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July 22, 2014

Movie Review: Zombie Lake (1980)

You know, the French love to act and think they’re above the rest of us. With their snooty cuisine and upscale museums and nudie ‘art’. Well I’m here to tell you they’re just a bunch of big pervs, like the rest of us, because 50% of this film could have been used in my Jr. High sex ed classes. My evidence? I submit to you: Le Lac de Zombie.

Zombie Lake is about a quaint little town in France. I don’t remember the name and honestly, do you really care? A young woman stands in a gazebo, possibly waiting for her lover. More likely just standing in weird postures so the camera can get a great angle of her tits and ass. She decides to go skinny dipping in a lake where a sign is posted with a giant skull and cross bones as a warning of some kind. But what does she care for rules? She eez franch. When she is killed by a one-eyed zombie that rises from the lake, we all point and laugh.

Local folks take their concerns about the young girl’s disappearance to the Mayor but c’est la vie. If she’s still missing tomorrow, perhaps we’ll call the police then. Meanwhile, a few more villagers go missing or end up dead. What perfect timing for the reporter who has shown up to do a story on the Lake of the Damned (or the Damned Lake as the locals call it).

Here’s what’s going on according to the Mayor who has obviously forgotten that WWII ended in ’45 being as his story takes place 10 years prior and this movie’s present day is 1980. Nazis were roaming the countryside, like they did, and one soldier protected a beautiful young woman from harm. It seems when he wasn't murdering innocents the Nazi learned ‘sex with strangers etiquette’ because he puts his coat down on the straw before doing the deed so as to protect her silky smooth bum.

He’s back off to killing Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals but returns to visit his love just after she has his child, a beautiful young girl they name Helena. But you know what? A large portion of the village’s men are part of Viva la Resistance so they ambush the Nazis, murder them, and throw their bodies into the lake. How does that translate into zombie Nazi’s years later? Apparently the lake was used to offer blood sacrifices to appease the spirits (of what? who? WTF, France?).

What do I spy with my little Nazi eye? SNATCH!

It’s not until a team of female volleyball players is murdered that the cops are FINALLY brought in despite the fact that the Mayor tells them the truth: zombies killed everyone. And since a dozen more people end up dead, the townsfolk realize they are all doomed and the soldiers will never be at peace until the holy fire of the Apocalypse burns them to ashes. But wait, says the reporter. What about napalm? Why, we just happen to have some right here!

So they trick the zombie Nazis by using Helena, the precious young daughter of the ‘nice’ Nazi soldier, who lures them to the old mill with a bucket of blood. Because, yeah, that’s preferable to the living humans you passed on the way to get to the bucket... Anyhoo, they fall for it and die.


There is just so much wrong with this movie. Some people might say, ‘uh, yeah. Zombie Nazis? That’s dumb.” Actually it’s not. Dead Snow proved that. It’s everything else that’s terrible. Or as the French say, terrible.

This movie is 90 minutes but there can’t be more than 20 minutes of dialogue. Yes, showing us the action is much better than telling us but since the actors never convey any emotions beyond mild annoyance, they need to talk for crying out loud. The first lines of dialogue aren’t delivered until 6 1/2 minutes in. And there’s hardly an eye twitch or throat clearing when people end up dead or a half naked volley ball player crashes into the pub screaming about her teammates. The zombies have more soul than these French automatons. 

Hi-Ho, Kermit the Frog hereI mean, Heil Hitler!

The special effects (and I use that term lightly) make-up is terrible. It’s bright green and water soluble because it’s mostly worn off every time the zombies rise from the lake then has to be reapplied for later scenes. They look like a tribe of Orion slave girls for pete’s sake. And the undead shuffle? One of these creatures was employed by the Ministry of Silly Walks, I’m sure.

The editing is choppy at best. The sound makes me think they redubbed the entire flick because I’m pretty sure when a zombie rampages the tavern, the crashing tables and crockery shouldn’t sound like a few books tumbling off a shelf. The story itself is simplistic enough but it becomes diluted with the star crossed lovers and then the zombie dad protecting his daughter. Although there is a soundless zombie tussle that Marcel Marceau probably would have enjoyed.

Now, I admit. I’ve never watched a real porn flick. And while I believe the human body is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by, I think I’ve seen more tits, bush, and cooch in the 90 minutes herein than in all my 45 years prior. And I’m not talking a flash of genitalia, folks. Let me just say that Le Lac de Zombie has some clear fucking water with a steady-handed cameraman in residence.

Poorly acted, poorly written, poorly executed.

0 Hatchettes (out of 5)

(Sorry I could only find trailers dubbed in English with a little less nudity. The other one I found had no voice over, just some Evanescence song that sounded completely inappropriate)

1 comment:

  1. Aww, c'mon, at least give the movie some credit for 3 minutes of interesting plot and the inclusion of a flashback. That's art, baby. Mais oui !

    Jess Franco walked off this, or so the story goes. That's saying something :)

    BTW, the Jean Rollin-lensed zombie insert footage shot for Franco's "A Virgin Among the Living Dead" is equally abysmal. Avoid at all costs.