Exploitation Movie Review (EMR): Most of the time, a troubled production results in a troubled movie and that can be said of 1981's Zombie Lake. After being passed on to director Jean Rollin at very short notice, the binding spell surrounding the dark lord G'rnthark crumbled and he awoke from his thousand year slumber. Dazed, confused and understandably angry, he promptly sharted and deposited Zombie Lake onto the world as if to say, "Dude...I was fucking sleeping."
This movie garnered some criticism for being a cheap knock-off version of Ken Weiderhorn's Shock Waves, a similarly aquatic undead themed movie.
So, lets just get this over and fucking done with...
Zombie Lake starts, almost by way of apology, with tits and a deceptively soft-core, Euro-porn soundtrack. This reasonably attractive chick is getting undressed because she's going for a swim in a lake, which is clearly marked with a sign that says "No Swimming" and "You're going to fucking die," but she just tears that warning sign right outta the ground and starts swimming. But wait! Oh, shit! As soon as the Euro-porn soundtrack cuts out and the foreboding synth soundtrack kicks in, you know something's coming to cause more harm to her than the parasites in that lake could ever do. That's right; Zombies! Lake Zombies! Nazi Lake Zombies! After a brief but violent confrontation where the only thing you'll be thinking is, "Did they shoot this in a fucking swimming pool? I can see the ladders and everything," the action expertly cuts away to a small village cafe.
The End of Summer (TEOS): Since we’re bros, I’ll be polite, but I really think you’re being too hard on this movie. I mean, granted, I know we’re all a little sick of zombie stuff right now, but so far this seems pretty fun. You’ve got Woody Harrelson, who is awesome; you’ve got the hot/ugly Emma Stone, who in this is mostly hot; and you’ve got that dude from The Social Network whom everyone likes to say is trying too hard to be Michael Cera, even though he’s been acting long before Cera adopted the whole “neurotic Woody Allen” act for "Arrested Development."
AND you’ve got...
Oh. Wait a minute. I totally put in the wrong movie.
Ha ha. Sorry. Let me switch over real quick, I think this shit’s on Streaming.
Aww, there's a swan, so that's nice - and we've got a broad with some nice gams. And, okay, we’ve got the title on screen now, and...
Yeah, I instantly have eye cancer. You know how when you put on a bad movie, you just get that feeling where you KNOW the movie is going to be painful? If you've never experienced it, Zombie Lake is here to help you.
EMR: Yeah, totally. I mean, look at the DVD cover:
And then THIS is what it actually looks like:
|"Wait...yeah, totally forgot my wallet."|
Shit. Now I know what my mother feels like when we speak on the phone.
TEOS: Speaking of final products, if I were editor Claude Gros, and I was at the cast and crew screening, I'm not sure if I'd be grinning or completely embarrassed that MY name is the one that pops up on the opening credit sequence right on top of a close-up of some French lady's very generous, er...hair-down-there. And his name is Gros, too, which is so perfect that I think that counts as at least seventeen jokes.
Oh, there's that Nazi zombie you mentioned. Even though he's waterlogged, I can still tell his uniform is way over-starched.
Food for thought: Do you think Nazi zombies hate Jewish people, like, extra? Would they even want to eat them? Or is that a joke where if the wrong person at my office somehow reads it, it could get me fired...for being TOO awesome?
EMR: That much I don't know, man. All I know is that this film owes me as much of an apology as the Third Reich owe the rest of the world.
At the mayor's office, Tits McGee's dad (?) is talking about how his daughter (?) hasn't come back yet. I don't know who these sick fuckers are, but they can't even seem to muster up an appropriate emotional response between them.
"I'm afraid she drowned," her father says, with all the passion of an abandoned dishcloth.
Back out at the lake, our zombie pal from before senses that women with wheelbarrows are nearby and leaves the lake to investigate. He attacks the wheelbarrow woman by aggressively kissing her neck. When he pulls his head up to dribble on her face, there are no bite marks or anything, so it's pretty awkward. This is the shittiest fucking zombie I've ever seen.
