ZOMBIE 108 HITS UK DVD: 30.07.2012
Following on from Kyle earlier piece on Asian Zombie movies, I’d like to counter with some genuinely strange undead offerings from out of the leftfield. Zombie 108, with it’s mixing of Hong Kong Cat III style extremes, occasional slapstick, goofball humour ,gross-out moments and modern, infection-outbreak zombie genre rules, offers a different take on the gut munching fiend. Here are some more fleasheating films that don’t take the usual road to the zombie apocalypse…
Zombies On Broadway (1945)
RKO were instrumental in bringing about the first wave of so-called Poverty Row pictures, including I Walked With A Zombie and the immortal White Zombie, but this 1945 has to be one of the stranger early entries in the undead genre. Two theatre land promoters think they can make a mint by going to the Caribbean island of San Sebastian and nabbing themselves a real voodoo stumbler to star in a new show. Bela Lugosi essays his usual mad doctor type role as the man with the secret zombification formula and the whole affair has a nice hokey charm. For Zombie lovers who are into the genre’s roots, this is a happy little time waster.
Zombie Lake (1981)
Jean Rollin – French purveyor of erotic softcore-as-arthouse lesbian vampire movies of the acquired taste variety – was so ashamed of Zombie Lake that he used an assumed name. That he was brought in at the last minute to replace cult sex-horror mavern Jess Franco should tell you everything you need to know about this gloriously inept Eurocine program filler about a “lake of ghosts” filled to the brim with rotting Nazi zombies left over from World War 2.
Sugar Hill (1974)
Meet Sugar Hill and her Zombie hit men, out to bring down Whitey in this 1974 Blaxploitation riff on the voodoo cliches of 30s and 40s Zombie Z-list cinema. With the help of Voodoo high priest Baron Samedi, she brings forth a troop of mindless slaves to do her bidding. Much polyester is worn and trousers are correctly flared in this 70s grindhouse classic.
SARS Wars (2003)
What better way to react to the possible wipe out of humanity via disease pandemic than to crank out a deliriously stupid zombie infection movie? It’s what exploitation movie makers do best, reacting to media scares and knocking out a quick picture to hoover up some cash. In the case of Thai horror flick SARS Wars, the results are more successful than they have any right to be providing you leave your taste and critical faculties at the door and basically ignore the massive CGI snake.
The Blind Dead Movies
Amando de Ossorio‘s 70s cycle of Templar Knights terror still hold up today and, given the popularity of undead movies, their blend of sexploitation and gothic creep stands up as being very fresh for films of a 40 year vintage. The four movies in the series deal in zombied Knights Templar who, having turned from God in an attempt to gain more power, are blinded and cursed to ride the night, sniffing out young girls to eat. If you’re a fan in general of creaky, erotic European horror flicks or if you want to undead cinema that dripping in creepy and queasy atmosphere with a dose of sleaze stirred into the scary pot, these are a sensation.
Mulberry Street (2006)
A much overlooked indie horror that works like 28 Days Later confirmed to one New York apartment building, Mulberry Street uses its horror to pass judgement on the American system and it’s treatment of it’s citizens (particularly in relation to Hurricane Katrina and it’s aftermath). It manages to do this without being preachy or getting the way of our enjoyment of infected residents transforming into disgusting half-zombie half-rat abominations.