Review: Zombie Lake
DVD: Zombie Lake (1981)
A French village is under attack by German soldiers during WWII, and while many of the villagers run for their lives, one of the female villagers puts her own life in peril to save one of the attacking soldiers. Love blossoms between them and the couple have a daughter. The villagers then rebel against the German soldiers, killing them and dumping their bodies into the local lake. Little do they know that the soldiers will rise from the lake as zombies, intent on killing and raping…apart from daddy zombie who is more interested in rekindling his relationship with his daughter…who is strangely unaffected by her fathers reappearance as a rotting corpse!
Yes folks, we are back in low budget exploitation territory, complete with unconvincing makeup effects and a plethora of naked female flesh.
I have to admit for having a soft spot for Zombie Lake. It is a movie I owned on ex-rental VHS back in the 80’s and have watched it on numerous occasions. It doesn’t even bare comparison to the likes of Dawn of the Dead or even Shockwaves (which also features underwater zombies), but there is a certain charm to it that continues to impress me.
While there is of course gratuitous nudity, it is certainly less than in the previous work of director Jean Rollin. Though one scene in the lake in which several nude women are frolicking around with each other in waist high water, then suddenly cuts to an underwater shot of their splayed and kicking legs in much deeper water as the zombies begin their attack.
The blood is minimal and on the few occasions it is spilled it looks about as convincing as squirting a bottle of ketchup onto people. The action is also minimal and the low budget means that it is entirely unconvincing too. Add to this some pretty awful acting and a subplot about a zombie dad wanting to look after his daughter, and you have a movie that should go straight into the bargain bins…or just the bin!
However, upon watching Zombie Lake once again after quite a long break from my previous viewing, it still had that certain something which made me enjoy it once again. It’s definitely one of those movies where you can watch it late at night with beers and friends and have a laugh with it, but I watched it by myself on a rainy afternoon and still enjoyed the experience. The green zombie makeup washing off their faces as they rise from the lake STILL makes me laugh.
I can well imagine people absolutely hating it, but Zombie Lake might just sneak up on you and take you by surprise.
Give it a go if you enjoy some low budget horror.
Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from an online streaming link kindly supplied by Aim Publicity.