TEOS: You're right - it really does look like this ghoul is making sweet love to this dame, not feasting on her warm frog flesh. It would actually make me a little aroused, if I weren't already pretty aroused from that earlier scene with the naked broad swimming in neon green slop water.
Anyway, now that this wheelbarrow chick is finito, let's take a moment to stare at the zombie on screen and wonder when it was Stacy Keach snuck into this thing.
Three random men carry the woman's dead body through town as all kinds of upset passersby join the procession. Despite all the tears and forlorn looks, it's still less sad of a parade than the one when they hoist a statue of the Virgin Mary through the streets as everyone throws dollar bills as it.
Also, apparently in this town, it's required to drop off dead bodies outside the mayor's office and just wait for him to come outside. Once that happens, cover the dead's naughty bits, because otherwise the mayor will just pounce that shit, I guess.
|"Mr. Mayor, sir? Your two o'clock is waiting for you outside."|
EMR: Relax, peasants; sexy, sassy reporter lady is here and she's brought her camera and a copy of Ripley's Believe It Or Not, so the mystery of whoever's kissing these girls to death is as good as solved. She goes to see the mayor to find out why the locals call the lake "The Lake Of Ghosts" or whatever. The mayor tells her a story about the second World War and how the allied forces seemed to be targeting terrible fucking actresses in fields. A German officer saves this girl and then falls over for no reason, so his buddies take him to recuperate at a field hospital. She follows him there and after a pretty short convalescence, they meet up again and bang.
I once stopped a girl getting run down by a car, but I didn't get this kind of treatment.
TEOS: During the non-stop banging scene, I literally got up, used the john, checked the weather forecast (MORE fucking snow), sent a couple texts to plan my weekend, came back, sat down, and the banging was still happening.
I also find it a little odd that these two actors have to be full-naked for an extended period of time, nuzzling every tit and ball sac on screen, yet keep the closed-mouth kissing turned up to 11. I mean, at this point, you might as well get your rocks off. Fucking French people NOT French kissing during sex. What's that about?
EMR: It does seem odd that I now have intimate knowledge of what seems like the entire fucking population of this village past, present, and probably future, but tongue kissing is out of the mix.
Anyway, they have a kid who reappears a little later on (played in this movie by the cold, dead eyes of a living statue who's staring into the future and contemplating the most efficient way to commit suicide). The mom dies shortly after childbirth and the dad dies at the hand of some resistance fighters who gun down him and the rest of his squad in cold blood and dump their bodies in the lake. One of the resistance guys is the mayor, who looks like he kept aging until he was 65 and then just stopped.
Back in the present, the worst women's basketball team in the world turn up in their camper van and start stripping down to their smalls while another jaunty Euro-porn theme plays on in the background. This may be the worst film I've ever seen.
TEOS: So far my favorite part of this movie was before I even put it on and I had finished watching Last of the Mohicans. Day-Lewis is TOPS in that.
But okay, this piece of shit. Even though it was completely unintentional, I am really tickled by the sudden cut to a small girl sitting far off in the corner of a barn or something, but she's sitting in such a way that these huge sacks of grain make it look like she has gigantic fucking giant legs. So now instead of paying attention to this train wreck, I am writing my own movie in my head called Greta: The Girl With Legs So Gigantic She Killed Her Mother During Birth And Kicked All The Nurses Into Triage.
|Rated R for Really huge legs.|
EMR: After most of the girls basketball team have been butchered, the one remaining survivor stumbles into the village cafe completely topless, screaming about the lake and only the magic of this not being an Italian horror picture prevents her from being gang raped in the eye sockets by horny locals.
TEOS: The last time I was a girl AND naked AND giggling with other naked girls standing around a van, it...did not end well.
EMR: Meanwhile, the mayor is having a conversation with the most relaxed police inspector in Europe and his fucking chess partner, or something. The inspector kind of thinks that the mayor is losing his mind, so he humours him and sends two detectives to the village to bunk off for a while.
TEOS: I sincerely hope you're not talking down on Spitz and Morane. Of ALL the detectives the mayor could have sent to handle this problem, he chose two of the most men who were ever men.
EMR: That's a lot of men, to be fair. So potent is their virility, they could potential bring all the dead women in this village back to life simply by scratching their balls.
