Friday, October 8, 2021

flesh gore-dom.


 Scarily just realised that Bruno Mattei’s craptastic Zombie Creeping Flesh is 40 years old this year - which makes me feel fucking ancient seeing as I remember hiring it out from Washvac Video in Coseley as a nipper.

To add insult to injury it's an off-licence now so I doubt they'll still have a copy in stock.

A local shop for local people.


Even sadder tho' is the fact that as far as 80's zombie movies go, ZCF isn't ever treated with the respect it deserves - which to be fair isn't much - but it should be treated a wee bit better than Full Moon Pictures did last year when, at the height of the Corona pandemic they shoddily recut/redubbed bits of it (alongside news footage of Donald Trump and footage from Zombies vs Strippers) and hastily popped it online under the title Corona Zombies in a vain attempt to make a cash-grab from the ongoing global pandemic.

Piracy - and a distinct lack of imagination - is a crime. Probably.

So anyway, I'm using 31 Days of Horror as an excuse to hopefully raise it up to the lofty position in cinematic history it deserves.

But before we start let me just get my 'favourite' quote from this (any?) movie out of the way first:

"She may not know much about chemistry, but in bed, her reactions are terrific!" 

Good, now we can begin.

Zombie Creeping Flesh (AKA Apocalipsis caníbal, Zombi 5: Ultimate Nightmare, Hell of the Living Dead, Inferno dei morti-viventi, Virus, Cannibal Virus 1980)
Dir: Bruno Mattei (AKA Vincent Dawn)
Cast: Margit Evelyn Newton, Frank 'Garfeeld', José Gras, Josep Lluís Fonoll, Gabriel Renom, Bob Carolgees and Selan Karay.

This cover scared the living shite out of me as a kid. Fact.

Somewhere (cheap to film) in sunny Papua New Guinea lies a top secret research facility called The Hope Centre where armies of underpaid and overworked Italian extras spend their days dressed in ill-fitting lab coats and children's Bob The Builder hats whilst ooh-ing and aah-ing over a variety of flashing lights and diode meters.

Which if I'm honest is possibly the best job in the world.

Well it would be if it weren't for the scary puppet rat that takes a fancy to one of the poor supporting artistes (who looks way too much like Harry H. Corbett for my liking) nostrils and in a vain attempt to have nose sex with him causes a bad dad gas leak that turns the entire staff into flesh-eating zombies.

Is there any other kind tho?

"There's a rat in the kitchen dirty old man!"

Cue the Goblin score to Dawn of The Dead coupled with some felt-tip titles that take us half way across the world - or 15 miles down the road - to some unnamed banana republic where the heroically chinned and scarily hairy backed Lt. Mike London (José Gras, the star of Mad Foxes) and his Quick Fit overalled four man anti-terrorist squad are being deployed to eliminate a group of sweaty, bearded working class types who've taken the directors family hostage inside the local council offices.

These tinker terrorists are demanding the closing down of every Hope Centre in the world due to them being a cover for something bad (probably making 5G masts), which of course both the government and the military deny.

Well they would wouldn't they?

Luckily for us that world-renowned science expert, Made In Chelsea's Lucy Watson is on the case in 'the real life'.

Aren't we lucky?

This is what being tired of experts gets you. Hope you're proud of yourselves.

Anyway back to the plot and bored with sitting about looking manly, London and co. fire tear gas into the building before bursting in and machine gunning all the bad guys.

In the face.

Fuck yeah.

Children beware, their Jeep is not full of sweets.

Once the mission is completed and the bodies bagged our heroes receive an important communiqué from whichever fascist police state they work for informing them that all communication with Hope Centre has been lost and, seeing as this wannabe A-Team is a far as the budget can stretch when it comes to supplying a small army, they've to head out to New Guinea right away.

On arrival our oddly hatted he-men take in the scenery and wildlife as they drive aimlessly around what looks like a kiddies sandpit, failing totally to notice that a number of animals they encounter are all moving in slow motion on differentiating qualities of film stock whilst others just stand in the background as tho' stuffed.

