Zombie Lake (1981, also known by its incredibly more evil French title Le Lac des Morts Vivants), is much like a steak and bean raspberry crepe: a Spanish-French concoction that will leave you feeling queasy.
Shown in Paris for a week and selling 3,740 tickets — which I’m certain was enough to recoup budget — a more apt title would have been ‘Zombie Lake: Making ’81 Look like ’71’, or ‘Boobs! The Non-Musical’.
This film sets its tone right from the off – within the first five minutes we’re treated to full frontal nudity and a green-skinned underwater zombie creeper who pulls down a bronzed beauty.
This film is pretty gross — not in a dead zombie kind of way, more like in a pervy old man kind of way. So if you find yourself among that demographic and haven’t seen this film already, read on!
It’s ten years after World War II in a small French village where the locals refer to a small lake as “the lake of the damned” (Note to self: never go skinny-dipping in a body of water with the surname “damned”).
A group of skinny-dipping female basketball players — a woefully under-represented pastime these days (skinny-dipping, not women’s basketball) — are attacked and pulled under by what would appear to be Nazi zombies.
And our fears are proved correct when it is revealed the zombies are in fact Nazis who died at the hands of French townspeople long ago. One of them had a love affair with a local woman who died while giving birth to a daughter named Helena (the act of which we are, again, privileged enough to peep in on. God bless the French). Anyhow, the crisis of the zombies in the lake is left to female reporter Katya Moore (Marcia Sharif) and the town’s bumbling mayor (Howard Vernon) to unravel. A halfwit plan is hatched, involving the zombie mythology, that just might be enough to save the town and all of its exhibitionists for good.
These Boobs Were Made For Boobin’Nobody liked this film. Nobody. Director Jean Rollin entered the project only a few days before production began, and he was so embarrassed by the whole thing that he credited himself under the pseudonym J.A. Lazer.
Critics point out that the plot is pretty much a rip of Shock Waves (1977), which is bad news considering that film doesn’t live up to the potential of its premise either and is a bit slapped together to boot. Not as slappy as Zombie Lake though: the camera is unsteady, the sound’s poor, and the dubs are awful. Tim Lucas over at Video Watchdog claimed that Daniel White’s score for the film was “taken from at least four other movies.” Ouch.
If you like exploitation films and nude girls, then you will enjoy everything on offer here, including all the underwater shots that mostly exist as an excuse to linger on the naked flesh of pretty much every girl that goes for a swim – as opposed to generate fear and horror of what lurks in the lake (but I should probably let you know that you can get much better porno of this type elsewhere. ). The zombies themselves are not especially scary and consist mostly of slow moving actors in green face-paint and Nazi uniforms.
For all its flaws, actually probably because of its flaws, Zombie Lake has achieved a somewhat cult status (some people will state that this is one of the best zombie films, and plenty will say it is one of the worst). So if you go into this expecting a cheap, grainy, cheesy, exploitation film…then you should come away pretty happy. Make up your own mind.
Watch ‘Zombie Lake’ below:
|Buy the film at Amazon.com|
|Buy the film at Amazon.co.uk|
Written by: Ben Mueller