Back in the village, our zombie pal from before has spotted the old house where his bang buddy gave birth to their child and goes for a look ‘round. Inside, he finds his daughter who's somehow only 12 years old...
Wait, what fucking year is this supposed to be?
So here's the thing. I know we like to "suspend disbelief" and "turn a blind eye" to sometimes fantastic circumstances, all in the name of enjoying a film and having a nice time at the cinema. But come on – a fucking green-faced ghoul covered in blood randomly walks into the room of a little girl, looks at her with an undeniable look of lust, and begins to slowly undo his collar, and this little girl is going to grin like she just saw one of the dudes from One Direction (the one with the awesome hair) blow her a kiss? Is this really what I am seeing?
And is this zombie dude really all that touched to be back in this house? Fucking random emoting zombie. Leave it to the French to pussify the walking dead. Well, them and..."The Walking Dead."
EMR: Dude! I don't know how you dare say something like that about AMC's Andrew Lincoln Looks At The Ground And Mutters!
Anyway, this guy is totally bucking for this film to be renamed My Zombie Dad, but it doesn't star Brian Bonsall and wasn't made in 1994.
EMR: Before the detectives even get a chance to ask, "Where were you on the night of the 7th?," they've been fucking eaten by Pond Hitlers. At this point, the Zombie Gang decide to head into the village where they ambush two people making out awkwardly after realising that they have the monopoly on unconvincing necking in this movie.
TEOS: My absolute favorite zomb is all the way on the left, who comes out of the pond doing Jazz Hands.
|"They're gonna LOVE me!"|
EMR: There's kind of a 'revenge' motif going on here.
Wait a second...is this a really shit version of The Fog?
TEOS: I'm not sure...does it star Tom Welling?
You know, if they're going to go out of their way to make these zombies Nazis, they're really missing out on at least having them do that really cool and belligerent Nazi march. You know, the one where their boots make those thunderous boot sounds while an entire nation sobs on their knees?
EMR: Hmm, I don't know man. I'm getting the feeling that this film is kinda trying to make me sympathise with Nazis. I don't think I've ever watched a propaganda movie that was cut with Euro-porn, before. It's not an entirely uncomfortable experience, but I'm feeling a little ambiguous about it because I can't work out if the longing of a father for his daughter’s love or the tits are turning me on the most.
So anyway, now that they're on the march, one of the zombies comes across a woman fiddling with her suspender belt and in trying to help her, accidentally tears the flesh off her thigh. I guess. Fucking zombies are such ham-fisted assholes.
TEOS: I LOVE this one zomb who tears ass into the tavern and startles everyone, all so he can bypass all that throbbing potential man meat feast and turn over the card game table, instead, because he's REALLY anti-gambling, I guess.
And during this, an 80lb girl is just taking it upon herself to take a bath in her back yard in an apple bushel. It's about as sexy as you're thinking it's not. The zomb eats her, but then looks really disappointed since it's like eating wings at the diner – there's just no fucking meat on them at all.
EMR: So now that the zombies have finished randomly attacking the village and have fucked right off back to the lake for whatever reason, the mayor assembles the townsfolk and tells them it's "obvious" that the zombies have declared war on the village, so they decide to ambush them if they decide to come out that night. Maybe they should set a trap for them using a woman who's having difficulty with hosiery.
TEOS: Something else I love? The close-up of blood splattering all over the ground, but with clear camera cuts peppered in between, as if the filmmakers would film the street, drop some blood, shut the camera off, ask, "Is...Is that enough blood?" and then most likely the fucking producer would step up and put away the 1980s version of the Kindle (a book) and say "Needs more blood," so they would turn the camera back on and whip some more paint brushes covered in blood back down at the street. Then some wise-ass would say, "Well, that's all the blood we brought with us today," and someone would high five him and then everyone would really just enjoy living their lives since this is fucking France.
EMR: I know, right? They basically invented putting chocolate into bread. That's fucking incredible. It's like a breakfast a six-year-old would come up with at gunpoint.
