Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Le lac des morts vivants (1981)

... aka: Lago de los muertos vivientes, El
... aka: Lake of the Living Dead
... aka: Zombie Lake
... aka: Zombies Lake

Directed by:
"J.A. Lazer" (Jean Rollin)

Let's clear one thing up first, if you want a good zombie horror movie then go rent something else. However, if you're looking for nonstop naked Euro babes and unintentional laughs in the form of terrible dubbing, dialogue and 'special' make-up effects, then look no further. Considering director Jean Rollin isn't exactly a hack and has quite a few interesting and stylish horror films on his resume, one must wonder why this has to his best-circulated film here in America. Here's a taste of what you're in for gang... Nazi soldiers shot and killed during WWII rise from a lake as flesh-craving zombies and terrorize the citizens of a picturesque, small French town. The green-faced flesh-eater make-up could easily be the worst ever. It opens with a very long segment featuring a naked woman walking around, sunbathing, then swimming. Zombie POV shots show her doggy paddling around for what seems to be an hour before she is pulled under. In another scene, a zombie stalking a woman has normal hands, but when he attacks and kills her his hands are suddenly green. My favorite part is when an all-girl basketball team arrive in a van ("Come on out girls! HAHA!"), strip naked and splash around in the lake. Underwater shots that would make Dr. Ruth blush capture them from all angles before they get killed. Franco movie regular Howard Vernon, who has done so many low budget horror movies that calling him Europe's answer to John Carradine isn't too much of an exaggeration, gets top billing for his supporting role as a mayor who tells a reporter in flashback the fate of the zombie soldiers.

OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES (1981) has a similar theme and was made by the same crew, but different director (Jesus Franco, who scripted this one as "A.L. Mariaux" and was also once slated to direct). Neither is any good, though bad movie fans seem to enjoy them.

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