Zombie Lake (1980)
(aka Zombies’ Lake/Le Lac De Morts Vivants/The Lake Of The Living Dead)
Director: J.A. Lazer (Jean Rollin)
Cast: Howard Vernon, Nadine Pascale,
Jean Rollin, Anouchka
Oh My God you don’t want a plot do you? Oh well I’ll do my best! Though I’ll probably spend more time on it than the filmmakers did! OK right we start with a naked young water nymph releasing the daily stresses and strains of country life by taking a dip in the local lake, which errm just happens to be filled (well not quite filled) with zombies. Her romping about in the water awaken the zombies and they rise up from the depths (which aint all that deep) to suck her blood like a bunch of vampire zombies!
A nosy reporter turns up to research the myth of “The Lake of Ghosts” and the mayor (Howard Vernon) dishes the dirt about how the lake is full of Nazi ghosts. One of whom whilst his unit was retreating from the village during the war, saved a young village girl, fathered a daughter with her, he fled, got shot and dumped in the lake and for some inexplicable reason the mother died, leaving the daughter behind.
Two days after they realised the water nymph went missing the villagers decide to do something about it, but well not before another girl gets lunched on! A team of naked frolicking female basketball players, ventures into the lake for a nymph dip which raises the zombies old goose-stepping spirit, the girls of course (3rd course) are unaware that the Nazi zombies are lurking in the depths of a swimming pool far far away, ready to pounce on their naked-nubile-nymph bodies. Of course when the zombies surface in the lake there are only about 3 of them, and it looks very much like 3 girls get killed, not including the one that escapes to alert the village of the naked nubile nymph noshing Nazi nastiness, totally obscuring the fact that around twelve girls got out of this 1970’s hippy shaggin’ wagon in the first place!
Eventually though after the zombies devour the basketball team the villagers decide to get their finger out and call the cops, who while investigating in their half-hearted “we don’t believe in ghosts” way, (nobody has mentioned zombies by this point!) also become lunch for our well fed zombies. So it’s left the to the villagers and the reporter to finish the zombies off once and for all. They do this with the help of the daughter of the head zombie, who by this time of course has met her flaky father, swapped necklaces with him, had lunch and reminisced about dear old dead mommy, “quality time” (well almost)! They decide they will lure the zombies to the mill where with the help of some napalm (Yup you read it right) they decide to have a zombie barbecue. THE END! (I HOPE!)
Where the hell do I start? OK start at the feet up! All of the zombies have boots on even though during the flashback scene you see the resistance guys stealing boots off the Nazi’s they have just killed! OK that’s just a minor thing, during the second munching of the girl who turns up in that scene (is never seen before) the old green zombie flake paint is coming off on her chin whilst the zombie is munching her neck! All of the underwater sequences are clearly shot in a swimming pool! “Well gee how do you know?” Well that would be because you can see the pool filters on the walls behind the zombies’ every time they appear! The day certainly looks like it’s set in the 1970’s clothing, vehicles and such like exposing this as the period, yet, when these zombies limber on up out of the lake, their clothing and boots seems to be in very good condition for being immersed in water for 30 odd years. But well there’s another problem, when we are told in the lengthy flashback both the moustachio from the village and the mayor were in the war helping the resistance shoot the Nazi’s and dump them in the lake. Obviously all of the time period is screwed; I mean the Mayor and Le Moustachè never age from the war to the present day. And the long lost daughter of the Uber Nazi leader is only about 12 years old! So well that makes it around 1957, and that’s me being generous!
Some Zombie Lake sequences seemingly turn up in the Jess Franco movie, Virgin Among The Living Dead (1973). This is as Jean Rollin says is because Franco was supposed to direct Zombie Lake, but had disappeared, the producers phoned Rollin asked him to direct it, and well the rest is Uber Zombie history! This is straight from Rollin’s lips. Source: – Necronomicon Book One, Edited By Andy Black Available from Creation Books.
Watching it you can see it is definitely a Rollin job and not a Franco one. The music is inappropriately used (and crap), and one thing we know is Franco knows his music and he very rarely screws it up. It doesn’t feel Like Jess Franco either, all this crapolla with the daughter of a Ubber Nazi zombie with his long lost daughter zombie memory-touchy-feely-crappy-parental love rubbish is pure Rollin romanticism/poetic claptrap, when, well he should just be having her for lunch!
Review by Giovanni Pistachio, Giovanni can be contacted at: –
© Owned Giovanni Pistachio 14/08/2003