An effect of the chemical leak surely?

There's unfortunately not enough time to discuss this because it's about now that we meet bubble haired journalist Lia Rousseau (Newton from The Last Hunter) and her cameraman Barney (ex-Tiswas star Carolgees), who're busy chasing the same story.

I mean the Hope centre one by the way, not the actual film plot because that would be a waste of time and effort on all parts.

Anyway, London (the character not the city obviously), realizing that Rousseau's breasts will probably be the most entertaining things we're going to see in the next 90 minutes offers to take them along for the ride.

Magrit Evelyn Newton's tits yesterday.

As their journey takes them ever closer to the facility (encountering amongst other things, even more grainy and scratchy stock footage of animals and even grainier stock footage of African tribes plus a few - none stock footage - zombies), London's crack team come across (not in that way tho' it'd brighten things up) a native village that's been recently attacked by persons unknown.

No chance it could be zombies then?

Our haircut dodging heroes desperately need information on the attack if they're to stand any chance of completing their mission and as luck would have it, Lia not content with being the video nasty equivalent of Anne Diamond is also a trained anthropologist, specializing in the tribes of New Guinea.

How convenient is that?

As we all know, the best way to communicate with a primitive tribe is to strip stark bollock (or in this case boob) naked, cover your breasts and face in poster paint and then just waltz on into town.

Frank Sidebottom always enjoyed judging the annual Ms. Timperly competition.

You may laugh but it seems to do the trick, as the team are all invited for dinner and the chance to sit thru' some stock footage (surprise) of various tribal burial rights before rounding off the evenings entertainment with a wee bit of a dance.

Luckily some zombies turn up (finally) giving our heroes a chance to quickly drive away whilst the defenseless villagers are violently massacred.

Which is nice.

Stopping a short while later (far enough away that they can't hear the screams) London and his boys decide to rest up in a deserted plantation where hopefully they can find some supplies and maybe even a ballet tutu or two (too).


It seems that the bald pated Lt. Oswald Osbourne (Fonoll) has gone a wee bit fruit loops due to the intense heat and is desperate to find his feminine side.


Rooting around the building in search of some old ladies underwear to change into, Osbourne discovers whom he takes to be the plantation owner, a wrinkly old woman, asleep in a rocking chair.

Moving slowly closer (well your hole is your hole after all) our lewd Lieutenant is shocked to find that the uncomfortable hardness of his throbbing manhood isn't the only thing stiff in the room...the old biddy is dead and the rocking motion is due to an ickle pussy cat eating its way thru' her chest.

Gah indeed.

And just when you thought things couldn't get any more uncomfortable, the Zimmer using zombie stands up and slowly totters towards a visibly repulsed Osbourne whilst pulling a terrifying cum face.

It's like waking up with your Gran's face buried in the damp muskiness of your crotch.


What your dad really gets up to on his darts night.

Screaming like wee lassies at a Gary Glitter concert the team barely make it out alive, in fact poor old Osbourne doesn't, he's unfortunately killed whilst wearing a top hat and a green ballet tutu as the house is quickly overrun - well as quickly as zombies can totter - by the undead.

Eventually, Rousseau, her bullet-like nipples rubbing against her rough yet functional cheesecloth blouse and the remains of London's team battle their way to a local boating lake cum kiddies paddling pool where, after commandeering a dingy begin the final leg of their journey to the Hope Centre.

And it's about fucking time if I'm honest.

Inside Michael Barrymore's mind.

Paddling ever nearer to the complex it soon becomes apparent (thanks to even more stock footage, this time of what looks like a school PTA meeting) what the Hope Centre project actually entails.

It seems that their top secret plan to alleviate world hunger actually involves harvesting the bodies of the dead as a cheap food source.

Soylent Green anyone?

Ironically tho', with the chemical leak causing the dead to rise the worlds starving will now devour us.

Hang on, that's a wee bit serious for this kind of film isn't it?

"Laugh now!"

Suffice to say that when they finally reach the Centre things go from bad to very bad via a quick trip to badsville; the scarily Argento fringed Zantoro (Frank Garfeeld AKA Franco Garofalo AKA The Nipples from Naples) - after spending the rest of the film turned up to eleven finally blows - going so far over the top that his performance can only be viewed from the Hubble telescope whilst good old Mike London appears to suddenly gains 2 stone (pesky reshoots) which he then takes out on poor Lia.

If anything she should be angry seeing as his tits are now bigger (and considerably juicer) than hers.

Whilst all this sweaty arguing is going on, literally dozens (OK a few) zombies randomly jump out of lifts and cupboards (but obviously don't shout) picking off - and pissing on - the survivors one by one, leaving the zombie hordes to take over the world and Lia's head being used as a novelty bowling ball.

"Aye hen!"

Nothing like finishing on an upbeat note eh?

Different title, same movie, scarier cover.

Once again the late (as in dead, not that he's terrible time keeper) great Bruno Mattei proves to the world that a lack of budget, imagination and common sense are no boundary to producing a rip-roaring, terrifyingly taunt movie.

Unfortunately it just wasn't with this one, I must have been thinking of The Tomb.

Only joking.*

Working under the pseudonym Vincent Dawn - in a thinly veiled tribute to George Romero - Mattei would continue to use this moniker till the end of his career and what a career it was seeing as it took in everything from Lovecraftian mummies, Nazisploitation, saucy Roman epics, women in prison, combat shockers and big rats as well as the undead.

Plus in his later years he introduced the world the gloriously button-nosed Yvette Yzon in his Dawn of The Dead/Alien mash-ups Island of The Living Dead and it's confusingly titled sequel Zombies: The Beginning

Indeed this man achieved everything you could ever wish for basically.

Including bedding your mates attractive mum.


Bruno and his very own Ripley, the fantastic (and fantastically smooth thighed) Yvette Yzon.

Anyway, back to the movie in hand.

Lets be frank here, it's rare to get such a bad film that actually delivers the entertainment factor so perfectly - everything about it screams train wreck - from barely adequate gore effects, ludicrously stiff dialogue and stilted dubbing - "You're beginning to bug me, kiddo - just don't break my balls!" - unnecessary nudity, dodgy face-painting, a stolen score, stock footage pilfered from such places as Nuova Guinea: Isola Dei Cannibali and the directors holiday films via a fantastic collection of ill fitting hats.

This film has all this and more besides.

But despite (because?) of all this the whole sad affair actually works.


Scarily enough tho' the film was originally envisioned as a big budget ecological horror thriller - it's original draft features the entire third world becoming zombies taking on the armed might of the industrialized nations - think Soylent Green with zombies and the budget of Avatar, but - as is always the way with these things - when the producers discovered that between them they could only scrape together £6.80 and that Charlton Heston hadn't returned their calls they realized that a major rethink - and rewrite - would be needed.

Enter Mattei (not literally you sick bastard he's been dead for over 5 years) who alongside the hack-tastic master of the macabre Claudio Fragasso soon had the entire project re-jigged to more suit the more, um, modest budget assigned to it.

And more importantly got a cast that would work for food.

Or in José Gras' case cheap cooking sherry.


And from such problems a work of true cinematic genius was born.

An average Daily Mail headline yesterday.

The films troubles didn't end with it's budget problems, sub-literate cast and lack of suitable head wear tho' as upon release in the UK Zombie Creeping Flesh was quickly pounced on by the evil forces of the DPP and unfairly (and messily) tarred with the 'video nasty' brush before being bundled into a box next to an ex-rental copy of Night Train Murders.
Night Train Murders: A little bit of chicken in a box.
But like the zombies it portrays so realistically, the critics found Zombie Creeping Flesh hard to kill as over the years, it's somewhat tarnished reputation as a perfectly formed end of the pier style, totally craptastic shocker has grown to a point where it's fans now number in the dozens.
And what other movie has the balls to feature a ending where a zombie pushes its fist into the heroines screaming mouth, forcing its fingers up through her face before poking out her eyeballs?

Not Peter Rabbit 2 that's for sure.

Top quality entertainment for all the family.

 *Or am I?

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