Saturday, March 25, 2023

cigarettes and alcohol.

As I admitted earlier this week, I went out and bought another version of Zombie Lake on Wednesday (because reasons).

What I didn't admit was that I also purchased another copy of this classic too. 

But why I hear you cry.

Because it's quite possibly the second best Nazi zombie movie ever made by the writer (and original director) of Zombie Lake

So without further delay allow me to introduce you to the genius that is Oasis of the Zombies.


I know I did.


La Tumba de los muertos vivientes (AKA Grave of the Living Dead, Oasis of the Zombies, Oasis of the Living Dead, Treasure of the Living Dead, Bloodsucking Nazi Zombies. 1983).
Dir: Jesus Franco (probably, well the majority of it, as A.M. Frank).
Cast: Manuel Gélin, Eduardo Fajardo, Henri Lambert, Myriam Landson, Antonio Mayans, Eric Viellard, Javier Maiza, Albino Graziani, Miguel Aristu, Doris Regina, Caroline Audret, and France Lomay (but not Lina Romay - well not in some versions).

"Quick, get some bottles to make Molotov cocktails with like in school".

Our tale of terror opens with two ample arsed ladies who have taken time out from their holiday to sunny Tripoli to visit a haunted oasis in the middle of the desert.

as one would on any package tour.

At least it's somewhere to park your bike.

It appears that the locals have been filling the girls (settle down) heads with all sorts of scary stories about the oasis and how it's haunted by the restless spirits of murdered Nazi soldiers but the ladies, probably thinking that undead baby killers are less likely to try it on with them at the local disco than the greasy mustachioed natives decide to go take a look for themselves.

It comes as no surprise (to us that is, they seem visibly shocked) when they're dragged beneath the sands to their deaths by mysterious and moldy bread-like hands....

Melania's let herself go....less Be Best more Be Beast.

Cut to rugged, porn 'tached Colonel Kurt Maitzell (Lambert) and his sexy chain smoking, oh so slightly stern and Lego haired wife (Landson, covering for Lina Romay who only appears in the French version*) on vacation in Tripoli to catch up with his oldest military acquaintance and World War II rival, the stiff (upper lipped) Captain Robert Blabert Sr. (Maiza).

Landson: sexily supply teacher-like, yet still
replaced by Lina Romay in some versions.

Fighting on opposite sides during World War II (Maitzell alongside Rommel, Blabert with Monty) Maitzell has a business proposition for his former adversary; it appears that $6,000,000 worth of Nazi gold went missing during a battle in the Libyan desert and there’s every reason to think the gold is still there.

Blabert agrees and goes to fetch his map of the site but just when you think that the movie is going to become a kind of 'Indiana Jones vs. the undead' style adventure (albeit a wee bit cheaper) Maitzell stabs Blabert with a poisoned biro and legs it into the desert with the map.

Destination: The Oasis.

Of The Zombies.

And not Oasis in Birmingham where I used to buy all my clothes in the 80s obviously.

Not you.

Suddenly for fear of the film getting too exciting we're transported - by what looks like someone's holiday Super 8's filmed on a cotton bedsheet - to swinging London where Blabert’s son, also confusingly named Robert (Gélin) has just received a letter regarding not only his dads death but a mention of the missing millions.

This obviously has no baring on him deciding to embark post haste to Tripoli.

While he’s getting his stuff together for the journey, Robert Jr. finds his dad’s wartime diary, complete with the exciting tale of his mission to intercept the Nazi gold.

It's so exciting in fact that it causes the picture to go all wobbly as we experience an incredibly overlong flashback full of glaring continuity errors, too much acting and far too many unnecessary sex scenes.

Unlike the flashback in Zombie Lake which is cinematic gold.

"She's turned the weans against us!"

Important things that we learned from this sequence include the fact that between 1943 and 1983, Robert Snr. didn't age one jot (is he perchance related to Howard Vernon’s Zombie Lake Mayor Hoek?), that Robert Jr. was conceived during the war yet is only in his early twenties and that his mum was as a sheiks daughter (and played by the sultry - and slightly boss eyed - Doris Regina, star of Orgy of the Nymphomaniacs).

