy Zombie and One-Eye, and both have full heads of hair! Another moment shows two zombies entering a building, but seconds later only a single zombie attacks the inhabitants within, and then it isn’t even one of the two shown entering! Then there is the “teleportation” zombie that jumps from one location to another in the blink of en eye, or the truly insane notion that the film is set in the time period in which it was made – 1980, but features a twelve year old girl who as born during the Second World War! On top of such foolishness is the sheer inept filmmaking at work. A swimming pool is obviously used to stand in for a lake, a tarp half covering its side walls. A woman looks straight at the camera. Sound effects alone are used to portray a WWII battle. The crew is caught on film more than once. The list just goes on and on and on.

The Summation.
In the end, the film sucks. It sucks BIGTIME. It is the epitome of bad filmmaking and anyone involved with it at all should hang his or her head in shame. For the potential viewer, I say this: Go cut yourself with a rusty razor, then pound salt into the wounds. It will be a much more enjoyable experience than subjecting yourself to this movie. The FX are crude by high school theater standards. The zombie paint makes them look a gang of skinny Shreks, while the wounds inflicted on their victims resembles smeared lipstick and jelly rather than horrific lacerations. I’ve made more realistic wounds with crayons! The characters possess all the depth of puddle of piss and have about as half as much intelligence. I honestly could go on and on, listing one crappy element after another, but we’d be here for hours. Suffice it to say that this is one of the most badly made films ever.

 

Expect To See:
Castles
Castles - The Mayor lives in a large stone castle-like tower that is obviously very old. It's probably where he hides out when irate villagers come to complain about his incompetence.
Disturbing Kids
Disturbing Kids - Helena might not sport extra limbs or organs, but her unnatural youth after being alive for 30+ years makes it hard not to classify her as disturbing.
Extreme Violence
Extreme Violence - The only reason I used this icon is all the blood on display. Yes, the blood is very fake looking, and no, there is no gore at all.
Forest Hijinks
Forest Hijinks - Quite a bit of running around in the woods in this film, whether it be by Nazi soldiers, French resistance fighters, Allied soldiers, naked chicks or bright green zombies.
Gunplay
Gunplay - There are several scenes depicting World War II battles, plus there is the sheer amount of shots fired at the zombies in the latter half of the film.
Nudity
Nudity - Lots of nudity here, and all female. In fact, most of the female cast members took their clothes off at one point or another. Plus, some of the nude scenes are very revealing.
Romance
Romance - That idiotic romance between Soldier Boy and Muette. Zzzz…
Sex
Sex - Evidently, you repay someone who has saved your life by rewarding them with sexual intercourse. At least, that is how it is done in this small French town.
Underwater Hijinks
Underwater Hijinks - There are numerous shots of the zombies hanging out underwater in their pool…er…I mean their lake.
Zombies
Zombies - A grand total of seven zombies here. Shiny bright green in color, when dressed in their soldier outfits, it makes them look more like a z-grade metal band from the 80’s.

 

Movie Stats:
Shadow's Commentary:

Deaths: 30
Bare boobs: 20
Exposed bush: 9
Drinks consumed: 28
Smokes: 11
Number of times crew or equipment can be seen: at least 9
Most zombies seen at once: 8
Number of actors playing zombies: at least 12
People who look at the camera: at least 6
Continuity glitches: too many to count

01 Min - We’ve got bush! Repeat, we’ve got bush!
07 Mins – Camera operater can be seen in mirror.
13 Mins - The corpse just closed its own eyes.
18 Mins - The moron film crew can be spotted in a mirror.
26 Mins - Worst sex scene ever.
38 Mins - I’ve had dreams that started out like this.
47 Mins - It’s 1980 and she is still twelve?!
52 Mins - Look at that cheap toupe!
63 Mins - Zombie vs. Zombie knife fight.
83 Mins - The end. Thank all that is holy.


Shadow's Drinking Game: Every time you spy Chanac anywhere on screen, take a drink.

 

Images Click for larger image

"Most kids bring home a puppy,
but not my nephew. No, he has
to bring home a cheap slut."


"Tell me, boys…have you ever
been in a Turkish prison?"