The villagers ambush the zombies as they're walking through the town square, but every single one of them is either really nervous around fire-arms or shooting at pigeons in another town square in another fucking country, because not a single bullet or shell is hitting them. One of the villagers gets cornered in a stairwell and shoots Zombie Dad point blank in the stomach. This makes him really angry and you can tell because he starts foaming at the mouth.
TEOS: Jesus Christ, MORE zombies are coming out of this lake. Didn't that flashback only show, like, two soldier corpses being tossed into it? Did those zombies open up a Facebook invite and solicit other dead Nazi zombies to take part in this nonsense? I officially call bullshit on you, Zombie Lake.
EMR: I think they've just added more zombies at this point to up the tension level, because lets face it, this movie has all the tension of wondering how Titanic was going to end (SPOILERS: Kate Winslet gets sick of the 12-year-old kid who's been following her around and totally lets him freeze to death...seriously, that bit of wood she's on would have been big enough for her and Michael Clarke Duncan).
EMR: Zombie dad goes for a quick reunion with his daughter who still doesn't seem at all phased that her dad, a) smells like stagnant pond shit, b) is green, and c) is dead. He takes her for a walk down by the lake where they're confronted by the rest of his gang. What follows is something I never thought I'd see and/or type in my life:
A Zombie Knife Fight
Fuck. My. Mouth.
Shit. This scene plays like two old people trying to fuck inside a Zoorb.
Disclaimer: This scene is rendered more dramatic if you mute your TV and play the fight music from Star Trek: The Original Series.
TEOS: It's weird you mention that, since once I noticed I didn't have to actually listen to this garbage – only read the subtitles – I've been blasting Rammstein. It not only makes this scene more awesome, but if I didn't know any better, I would just think it was an official Rammstein music video, since those krauts are all out of their goddamned minds. (In case you were wondering, the current song playing was Bück Dich.) (And in case you were still wondering, bück dich means "bend over.")
Needless to say, Zombie Lake made me bück dich tonight and proceeded to ramm my stein.
EMR: I once saw this 'Family Values' tour with Rammstein and Till Lindemann had this prosthetic dick and he started pissing over the crowd...kinda feels like that was a metaphor for this dogshit that I'm watching now instead of Batman: The Animated Series.
TEOS: Yeah Hammill!
EMR: Sassy Reporter Lady is back and the mayor is telling her that the village is pretty much responsible for the zombies. She suggests napalm (duh!) and the mayor acts like she's just worked out how to break the light speed barrier using only elastic bands and Calgon.
The mayor is reasoning with Zombie Daughter by telling her that her dad would want to be properly dead and that reducing him to a pile of ashes is the best gift she could ever give him. In return, I think he's going to pay for all the therapy she's going to need to stop her from giving her future husband an anniversary present of a dead clown covered in gasoline. She asks him to get her some fresh blood to bait them all into the old mill, but then she says she doesn't want to talk about it anymore. She stares into the distance, vacantly. We all die when she reaches maturity.
TEOS: She keeps calling the zombs "ghosts," too, which...no, stupid girl. They are clearly not ghosts. They're not even fucking zombies if you really want to split hairs about it since their mythology is totally fucked here, but god, for the time being, fucking ghosts? You know that scene in Frankenstein where a tiny girl hands Frankenstein's Monster a daisy and he smiles at her and then fucking throws her in the lake and kills her?
EMR: Zombie Daughter leads her Zombie Dad and his gang into the old mill on the promise of fresh blood but no one ever explains where this blood has come from. I guess I'm supposed to believe it's just available on tap or something. Fucking France.
So the villagers burn the zombies and their dummy doubles alive/dead and Zombie Daughter stands by with the mayor and cries. Lesson learned. I think. Wait, what the fuck have I just been watching for the last hour and a half? Bad horror or weird porn?
TEOS: I lied earlier when I made that Mohican crack. Turns out my favorite part of the movie was when I was allowed to turn it off and then play Call of Duty with my brother.
EMR: Yeah. All in all, this movie is as much fun as watching your ex kick a puppy to death.
|As in, "My hat is like a shark's--!"|
Watch the whole fucking movie, ya hunks!
Next on the Two Guys, One Quip chopping block: