Zombie Lake (1981)

Zombie Lake

Directed by Jean Rollin

Tagline: “God help us if they rise again!”

Run Time: 90 minutes


Before we begin, I’d like to make something perfectly clear about this movie.

It sucks.

Watch something else.

Throw your TV out the window.

Run away.

But if you enjoy crappy movies, then, brother, this will be your Shangri-la.

Zombie Lake is not only plagued by poor special effects (more on that later) and a goofy plot, but it was almost never made at all. Rumor has it that the prolific sleaze producer / director Jess Franco was slated to direct this movie, but for unexplained reasons he jumped ship a mere 3 days before filming was to start. (Maybe he read the script?) Not wanting to call it quits (but maybe they should of), the Powers That Be at Euro Cine Productions decided to dump the project into the lap of poor Jean Rollin who was ordered to hop into the director’s seat and start filming in 3 days – a pretty optimistic timeline since he’d never even read the script; something that most directors consider a plus before making a movie.

Regardless of the veracity of this story, the special effects crew should be taken out and fed to Nazi zombies for their indefensibly shoddy work on display in this film. The lack of professionalism, imagination, and craftsmanship boggles the mind. Let’s just say that the special effects are on par with the toilet paper that was glued to Henry Hite’s face in Monster A-Go Go. Actually, the toilet paper idea was pretty creative, and comparatively well done, in relation to what you will see here. You don’t believe me? Just wait.

The action begins with an attractive young woman traipsing through the forest towards the titular lake itself. As smooth blues-organ music fills the soundtrack, the young lass finds an abandoned gazebo and promptly removes all her clothing…and the credits aren’t even over yet…you gotta hand it to the French, eh? And let’s just say that after she takes off her clothes, there is no doubt that she’s a natural brunette.

Zombie LakeAfter basking in the sun for a few moments, which allows the camera to lovingly glide up and down her tanline-free hills and valleys, the young woman decides to go swimming in…bum bum bum!!!…the lake! Upon spotting a hand-painted sign showing a skull and crossbones (!), she simply stops, pulls it out of the soggy ground, and tosses it aside, because, you know, she wouldn’t want to get into trouble for swimming in Zombie Lake out of season. Content that she’s alone, the girl leaps into the lake and begins frolicking about in the murky water; water which amazingly becomes transparent when we cut to the under-water camera. (A cinematic ploy which has the not unpleasant side-effect of giving even more screen time to this actress’ nether regions.)

Unfortunately for the viewer’s suspension of disbelief, the crystal clear water also reveals the fact that these shots were filled in a swimming pool.

How can I be so sure? How could I ever accuse the hard working special effects crew of stooping so low as to film in a public swimming pool?

Fair question. How about:

a) The grey wrinkled tarp that was hung on the pool wall to simulate ‘murky’ water.

b) The white tiles that creep into view whenever the water’s surface dips below the top of the tarp

or finally, and most damning:

c) The red and white life preserver that’s seen hanging on the wall through the surface of the water!

I mean, if the zombies had done a back flip off a diving board it wouldn’t have been more obvious than it already is.

Anyway, we now see a few guys dressed in campy Wehrmacht uniforms swimming around in the water beneath her. I’m assuming these are zombies and not just a group of lucky fresh-water biologists based on the green face paint that mysteriously covers their face and hands but stops at their necks and wrists…oh, and the FX crew didn’t bother to apply the green paint behind the actors’ ears either. (Good grief!). For some reason, the shot lingers on a one-eyed zombie, so I guess he’s important or something. We’ll call him "Pop Eye" for now. Anyway, Pop Eye swims around enjoying the scenery, if you get what I mean, before dragging the young victim to a watery grave in the pool’s deep end.

(Look closely: His one good eye is painted on the back of his closed eyelid (!), probably because the chlorine in the water was too irritating for him to have his eye open in the water. Really, I’m not making this up)

And you have to wonder why Pop Eye takes a deep breath of air before he resubmerges? Weird. I didn’t think zombies needed to breathe.

Back in town we see a quaint little pub where the local denizens are probably wondering why in the hell they ever gave the producers permission to film Zombie Lake in their village. A few local yokels are sitting around drinking beer when the subject of the missing young girl comes up. "If she’s not back by morning, I’ll go see the Mayor," remarks concerned citizen Chanac in a rather perfunctory manner.

Cut to said Mayors office, where a porcelain skull sits prominently atop his desk. Why? Because this movie is so spoooooooky. The Mayor, played by European B-Movie icon Howard Vernon (if you think of him as a French Henry Silva you’re in the right ballpark) reads a book while the camera pans over his intensely art adorned study. (Ooops! I guess panning the camera across that mirror so that we could see the camera man’s reflection wasn’t such a good idea! What a bunch of numbskulls.) Chanac, the guy in the pub from the previous day, pops in to report that he went out to the lake to look for the missing girl but only found her clothes. "If she doesn’t show up by tomorrow, I’ll call the police," the Mayor says as this scene sputters to an end.

Man, talk about tension!

Zombie Lake

I just wanted to take a little time out and remark that the dubbing in this film is absolutely atrocious. Remember all those Chinese kung-fu movies where the actors move their mouths for about 20 seconds while only one word is heard? Well, this is worse. At best, the people have their mouths open when the words are dubbed, which represents the apex of this movie’s dubbing quality. Never mind actually syncing the sentences with their lips. At its worse, which is more often than you’d think, people say things without even opening their mouths, people chuckle while staring solemnly at each other, and so on. The total lack of any type of synchronization between the dialog and the actors’ mouths is amusing at first, but quickly becomes bizarre. I mean…how hard could it be to at least add the dubbed dialog when the actor’s mouths were open?

The horror mounts when Pop Eye decides to leave the lake, take a stroll into town, and kill some woman who just happened to be walking by. I guess there’s some long, boring days at the bottom of the lake; What’s a Nazi zombie to do? Oddly, Pop Eye’s hands change from a normal pink skin tone to dark green from scene to scene, but I’m getting old. Maybe it’s just my eyes. I can’t imagine the special effects team could have been that careless – not these guys. Pop Eye pounces on the young woman and bites her on the neck. (Well, the verb ‘bite’ might not be quite correct, more like ‘spits some red paint and smears his lips on it’, but you get the point). This brutal ‘attack’ gives us a delightful close-up shot revealing the "scars" on his face as, and I kid you not, masking tape with green grease paint smeared on it! How do I know? Well, the fact that the tape is peeling off his face revealing normal pink skin underneath is pretty much a dead give away.

Zombie Lake

We quickly cut to see a somber procession of villagers carrying the young woman’s body through the town as shocked onlookers…well…look on. And yes, this scene was totally ripped from the original Frankenstein where the father carries his drowned daughter’s body through the town to deposit it on the Bürgermeister’s front steps. Odious, isn’t it? By the way, go ahead and give yourself 2 points if you predicted that the bite mark on the woman’s neck is now on the opposite side than the one that Pop Eye previously bit her. Well, at least the special effects guys were consistent at screwing everything up.

After the villagers unceremoniously deposit the body in front of the Mayor’s house (the woman’s skirt has been ‘inadvertently’ pulled up to reveal her panties….what a charming film), the woman’s father waits in shocked silence for the Mayor to come outside. Hilariously, the Mayor’s front doors are made of frosted glass, but not frosted enough that you can’t see him standing just behind the door waiting for his cue to walk outside! Brilliant!

You know, I’ll say it again: this movie is a freakin’ gold mine for anybody who loves crappy movies.