 
"Hello. My name is Fifi le Git and
welcome to another installment
of Drunk French Whore.'

The previous night’s spicy Mexican
food had returned in full,
deadly force.



"Look Hans, this is the last time we
cover the fact that you got your
ass kicked by a girl."

 
"This just in…riots have broken out
in response to this crappy movie."



 
The film’s director responds to
allegations that his film sucks.


European rules water polo never
caught on in America despite
the policy stating all women
must play nude.


"I swear this odd rash was only the
size of a coin this morning!"

Not only is the side of the
swimming pool hidden with an
obvious tarp, the tarp doesn’t
even cover all of it!

"Taste tests confirm that 3 out of 6
zombies prefer new Necrocrap
brand Zombie Chow. Buy it for
your zombie today."



The Third Reich’s latest weapon –
Flaming Nazis, were a failed experiment
and the project was soon abandoned
after a disastrous mishap at a
munitions depot.

 

Immortal Dialog

The two cops enter the pub during their murder investigation.

Morane: “We’re here to investigate the murders. We’d like your cooperation.”
Chanac: “Is that so? And then you’re going to arrest us, huh? I imagine you think we’re all a little crazy. It just so happens we ain’t. You might as well get it into your heads I didn’t do it, and nobody else around here, either.”
Spitz: “Just shut up, uh? Or I’ll pull you in for obstructing justice.”

Shadow’s comment: You might as well get it into your heads that this movie sucks ass.


The Mayor talks to the town’s citizens after the zombie rampage.

Mayor: “We better face the fact that zombies have declared war. Those two cops were skeptical. Our fate is now in our own hands. We must find a way to safeguard our town from the mad murdering zombies. We’re not powerless, we must act!”

Shadow’s comment: The zombies got Mulder and Scully? Oh no!

 

Keep In Mind
  • From under the water French lakes resemble indoor swimming pools.
  • Parading a dead body through town helps start the healing process.
  • The easiest way into a woman’s pants is to save her life.
  • The Allies pioneered the use of invisible bullets during WWII.
  • Young women in groups have been known to spontaneously strip naked.
  • Zombies dislike traveling without their hats.
  • Despite their bad rap, zombies are loving parents.
  • Mayors routinely confide in, and confer with, twelve year old girls.
  • Some people are so slow and inattentive, zombies can easily sneak up on them.
  • Zombies go up in flames faster than dry kindling.



This Film & Me

Before November of 2004, I had never heard of this film. I now look upon that time as an age of innocence, before I learned just how bad a film can be. And not just a bad end product, but a horrible execution as well. It was in November of 2004 when I saw this DVD at my local Suncoast. I was in the midst of a “zombie fest” and was actively seeking any and all zombie films on DVD that I could find. Naturally I had collected numerous Italian offerings and when I saw this film, advertised as a Spanish/French joint production, I figured a European heritage was good enough. Boy, was I wrong. I got the film home and fell asleep about five minutes into the movie when I first tried to watch it. The next time, I made sure it was a bright afternoon and not late at night, so sleep would not overpower me. I managed to sit through the rest of the movie and was shocked at how inept it was on every level imaginable. I knew it would make for a good review on this site, but was unwilling to watch it again so soon. Now that several months have gone by, and the Rogue Reviewer’s Fecal Film Festival Roundtable was announced, I thought this would be a good time to subject myself to this monstrosity again. After this review, I doubt I will ever watch this piece of crap again. Indeed, I may require therapy. Extensive therapy.

Shadow's rating: One Tombstone



The Good

  • Lots of laughs to be had
  • Quaint French locations
  • Naked chicks

The Bad

  • Lame make-up and gore FX
  • Characters are all idiots
  • Crappy music
  • Not scary at all
  • Zombies always attack during day

The Ugly

  • The dead father/living daughter relationship
  • Continuity? What's that?
  • Child born in 1946 only 12 in 1980
  • Terrible dubbing
  • Total incompetence behind the camera (this covers everything else)


This review is part of the Fecal Film Festival Rogue Reviewers Roundtable:

Review Round-Up
Check out other reviews for this film!
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