25 March 2017

ZOMBIE LAKE. (1981) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.




ZOMBIE LAKE. (1981) DIRECTED BY JULIAN LASERNA AND JEAN ROLLIN. STARRING HOWARD VERNA, PASCALE VITALE, PIERRE-MARIE ESCOURROU, LYNN MONTELL, MARCIA SHARIF AND ANOUSHKA. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

The first five minutes of this superb Spanish-French horror film are pure pornography. I'll ask you guys to picture the scene as I've done before for other films. It's a beautiful sunny day in a little French village in the countryside. A stunning brunette prepares to bathe in a picturesque lake with adorable lily-pads bobbing on its surface.

She strips off completely, revealing a perfect body and a nice little thatch of pubic hair, this film hailing obviously from the days when women still sported pubes. Some of 'em- shock horror- even had armpit hair. Anyway, our little friend briefly considers wearing a swimming cossie but decides against it, due to the isolation and peace and quiet of the lake.

After first sunbathing starkers on a log for a bit, the camera lovingly caressing every inch of her sun-kissed body, she goes for a dip in the lake. Cue lots of underwater shots of her wide-open legs as seen from underneath. You can show spread-eagled legs and what lies between 'em as much as you like as long as you do it underwater and it's all nicely blurry, heh-heh-heh. The music is still nice and relaxing and non-threatening.

Suddenly, the music turns ominous and menacing, alerting the viewer to an impending disaster. A hand comes out of the water, all scrunched-up and claw-like so we know that it's an evil hand. A zombie appears and pulls the horrified naked girl down under the water with him to her, well, watery grave. The surface of the lake is calm and unruffled once more. The danger is past. Or is it...?

Of course it's not, haha. There's another eighty-something minutes to go, for crying out loud. The little town is, in fact, plagued by this bloody lake and the creatures who dwell within it. Beautiful young women in the town are constantly disappearing, or being found dead with their throats torn out and their dresses up around their heads or thereabouts. The aggressors are one million percent likely to be of the male persuasion, the amateur detective might be drawn to conclude.

When a female journalist comes to the little town to investigate the disappearances, she smells a nice juicy story but, apparently, not the stinking rotting flesh of the Nazi zombies who populate the Lake of The Damned, as the locals call it. It's also referred to as the Damned Lake or even, on occasion, the Damned Lake of The Damned, just so that we know for sure that it's an evil lake.

The town mayor tells the curious journo about the Nazi soldiers who were killed in the town some ten years ago during the war by French Resistance fighters. Their bodies were chucked into the lake to avoid any unpleasantness with any other Nazis who might be passing by.

Now these slaughtered soldiers are rabid zombies, who tear the throats out of any attractive women who might happen by and drink their blood. Drink their blood? Maybe these are vampire zombies, or maybe they're just a tad confused by what exactly they're supposed to be. Maybe the chemicals from their bright green face-paint are seeping into their brains and addling them...

There's a tender love-story to be found amongst the sordid remnants of the town's history too. A brief sexual encounter between one of the Nazis while he still lived and a beautiful blonde local woman resulted in a pigtailed offspring who has strong feelings now for her Zombie Dad. This naturally causes complications when the frightened villagers form an angry mob and decide to blast the poor zombies off the face of the earth.

Jeez, it's hard enough being a parent in any day and age without the added complication of being a Zombie Dad to a pre-pubescent girl. I mean, where do you take her on the weekend when it's time for your few pitiful hours of custody? The Dead Zoo? Un-Dead Burger King? The Cinema of the Deceased? And how the f**k do you tell her about the facts of life?

'Well, when a zombie man and a zombie woman love each other very much, the zombie man puts
his rotting wiener in the zombie lady's diseased, putrefied opening...' 

Nah, fuhgeddaboutit it. It's just too damned hard. Kids can learn about this stuff from books if they must.

There are some great scenes in this wonderful 'Eighties Euro-goth horror film, such as the one in which an entire female basketball team dives starkers into the lake and playfully splash at each others' bouncing bosoms and hairy lady-bits and what-not for a bit. The zombies, however, want to play too...

I love the music in the film as well. It's so deliciously vintage and there's a clear defining line between the 'good' and 'bad' music, which is always handy because you always know when something creepy is going to happen.

The music when the basketball girlies are comporting themselves merrily in the nip in the lake is like something you'd hear on EUROTRASH, the magazine show presented by French scallywags Antoine de Caunes and fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. It's bouncy, poppy and jaunty and exactly suitable.

Now that I think about it, it's also similar to the music playing when Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw manage to trick their respectable girlfriends into watching a film about a naturist camp they're hoping to drag 'em along to in the hope of 'getting some.' That cheeky pair of so-and-sos...!

ZOMBIE LAKE has been slagged off to high heaven by the critics but, quite honestly, they're talking out of their behinds, these know-it-all critics. This is a brilliant example of the horror genre known as 'Euro-goth' and I would actually recommend the living daylights, or should that be the living dead, out of it. LE LAC DES MORTS VIVANTS is the film's French title, incidentally, which I think is quite cool.

The good news is that it's out on release at the moment, complete with extra features and what-have-you. Here are those all-important details:

SCREENBOUND is launching two brilliant new Euro cult film labels: MAISON ROUGE and BLACK HOUSE FILMS. Don't they sound sexy as hell? MAISON ROUGE will specialise in Euro sleaze, of which FEMALE VAMPIRE: BARE-BREASTED COUNTESS will be their first release. Good choice, guys. 

They'll follow this up with the superb HELGA, SHE-WOLF OF STILLBERG. There's lots of nudie whipping in this film and some sizzling girl-on-girl action so don't miss it, whatever you do.

BLACK HOUSE FILMS will deal mainly with Euro horror, of which the first release will be ZOMBIE LAKE. I'll certainly bombard ye with more details when I have 'em myself. Either way, the two labels intend to exploit the best of 'Sixties-to-'Eighties Euro Exploitation over the next few years, so prepare to be positively dazzled by Euro-filth and deliciously Gothic horror, in other words.

Anyway, in the meantime make sure you get your mitts on ZOMBIE LAKE. If Un-Dead Nazis rampaging about molesting beautiful young women whose clothes keep unnacountably falling off of 'em is your thing, then you've come to the right place. Gott in Himmel, have you ever come to the right place...

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com











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