Seeing the despondent father, the Mayor puts a compassionate arm around his shoulder and says, "Listen…I know how you feel about your poor daughter." (I’m not sure it would be that easy to empathize with somebody whose daughter was just killed by an underwater zombie, but there you have it. )

Anyway, later that day a female news hound, Katya, has arrived to take some pictures of the locals and follow up on a story she’s heard about a…bum bum bum!!!…mysterious lake. Katya’s first stop is the pub where she orders a drink and takes in the local color. I couldn’t help but notice that one of the patrons drinking and playing cards is the father of the murdered girl from the previous scene! Those damned French existentialists! They have no souls! (Sorry. Maybe I’m reading too much into this.) Anyhoo, after sipping on a cognac, Katya announces that she’s doing a story on the legend behind the lake…"The Lake of Ghosts". (I swear she said "the lake of goats"…I even went back a few times and I pretty sure that’s what was dubbed in.) Chanac tells her that the Mayor can give her more information and escorts Katya to the Mayor’s house.

Once inside the Mayor’s abode, Katya is greeted by him and quickly escorted into his office for a chat. The film crew, on top of things as always, manages to film the gigantic junction box at the foot of the Mayor’s desk where all the Kleig lights are plugged in. Amazing. Really. I’m not exaggerating. It’s amazing. Oh, and Whoops! There’s that darn mirror. Hello, Mr. Camera Man! Nice to see you again.

Zombie Lake

After a rambling chat about ghosts (goats?), the Mayor spills the beans regarding the lake’s sordid history.

"It was the war," he intones as we cut to a flashback showing German troops stomping around the occupied village. The aforementioned German forces that occupy this village consist of 7 guys riding around in a grey truck that was certainly borrowed from a museum for the shot. Foleyed airplane sounds indicate that an air attack is taking place (apparently no WW2 airplane stock footage was available) so the Germans leap from their vehicle and drop to the ground a whole 2 feet from the truck they were just in. So, yeah, that’s probably going to help.

Not surprisingly, this unexciting battle scene proved to be a bit too much for the special effects crew. Let’s put it this way: If they couldn’t even manage to paint a guy green to make a ‘zombie’, you can just imagine the quality of this ‘battle’ scene. Oh let’s see, a guy fires his machine gun into the air accompanied by a chorus of ricochet sounds. Yes, bullets ricocheting…in the air. There’s lots of ‘bombs’ being dropped, but the ‘realism’ is ruined by the small impact craters that are pre-dug into the ground.

Boy, it’s incredible that Saving Private Ryan received so many awards while a movie of this caliber was snubbed by the Academy. It’s just not fair.

As the ‘attack’ continues, a young blonde woman runs across the road, stops in the middle of a yard near the soldiers, and screams, "Ayeyeyeeyeyyyyaaaa!" (And that’s a direct quote.)

Boy, I hope somebody has started polishing that Oscar off for her.

(Wow. It’s raining now. Strange. The sky was clear blue just 3 seconds ago.)

A Good Nazi Soldier runs over and tackles the terrified lass to the ground in order to shield her from a bomb explosion. (You are correct in presuming that the bomb explosion isn’t perfectly timed with the pair falling to the ground, but hell, it’s only off by a few seconds. That’s not too bad, all things considered. And yes, there is a big pile of dirt clearly visible where the bomb ‘impacts’ and sets off a pathetic pyrotechnic ‘pow!’ Was that reaching too far to find a third ‘P’ word? Honestly, you can tell me.)

Anyway, the handsome German soldier is wounded by shrapnel or something and is carried off to the local field hospital to get stitched up. Overcome with passion for the young soldier that saved her life, Blond Woman stands in the street and watches through the hospital window as he’s cleaned up, but she’s quickly ‘shooed’ away by a soldier. A close up reveals that…hey! It’s Pop Eye before he becomes a zombie. Wow! What a compelling back story!

One thing that I found rather odd was the way that the German soldiers never speak during the entire movie. Not even to themselves. I’m guessing that the actors didn’t speak German, but still, nobody – not a one – utters a single syllable throughout the entire war scene.

After getting cleaned up, Good Nazi Guy (GNG) meets Blonde Woman (BW) in a farm where they make love in an unnecessarily extended simulated-sex scene. Before they part ways, BW gives GNG a pendant as a token of her affection. Boy, I wonder if that’s going to show up again later in the film.

