Zombie Lake (1981)
What’s It About: Simple and stupid French zombie movie about a small village who, during the French Resistance in WWII, successfully defended themselves against a platoon of Nazis and discarded the nazi bodies in a lake. 35 years later the Nazi zombies are thirsty for blood…..and skinny dippers!
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Not even one minute into the movie and there’s full frontal female nudity. A lot of it.
- This skinny dipping scene is about 4-5 minutes long and is shot from underneath the swimmer in the
poollake thereby showing all her lady bits clear as day. I mean its downright Penthouse shots.
- The townsfolk don’t seem to mind that someone is missing. In fact they are wiling to wait 2 days before looking for the skinny dipper. Even waiting one day more, even after finding her clothes.
- Very lackluster zombie attacks. The second attack the Zombie basically gnaws (or kisses) victim’s neck for a minute. They shouldn’t have filmed a close-up since we can clearly see no bite wounds.
- The mayor leisurely reads a book mere minutes after the attack.
- There’s a lengthy WWII flashback (20 minutes or so) showcasing a lackluster sex scene between French villager and German officer and then some resistance fighting between villagers and Germans. Suffice to say this has very little to do with the overall plot except the dead Germans are thrown into titular lake. The loose thread so far is that the Mayor was a young resistance fighter. Later on we learn that the villager had a baby with the Nazi officer.
- Now there’s a scene with a 7 member female volleyball team skinny dipping at the
poollake. This film could have easily been called Skinny Dipper Lake; so far more naked chicks in it than zombies.
- Sadly Nazi zombies don’t goose step. This minor detail is what is keeping this film from so-bad to so-bad-its-good.
- Hands down, the WORST zombie make up I’ve ever seen. Their skin is forest green like the make-up artist bought a simple paint kit from a toy store and rubbed the stuff on their faces and thats it.
- Nazi zombie who had the affair with the villager meets his daughter?! But the girl in the film looks no older than 10 and this film is NO WAY set in the 1950s. The clothes, cars and everything else are all late 70s!
- Wait, that was the basketball team and not the volleyball team? But the the ball was white and they were volleying it back and forth. Maybe it was a messed up subtitle. Or French basketball is really different from the rest of the world.
- There’s 34 minutes left and there’s only been 3 minor zombie attack scenes.
- WORST resistance to a zombie attack I’ve ever seen! A police officer just stands there. Doesn’t try to defend himself or even move away from the zombie slowly biting his neck. Again he’s a police officer!
- The nazi uniforms were really made well to last this long underwater for 35+ years.
- So it’s never explained why the zombies are reanimating now at this point in time. Was it that first skinny dipper who started the awakening. So in 35+ years no one ever swam or fished in the
- So after the zombies attack and feed they all return to the
poollake when they’re done. That’s hilarious. The villagers could just ambush them the next time the zombies emerge.
- So the villagers attack the zombies as the Nazis stroll through town but as far as I can tell the villagers kill zero zombies and no villagers are harmed either. What a tense scene!!
- Next scene Nazi lover zombie walks with his daughter and when other zombies see that he’s with a living being, another zombie picks up a knife and fights lover zombie. Lover zombie wins and lets his daughter run away to safety. Seriously WTF is going on?
- Not only does the daughter lead the zombies to another ambush (this time the villagers attack with napalm!) but she offers them a bowl of blood which the zombies take turn drinking from. Zombies taking turns. Drinking blood. From a bowl.
Is It Actually Scary: Scary this was made. Scary it had an adult write and direct and edit it. Scary it was released to the public. Scary there’s enough fans of this garbage to make sure it keeps getting attention and releases on modern video formats.
How Much Gore: Not enough gore to keep it interesting. I mentioned earlier that we see a zombie bite the neck on a victim but there’s very little blood and it doesn’t ooze out of the non-existent wound. It looks like watered-down paint that the actor spit on the victim actor’s neck.
Best Scene: Usually in a late 70s-early 80s zombie flick there’s an awesome or memorable death scene, even the horrible Burial Ground – The Nights of Terror had some decent death or gore scenes. But this zombie movie was totally inept at pretty much anything worth noting except for the nudity. Seriously, not even something so bad it was funny or entertaining to mention.
Worst Scene: If I had to pick one it would be the villagers first attack of the zombies as they stroll through town. A dozen or so armed villagers shooting in vain at these terribly slow zombies, who I might add, do not attack any of the villagers. The villagers take down ZERO zombies (on screen) and the zombies kill ZERO villagers (on screen)! Its baffling how a scene like this was conceived. I couldn’t find the clip online but here’s my runner-up:
Any Nudity: When a movie pretty much starts with a girl walking to a lake and immediately taking off all her clothes to sunbath for a few moments and then skinny dip you know you’re watching some decent smut. I’m pretty sure all but one actress showed some T &/or A. Leave it to the French to make a zombie movie wherein there’s more T&A than zombie attacks.
Overall: The premise of the film is a good one actually. Nazi’s killed in action in rural France, thrown in a lake grave only to attack the town once again as zombies years later. Sounds awesome right? A little different than the typical zombie fare with reanimated corpses coming out of the ground seeking human living flesh. This film (if I can call it a film) is just so damn awful, slow, boring, insipid and poorly executed that even the most ardent zombie fans should not find anything good about it. The kills are terrible, the zombies are not menacing AT ALL and the sub-plot with the zombie caring for his daughter is ridiculous. Other than the nudity (and the close up crotch shots) there’s nothing special about this film and it should be avoided at all costs!!
Score: 1 Zombie Communal Blood Bowl (out of 10)