February 12, 2013

Zombie Coma: Zombie Lake and Oasis of the Zombies

There are bad movies and there are bad movies. There are movies that test your dedication to cinema. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like a terrible piece of Eurotrash cinema to tempt you with tearing up your movie lover card. The double bill I watched the other day, wow. Seriously, if you have ever had a problem getting to sleep, these will put them to rest. The pairing would test even the most hardened bad cinema lover. At the same time, I do not regret taking the bullet. Hell,I might even recommend you try to take the same trip.

The first movie of the night is the 1981 outing Zombie Lake. The movie was originally slated to be directed by its writer, longtime purveyor of Eurotrash Jess Franco. I guess he realized just how bad this particular tale was, or that he was essentially ripping off Shock Waves. Stepping in to take the reigns was another name familiar to Eurotrash lovers, Jean Rollin. Funny thing is that he also realized how bad it was and essentially disowned it for years, he was credited as J.A. Lazer.

Zombie Lake opens promisingly enough as a fetching young Euro-babe arrives at a lily pad covered lake, proceeds to strip down and lounge around before tossing aside the no swimming sign and jumping in. Before long a Nazi zombie floats up from the depths and drags her to a watery death.

As the story goes,the Nazis occupied this little French village until the villagers rose up, killed the soldiers and threw them into the lake. One of the soldiers had a relationship with a villager, resulting in the birth of a ban girl. However man years later, the lake is disturbed, the zombies rise and people die, with one zombie looking to reconnect with his daughter.

The movie moves at a snails pace, the story barely registers as such, and it apparently had no budget. Rather, the budget went to the lousy extras and explosions in the WWII flashback. The zombies are nothin more than funny walking dudes with green paint, which clearly ribs off while nuzzling their victims. It is fun to watch some of the goofiness. I mean, watching the naked college girls wade in the lake while underwater shows show them all treading water in a pool (yes, a pool).

Zombie Lake is surely trashy enough, it seems all you need to attract a zombie is a naked woman. Perhaps with enough beer the whole thing could be fun, but it is a real chore to get through this. It is actual more fun to talk about it than it was to watch it.

Now, if that isn't enough, I kept the fun rolling with another film involving Jess Franco, this one he actually directed, although it does not really seem like it. Oasis of the Zombies, one of the worst zombie films I have ever laid eyes on.

It starts out promisingly enough, with a couple of young ladies stop at remote oasis, for a romantic getaway, one wold assume. Things get creepy soon enough and zombies pop out of the ground and the girls are never heard from again.

As the story goes, a Nazi caravan is transporting a large amount of gold through the desert, the are intercepted by other soldiers, a fight ensues and the gold is lost. Only one man survived, rescued and nursed by a sheik, whose daughter he falls for and has a son with. Years later, the man dies and his grown son decides to look for the gold.

I guess that's really all there is to say about that. Characters appear and disappear, zombies pop up and kill people, and the story ever really makes an sense. It lacks that real Eurotrash flair and is really not worth the time.

While Zombie Lake has the trash factor and some wacky stuff to talk about afterwards, Oasis of the Zombies is just boring. I think the most interesting fact about the latter is that the film had a second version filmed at the same time, only in Spanish (this version is French), with some different cast members and scenes. This Spanish version is said to never have been released outside of Spain. I can't imagine it being any better.

Well, there you have it, possibly the worst double zombie feature anyone could come up with. Go ahead, punish yourself, or take a nap. Whichever comes first. Let me also add that I cannot believe these have been released on Blu-ray (although I am sure they look better than what is streaming on Netflix).

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