Well, war waits for no man, not even a soon-to-be-zombie, so GNG jumps back into the army truck as he and his buddies head off to war once again. (Try not to notice the modern civilian car driving behind the army truck. Good grief!)

Another jarring jump cut and our favorite pre-zombie Nazis are engaged in yet another fierce fire fight. Oh, and staying in the spirit of screwing everything up, the film crew managed to catch a modern passenger bus (!) driving past in the background. You’ll have to be quick to spot it, but it’s there.

And…..the battle rages on, complete with ‘dead’ soldiers skootching around on the ground trying to find a more comfortable position, and so on.

Oh wait. The battle is over, but we learn that Radio Freedom is ordering the French Resistance to attack the retreating German forces. Wow. I can’t wait.

(Still no dialog…so it’s been, what, 11 minutes now?)

Pre-Zombie Pop Eye, Good Nazi Guy, and the other extras wander off into the woods and are promptly ambushed by some local resistance fighters. In one of the most risible displays of special effects "magic"; Pop Eye gets shot in the eye and covers the wound with his hand as blood spurts out from between his fingers. All well and good…except for the unconcealed, plainly visible plastic tube that runs into his jacket and out his sleeve carrying the red ‘blood’. Seriously, folks: This movie contains the sloppiest special effects work I’ve ever seen before.

Zombie Lake

Anyway, after killing the soldiers, the Mayor tells the locals to dump the dead Nazis into the lake…see how this all fits together?…and the movie stumbles along.

Cut to see that BL has died in child birth which indicates that 9 months have passed since she had sex with GNG in the barn. But really, who knows. Man, that’s the sign of a good movie when you have to guess that nearly a year has gone by from one scene to another.

Anyhoo, jump back to the present where the Mayor solemnly wraps up his tragic tale. When Katya and the Mayor stand to say their farewells, you can see that the director actually wised up and hung a black cloth over the bottom half of the wall mirror so that the camera won’t be visible in the reflection, but really, it’s too little too late. And the fact that they covered only the bottom half of the mirror just draws attention to it. But hell, I’ll give them an ‘E’ for effort.

Oh, and you can open a bottle of champagne and celebrate the first line of dialog since the 19:00 minute mark and we are now at…let’s see…37 minutes which makes for an nearly 20 minutes with no dialog!

Cut to see a young girl…I’m guessing she’s about 10 years old. It turns out that she (her name is Helena) is the product of GNG and Blonde Woman’s passionate romp in the hay. (Helena is played by a young actress with an enigmatic single name: ‘Anouchka’. A quick glance in the IMDB trivia section reveals that she’s the real-life daughter of Zombie Lake producer Daniel Lesoeur. Now there’s a great trivia question for you…you’re friends will probably think you’re nuts for knowing it, but…)

Now, I’m not a math expert, but judging by the girl’s age, this would place the movie at about 10 years after the fall of the Nazi regime in France which would be…counting on my fingers here…1954. And I just have to add that this village in no way whatsoever resembles a 1954 rural French village; neither do the villagers who walk around sporting modern clothes and haircuts – including a black kid with a big afro!

Speaking of No-Way-In-Hell-This-Is-1954, we cut to see a Volkswagen mini-bus pull up to the lake and divulge its contents: A female basket ball team.

In France.

In a modern Volkswagen mini-bus.

In 1954.

Uhhhh…sure.

Even though it says "Basket" on the bus, the girls jump out and immediately start hitting around a volleyball (!). After a few seconds of this nonsense, the girls quickly doff their clothing and plunge into the lake where they giggle, jiggle, and splash water at each other all the while accompanied by a bizarre "La La La La La" song.

(At this point I’m thinking that this film was made in an alternate universe. Either that or I’m moving to France and coaching a basketball team!)

