ZOMBIE LAKE3 SlimesRated - NR
(Suggested for Mature Audiences only.)
- Widescreen Presentation
- Theatrical Trailer
- Alternate “Clothed” Sequences
- Alternate English-Language Title Sequence
- 2 Inserts (1 chapter index card, 1 catalog)
Listed Running Time: 83 minutes
Cast: Howard Vernon, Pierre-Marie Escourrou, Anouchka, Antonio Mayans, Nadine Pascal, Youri Radionow, Burt Altman, Gilda Arancio, Marcia Sharif, Yvonne Dany, Jean Rene Bleu, Jean Rollin, René Douglas, et al..
Director: J. A. Lazer (Jean Rollins)
AKA: Le Lac des morts vivants/ El Lago de los muertos vivientes/ Lake of the Living Dead/ Zombies’ LakeTHE CHARACTERS
With few exceptions most everyone that appears in this film are transient characters who are never named. This includes the bevy of naked women (and zombies) that appear and disappear throughout the length of this shockingly absurd flick. Of those characters who are named (or are at least important enough to note) you will meet:
The Mayor - Typical uninspired bureaucrat played by Howard Vernon. Was his name ever mentioned? You wont care.
Chanac - I've not a blessed clue what this characters point or purpose is besides being the mayor's gopher, yet IMDB lists him as a named character! I'd ask why but I don’t care.
Katya - Your friendly Russ, er, Parisian reporter. Why they named this character Katya is beyond me. Her character is pretty much irrelevant so, really, who cares?
Peasant Woman (?) - This is the French village girl saved from her virginity by a German soldier (who becomes the nameless leader zombie) in a flash back. There's no credits, IMDB doesn't list a name for her, and I didn't notice a lot of dialogue in her barn scene.
Helena - The strange girl-child offspring of Peasant Woman's summer of love. She's a preteen, the movie looks like it's set in the mid to late seventies, and the war occurred circa the forties. Do the math. The mind boggles.THE PLOT
Heralded by some as the worst zombie movie of the genre ZOMBIE LAKE is one of those rarified cult gems that next to no one will admit liking, yet every fan of bad movies has probably seen it at least once. And if they haven't then they can turn their Bad Movie Club Card™ in at the desk! So what's the story?
To begin with this is set somewhere in France, at least that is what the DVD jacket says. I believe that's also what the characters say but I am unconvinced. This looks like it was shot on location in the backyard acreage of some old European estate, probably someone's "friend of a friend's" rich uncle's manor house.
And the plot?
It's virtually incomprehensible. The movie opens on what looks to be a scenic country lake setting sometime circa the seventies. A single female wanders through an idyllic copse sheltering a secluded gazebo wherein she gets into her birthday suit and heads for the water. Before you can swallow that first fist full of popcorn Ms. Skinny Dipper is getting dragged to her doom by a zombie wearing a costume patterned after the regular army uniform of either the Wehrmacht or Panzergrenadiers. Let me repeat that: An innocent nubile young woman is attacked by an Aqua Nazi Zombie while skinny dipping, in broad daylight, in a country lake.
Are we being punked?
Sadly we are not. Worse, now aroused by the sweet taste of virginal woman flesh Mr. Nazi Zombie suddenly shambles forth from the murky depths and spastically attacks some hapless woman walking her cart over a bridge. Wait, rewind that. There’s a bridge with regular foot traffic over a lake full of Zombies?! A bridge? Over a lake!!!?? Talk about your exaggerating real estate agents turning log cabins into rustic country mansions. As if that’s not bizarre enough get this: Hungry Aqua Nazi Zombie attacks Ms. Innocent Victim’s neck and proceeds to slurp up her blood!
Blood? Zombie? Aqua Nazi Blood Drinking Force? Nubile skinny dippers? What the BLEEP!? I swear this is how this movie starts. I am not making this up. On the bright side you know the cameraman and crew probably had fun filming those scenes. And bless them for the close ups! The downside, it looks like the scenes were only shot once and the editors had to take the good with the bad as that‘s all they had. Speaking of which there is a flashback sequence later in the movie that attempts to fill in some back story but all it manages to show are that the German soldiers, meaning the Nazi zombies, were part of an stock footage mobile armored column.
