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.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

La revanche des mortes vivantes (1987)

... aka: Living Dead, The
... aka: Revenge of the Living Dead Girls

Directed by:
Pierre B. Reinhard

A female hitchhiker distracts a truck driver long enough for a biker to slip some kind of toxic orange chemical into the milk supply he’s hauling. Three young women living in the same French town, Catherine, Jocelyn and Florence, end up drinking the milk, immediately drop dead and are entombed. Meanwhile, at O.K.F. Chemical, branch director Jack Alphen is being investigated in both the deaths and other unethical practices and has to attend a conference in Germany to try to smooth things over with his superiors. His evil bitch secretary Bridget hatches a scheme to blackmail the company for three million dollars by taping Alphen with a prostitute and threatening to expose his other criminal activities, which include illegal chemical dumping. Niemann, the dolt hired to dispose of the chemicals, decides to do so at the local cemetery; resurrecting the three poisoned girls as vengeful rotten-faced zombies who go on a murderous rampage. They seem to be targeting people involved with O.K.F., including Alphen, his unfaithful wife Valerie, the truck driver and a chemist named Christian who’s cheating on his pregnant wife with Alphen's wife. Christian becomes infected himself when he accidentally screws (!) one of the Living Dead Girls.

Plenty of factors go into making Living Dead Girls a fine guilty pleasure. It’s a nice-looking film, the soundtrack (including a recurring catchy pop tune) is great, it’s loaded with blood and nudity, the zombie masks are pretty cool and the dialogue is often hilarious. It’s filled with sleazy characters doing sleazy things and the very tasteless gore scenes are perfectly in tune with the other seedy goings on. A woman has her eyeball poked out with a high heeled shoe, a man has his penis bitten off and is disemboweled, a woman is raped with a sword and there’s a messy miscarriage in the shower. The film doesn’t so much as qualify for “SBIG” status because it seems well aware that it’s nothing more than trash. The people who did the English dubbing seem aware of that fact also. The run time is only 74 minutes and the DVD comes with an alternate ending that wasn’t used (when you see it you’ll understand why!).

Director Reinhard (who uses the alias “Peter B. Harsone” here) is better known for his adult film work and most of the ladies seen here also appeared in his other films.


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