Cut to our beloved under-water swimming-pool camera which shows again…well…pretty much every nook and cranny on the swimming girls. Once again, you just gotta wonder what in the hell the director was thinking. Well, I mean, I know what he was thinking, but still…what the hell kind of movie is this supposed to be? Who was the intended audience? Cranky, middle-aged guys who sit around ogling young naked girls?…oh…I get it. Never mind.

(It’s strange how the girls are swimming in 10-feet deep water from below, but splashing around in knee-high water on the surface. Stupid French water.)

The Nazi zombies, naturally, take an interest in the all-female, all-nude, basketball team’s unexpected visit to their watery realm. The hapless babes are quickly pulled under, including one girl that is clearly shown laughing just before a green-faced zombie drags her under the water. However, one lucky lass had just exited the lake before the attack. She manages to get into her short-shorts, leaving her topless, of course, and runs to the pub where she collapses on a table. (Chanac and a few other startled patrons "take her upstairs" so she can recover…heh heh.)

If you’re ever so lucky as to actually watch this movie, make sure to note the female extra to the right who’s forced to cover her mouth with her hand in order to conceal the fact that she’s laughing during the entire scene. Boy, this is one quality production, I tell ya.

The Mayor, unlike the director, realizes that events are spiraling out of control at this point. Doing what any responsible elected official would do after an aquatic zombie attack, he calls the regional police department for "reinforcements." Heeding the Mayor’s request, the police station dispatches a pair of detectives, Spitz and Moran. (Inspector Spitz, incorrectly credited as "Stiltz" on IMBD, is played by the film’s director, Jean Rollin. There’s another good trivia question for you…but now you’re friends will really think you’re nuts. ) The pair of inspectors make their way to Zombie Lake City and meet with the Mayor.

"I hope you really don’t think that ghosts killed [the basket ball team]", Spitz sneers.

"Yes, that’s what I think," the Mayor confidently replies.

Gripping dialog, eh?

Spitz and Moran take their leave and head into town to poke around and try to find some clues to the recent disappearances.

Zombie Lake

Cut to see the zombies shambling through town in the middle of the day. Nobody seems to notice this group of sodden undead Nazis as they make their way through the narrow streets at a snail’s pace. Strange. Good Nazi Zombie (GNZ…formally GNG) stops in front of a house. Why? Oh, because it’s the house where Blonde Woman lived. Man, you can say what you want about aquatic Nazi zombies, but they sure have a hell of a good memory. GNZ makes his way into the house and upstairs to Helena’s bedroom where she’s sitting on her bed reading a book. Upon seeing his daughter, GNZ pulls open his jacket to reveal the pendant that Helena’s mother gave him after their afternoon tryst. Helena immediately recognizes the emblem on the end of the chain and deduces that this green-faced, rotten, sodden, Nazi zombie standing in her doorway is her father.

Realizing who her undead visitor is, Helena greets him with a smile and places the necklace around her neck. (As sappy music swells to a crescendo, young Helena gives the necklace a kiss…even though it’s been hanging around her dead father’s neck for the last 10 years…yech!)

Zombie Lake

I suppose this is all suppose to be touching or something.

Meanwhile, Spitz and Moran are in the pub questioning the locals about the deaths of the basketball girls. Spitz begins by approaching an old man and snarling, "I’ve never seen a ghost! How about you!?"

Wow, these guys are good!

After all the locals insist that it was ‘ghosts’ that killed the girls (OK, I’m not trying to be nit-picky, but they’re zombies, damn it!), Spitz turns to Moran and says, "Let’s split. Shit! Let’s get out of this heap of hicks!"

Yeah, that’s really going to win over the support of the locals, you idiot.

Spitz and Moran head out to the lake where they poke around the missing basketball team’s abandoned minibus.

"I really wonder what happened here…" Moran mumbles as he opens one of the girl’s gym bags and removes a pair of panties. (!)

Sensing that it’s time for another attack, the zombies rise from the murky depths…which is strange because I thought they were in town walking around. Hmmm. Anyway, they kill the hapless detectives and make their way into town (again) to kill some more people, including a guy and gal about to have sex in a barn (naturally). (I’d be much obliged if anybody could explain to me why this guy is wearing an incredibly obvious silver wig…) Feeling pretty good about himself, Pop Eye decides to get a little crazy and try a solo-attack on the pub.