Considering the uniforms that’s a nice bit of detail, if accurate. And the point is, that, uhm, well. .
The story, as I see it, is this: During World War II French (?) resistance fighters ambush a German column- actually a single armored vehicle, this is a ultra cheap quikie flick after all- and dispose of the bodies in a nearby lake. Wasn't that lucky? A lake was right there for them to dump all those bodies in! Alas, deprived of proper Christian burials, the spirits of the dead become restless. Now skip forward to the relative present of the movie and, behold, peculiar happenings and mysterious deaths abound around "Ghost Lake". (That’s the actual name for the lake used in the movie.) Apparently this is big news, big enough to bring a journalist from Paris to the otherwise quiet French village to investigate. That’s when things really start to happen!
Confused? Join the club.THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS MOVIE
- If you can knock over a no swimming sign there's no reason not to go swimming.
- The bodies of naked women have the power to summon Nazi zombies.
- Below the lily pads and murky water lakes look like swimming pools.
- Pretty girls shouldn’t go skinny dipping in lakes because vicious lust crazed aqua Nazi zombies might rise up out of the muck and eat you!
Zombie Lake was made in 1980, a time when the main films that formed the cultus of the zombie movie genre were Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978). While there were numerous imitations and low budget knock-offs produced prior to the release of Zombie Lake the next real cornerstone film of this horror sub-genre, Return of the Living Dead, would not be released until 1985. This being the same year George A. Romero's cult classic Day of the Dead would be released.
However what sets Zombie Lake apart from the usual run of the mill quickie imitations is the presence of Nazi zombies. A trope that, prior to this, was really used to effect only once in Shock Waves (1976). A movie that is really more of a mad scientist film with zombie undertones. In the interim since Zombie Lake first appeared there have been dozens of zombie films released, though only a handful have centered on Nazi zombies. One of the more notorious being Oasis of the Zombies (1983), which was filmed by infamous sleaze auteur Jess Franco (Sadomania, Vampyros Lesbos). By comparison Zombie Lake lacks the obvious exploitation elements favored by such film makers. This of course being gratuitous gore and excessive violence, both of which have become hallmarks of the zombie movie genre.
However, in the final analysis, the real judge is the audience. This movie is often cited as being the worse zombie movie ever made, but in truth it is not. Zombie Lake is not meant to be Texas Chainsaw Massacre with zombies. Nor is it an attempt to recreate Night of the Living Dead. If that is what you are expecting to see in a zombie movie you’ll be sorely disappointed.STUFF TO WATCH FOR
1 min - Woman begins to strip during title scroll!
1 min 16 sec - Houston we have FULL FRONTAL FEMALE NUDITY!
1 min 37 sec - Should I wear this bikini?
1 min 54 sec - Nude sun bathing.
2 min - Scrolling close-up shot begins languidly moving up her nude body as titles continue to scroll.
2 min 28 sec - Nude woman knocking down no swimming sign.
2 min 38 sec - Nude woman gets into the lake.
2 min 30 sec - Great underwater shot.
3 min 38 sec - The Aqua Nazi Zombie awakens.
5 min 26 sec - The Aqua Nazi Zombie rises from the murky depths.
5 min 44 sec - The Aqua Nazi Zombie attacks!
22 min 46 sec - It's a barn, there's hay, let's do what comes naturally.
39 min 37 sec - All female vollyball team arrive at the lake for some skinny dipping fun. (Count them by the bus and pay close attention to how many get into the lake and how many are attacked by zombies.)
40 min 26 sec - Splash fight!
40 min 52 sec - Go, go Aqua Nazi Zombie Force!
41 min 18 sec - Everyone into the water for a Group Splash Fight!
42 min 12 sec - Aqua Nazi Zombie Force attack! (Interesting underwater shots, bet you never notice the pool walls.)
Copyright © C. Demetrius Morgan