Zombie Lake (1981)
[Le Lac Des Morts Vivants]
"I would like to thank all of you who are here today, attending
this great ceremony. It is today that we welcome our newest
addition...a film that I'm sure will represent us well.
It is now time to rise, extend our hand, as the members
of 'Truly Worthless Films' grant new membership to the piece
of work known as...Zombie Lake." Applause erupts
as the speaker reveals the poster of Zombie Lake
to the crowd.
That's how I envision this movie getting any type of notoriety
at all...as a horribly deficient piece of garbage. There
is so much to say about this movie...none of it good.
There are so many negative aspects to this film that I
will only be able to scratch the surface in this review.
Value can be obtained, however, by the bountiful amounts
of laughter that will arise from watching Zombie Lake.
Of course, I'm sure this type of amusement was not the
intention of director Jean Rollin.
Somewhere in France there is a small town, in which there
is a lake. And in this lake contains several undead Nazi soldiers.
These Nazis were killed at some point during World War II
by the French resistance and the bodies were dumped into the
lake. For reasons unknown to us the zombies finally decide
to rise out of the lake and start creating mayhem in this
small village. That in itself could make this a horrible horror
movie. Rollin really wanted us to get our money's worth...so
he threw in a bizarre side story of one of the zombies getting
back in touch with his daughter.
Could anybody really think that this story would make
a good movie? Probably not. That's why I've come to the
conclusion that this whole film was an excuse to get a
lot of young, attractive chicks to take off their clothes.
Very few of the actresses in this movie get to keep their
clothes on. Half of the film is taken up by good, old-fashioned
full frontal nudity. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining,
and I really should have expected it having already seen
other Rollin films, like Living
Let's just go ahead and start the laundry list of flaws.
First on the list is the makeup. It's atrocious. It was
as simple as painting the actors' faces green. And they
couldn't even get that right. There's one scene at the
beginning where you can blatantly see that the green paint
has rubbed off on the victim's chin and neck. The zombie
that has an eye missing looks like he's got a piece of
bologna on his face. The application of green paint varied
throughout the movie, sometimes very little, sometimes
a lot. There was no consistency. Oh yeah, if you're a
big fan of decomposition, it doesn't really exist in Zombie
Lake. The soldiers look, for the most part, much like
they did when they were alive.
The directing, editing, and music are all just plain bad.
There are several scenes that were put into the film that
make no sense whatsoever and add nothing to the story. You
just end up asking, "Why is that in there? What was that
supposed to be? It was simply a case of a poor job of
getting the story across. It's up to the viewer to just guess
at what's going on most of the time. For such a simple story,
I couldn't believe how much thought had to be put into it,
and most of it still didn't make much sense.
The most bizarre part of the story revolves around the
main Nazi finding his daughter. He died when she was just
a baby and now he's back to be the good Nazi father he
knows he can be. What the hell? Oh well, at least he's
not being a deadbeat dad.
This is a pretty harsh review, and rightly so. You will,
however, be highly entertained by Zombie Lake.
You won't be seeing a masterpiece of horror, but you will
be seeing a pretty hilarious zombie flick. You will laugh,
that I can almost guarantee. How about the underwater
scenes that you can obviously tell were filmed in some
type of pool? That's right, you can plainly see the side
of the pool, the lights, and the other pool parts. Then
there's the scene where you can see the cameraman in the
mirror, the scene where the zombie apparently has held
his breath for too long and has to go up for air...I could
keep going, but I'll leave it up to you to find the rest
of the laughs. Finally, I want to give Rollin his much
deserved props for setting his actor zombies on fire for
the sake of realism...I just hope they got some hazard
(out of 5)
|May 13 1981
|March 27 2001
|DEAD KEV'S ADVICE
|The half star is for the unintentional humor that
is contained within this otherwise worthless film.
If you really want to see Zombie Lake, my advice
is to get some friends together, grab a few (or more)
drinks, and prepare to put on your own version of
||ZOMBIE LESSONS LEARNED
|1. No swimming signs are usually put up for a reason...follow the rules or die.
2. Taking off your clothes is grounds for a zombie attack.
|-"We better face the fact that zombies have declared war."
-"The others are bad ghosts, but not him."
-"Bring me a whole lot of fresh blood."
|Jean Rollin (Living
||The German Soldier
|Jean Rene Bleu
|COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
|The general story is that Jesus Franco was originally
going to direct, but left at the last minute stating
that the budget was too small for him. Apparently
Jean Rollin hadn't even read the script and only had
a couple of weeks to make the movie.
|Alternate scenes were shot for the film, which replaced
the nude scenes with clothed actresses.
|AKA : El Lago de Los Muertos Vivientes (1980
Spain); The Lake of the Living Dead (1980);
Zombies Lake (1980 Europe: English title)
Rollin Interview - Vampyria: Cine Xtravaganza
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