Anyway, as Pop Eye stumbles around knocking over chairs and tables, the pub’s patrons simply run out the door. What a dope. Once again, it’s difficult to take a zombie attack seriously when at least 3 of the ‘terrified’ extras are laughing.

Cut to see a (very) young topless woman taking a bath in a wooden tub in her back yard. Now, I’m not sure what France’s legal age of consent is, but man, this girl seems a bit too young for this sort of thing. Granted, she’s wearing a bikini bottom (Nobody’s going to accuse the filmmakers of being sleazy or anything…), but still, this is just doesn’t seem right. Regardless, a zombie comes out of nowhere, chases the girl for about, oh, 5 feet before she falls to the ground with an "Ahhhhhh!!!!". The zombie finishes her off by spitting red tempura paint on her neck, er, I mean tearing out her throat.

Cut to yet another female victim who’s walking along a quiet street when she stops to hike up her skirt and adjust her pantyhose. A zombie (this time a guy wearing a green mask!) grabs her from behind and does his zombie thing. You may notice that the woman’s right shoe falls off in the struggle then magical reappears on her foot as the zombie throws her to the ground. Not like that is this film’s biggest problem, but hey, I’m paid the big bucks to point these things out, and furthermore it goes to show that there is something wrong in damn near every scene in this movie.

After the killing spree, the zombies return to the lake, and boy, I’m starting to think that this town is going to be running out of young women at this rate.

"We better admit that the zombies have declared war!" the Mayor announces to the villagers that afternoon. After a rousing speech the villagers decide to ambush the zombies later that night.

"They’ll probably come from the West," the Mayor declares.

Uh. Ok.

Back in the lake, an underwater shot of the zombies reveals not only the wrinkled grey tarp in the background used to cover the side of the pool, but the water filtration vents are clearly visible as well, along with a big round light. It’s really quite amazing that anything could be this poorly done.

Later that night, even though the clock on the church steeple says it’s 12 noon, the zombies return for another attack. This time the locals are ready for them and open fire with their guns…and they seem surprised when the bullets have no effect. Duh, they’re zombies! Morons.

As the villagers retreat in confusion, the zombies press the attack, except for GNZ who pops in to visit his daughter. After coming up to her room, GNZ takes Helena’s hand and they go for a leisurely stroll along a quiet footpath! Seriously, this is one weird freakin’ movie. After a while they end up beside the lake where Pop Eye and the other zombies are standing looking pissed off because GNZ seems to have a soft spot for humans. In a scene that defies all description, even for this movie, Pop Eye pulls out a bayonet and gets into a knife fight with GNZ.

Yes, two zombies engaged in a knife fight.

You gotta wonder what kind of advice the director gave these actors before the shot: "Ok, Pop Eye, your motivation is that you’re pissed off and chafing like a bear after wearing wet underwear for 10 years…"

Anyway, the struggle ends up with GNZ snapping Pop Eye’s neck and killing him, but since he’s a zombie, I’m not really sure how that would work…whatever. With Pop Eye out of the way, GNZ takes charge and gives the other zombies a look which seems to imply "she’s my daughter…hands off!" Helena smiles and kisses his hand (yech!) before running back into town.

Zombie Lake

Cut to see Pop Eye and the other zombies back in town, hmmm, is it my imagination or didn’t GNZ just kill him in the last scene?

To make a long story short, the Mayor finds out that Helena is the daughter of one of the zombies (just how he finds this out is never explained). We then see the Mayor strolling along with Katya describing recent events. (Where has she been this whole time?!) As Katya listens with rapt attention, the Mayor explains that "no weapon can stop them….nothing but apocalypse!"

Katya, slightly less dramatic than the Mayor, simply suggests trying napalm. (I had to laugh at that) Incredibly enough, one of the villagers has "an old flamethrower" that they quickly press into service.

In order to set into motion Operation Fry Those Nazi Zombie Bastards, somebody must first lead the zombies into a trap where they can be toasted by the flame thrower…but how? Yes, good, sweet, dear Helena offers to lure the zombies to their doom, but not her father, because he’s a "good ghost". The Mayor finally convinces her to betray her father with that old standby of "Your Father Is An Underwater Nazi Zombie But He Really Wants To Be Dead." Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I fell for that one.

"We’ll do it tomorrow; it’s a full moon," Helena says after agreeing to help."Bring me a whooooole lot of fresh blood."

"Fresh blood?!" the Mayor says with a note of shock in his voice…yeah, like that’s the weirdest thing he’s had to deal with in the last 24 hours.

Helena explains how she’ll lead the zombies to an abandoned mill where they will be distracted by the blood, thus making them easy targets for the flamethrower. But really, couldn’t somebody just wait by the lake and when they shamble up from the water just blast them them? I’m not trying to rain on Helena’s parade, but it just seems safer to keep them out of the village as much as possible.

Meanwhile, the zombies resurface, again, and make their way into town, again. Boy, you’d think somebody would put up a road block or something. Anyway, Katya "just has to" get some pictures of the zombies and winds up getting red paint spit all over her neck. I don’t know if her death was intended as a shocker, but, well, for those of you keeping score at home, there you have it.

Later that night, even though it’s broad daylight outside, the zombies show up at the mill; lured by Helena’s bucket-o-blood. Helena stands inside and scoops up a bowl of blood which she gives to her father to drink. Unfortunately for the special effects crew yet again, they chose a white bowl which makes it painfully easy to see that the ‘blood’ is simply tomato soup. Yes, the movie is that pathetic. Where was I..oh yes. As the zombies drink the soup, Helena decides it’s a good time to beat feet and runs like hell. Taking their cue, the villagers move in, including one brave soul who’s carrying the putative ‘flame thrower’; a device that appears to be a huge canister of gasoline with a hose hooked up at the top. But hey, it’s painted red so it must be a flame thrower. To be fair, the next scene shows this Rube Goldberg device actually spurting out an impressive jet of napalm onto a mannequin, er zombie, so kudos to the guys who were brave enough to film this contraption while it was actually being used. I’m assuming that this jerry-rigged death contraption was fired via remote control because you never see any another person anywhere near the damned thing when it’s firing…and who could blame them?

Zombie Lake

I’m really not trying to beat up on this movie too much, really, I’m not, but I just couldn’t help but notice that the three ‘stunt zombies’ that stand around with tiny, albeit real, flames on them, are in no way the same guys who played the green zombies in the rest of the film.

Wrapping this up: The zombies all transform into various types of mannequins and are burned to a crisp.

"Don’t forget me," Helena says, tears streaming down her eyes, "I won’t forget."

No, I probably won’t ever forget this movie either. No matter how hard I try.

Dennis Grisbeck (April 2008)

Afterthoughts

As mentioned before, the sloppiness of this movie’s special effects defies description. I don’t know the availability of this movie in your area (I bought my copy on E-bay), but snoop around on the Net and see if you can find it…if you’re interested. What else can I say that I haven’t already said? It’s an absolutely horrible movie, but if you enjoy watching crap cinema, you must check this one out.

Read more about Zombie Lake at

IMDB

5 comments to Zombie Lake (1981)

  • Bryan

    For those who are interested, Netflix now has this.

  • What…no takers yet?

  • Zach

    Saw the ending, looked stupid, but intersting to watch. Oh 2 of the stunt dummies were the guys who played 1 eyed zombie and the girl’s father. They were the ones who came down the stairs and were burned just thought I’d let you know.

  • popzombie

    HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Movie was made just to show boobies and nazis.

  • guts3d

    …Well, at least the special effects guys were consistent at screwing everything up.

    Great line! Sounds like the not so special effects team was asleep at the wheel that day.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>