Oh yes and his dad was really shit at drawing.

Aye....seems legit.

Impressed with his dads tales of daring-do and random impregnations, Robert manages to persuade his pals the council estate Mark Hamill-alike Ronald (Viellard), lank haired troll Sylvia (Audret), and the pube headed, bespectacled Ahmed (Aristu, whom you may remember from The Night of Sincere Sex, no? suit yourself), to join him in Libya on his hunt for the gold.

So far so plodding.

Things soon hot up tho' when we catch up with Colonel Maitzell and his wife (admit it you'd forgotten about them hadn't you?) who, it appears have arrived at the oasis (alongside some badly dubbed shirtless hired muscle) and have decided to rest for the night and start excavations first thing in the morning.

Whilst the Colonel and his missis sleep (well he sleeps, she just continues to smoke) the muscle men sit around playing cards (but not alas using The UnDeck - copies still available) and thinking of the best way to screw over the Maitzells and keep the gold for themselves.

If you hadn't already guessed they are very, very bad men.

Before they can make a decision as to the best way to rid themselves of the Colonel and his wife (tho' the cigarettes will probably finish her off soon) the dunes suddenly burst alive with the sound of undead Nazis rising from their graves beneath the sand.

Well with the sound of various farmyard animals - alongside what sounds like a squeaky rocking chair - slowed down, which much as I admire this avant garde approach to sound design is actually a bit shit.

"Aye son!"

The Colonel manages to escape the ensuing blood bath but not before he's given a nasty hickie by one of the zombies (and we all know what that means), but being such a hard man he's able to stumble back to Tripoli and into Robert and his pals before dying.


Robert seems to find the whole situation a wee bit annoying - tho' not as annoying as his pal Ronald seeing as it's interrupted his attempts to worm his way into the affections (and bri-nylon undies) of the cutely blond, dungaree wearing Erika (professional rude lady Lomay from the classic Pussy Talk 2), assistant to kindly anthropologist cum Dave Lee Travis lookalike Professor Denikan (Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties star Gratziano) and his colleague Steve Soontodie who is that unimportant he doesn't even get a credit on the movie.

Poor sod.

Or very lucky sod depending on how you rate the film.

taking a lighter from his breast pocket, Professor DLT-lite nonchalantly torches The Colonel's body before explaining in great depth that anyone bitten by a zombie will rise from the dead.

Really? well I never.

And probably never will if I continue to spend all my time watching shite like this.

Or at least that's what my mum always said.

It's not Omar Shariff it's Omar the thief....of your heart.

Robert and his pals are suitably nonplussed by all these tales of death - and the fact that the hairy cornflake has just torched a corpse - and reckon that after a good nights kip they can go visit Granddad Sheik, borrow a camel or two then be at the oasis and back with the gold before tea time.

Yeah right.

Not wanting to be stuck in the local town any longer than necessary, Denikan, yummy Erika (after some soft focus hot lovin' with Ronald) and Soontodie decide it'd be best to leave for the desert straight away in order to set up camp and have a cuppa brewing ready for Rob and companies arrival.

And not, I repeat not in order to steal the gold for themselves.

"Is it in yet?"

All that conniving is immaterial tho' as the next day when Robert and co. finally arrive at the oasis they're shocked to find Denikan's party covered in blood and love bites whilst their native guide runs around like a wuss screaming “The living dead! The zombies! The zombies that came out of the sandwich is there!”

Well that's what it sounded like.

Robert assumes this is some kind of sick joke, even going as far as to accuse Denikan of making the whole thing up when the poor guy wakes up shouting the same thing.

The fact that his arse is covered in bite marks is obviously not important.

She's going to have someones eye out.

With our heroes banded together at the oasis, the scene is set for a climactic battle between the living and the dead.

Which would be nice seeing as so far we've only seen the zombies for about 10 minutes in total.

And to be honest I'm not even sure they were actually zombies seeing as they looked (and smelled probably) more like a bunch of homeless folk the director happened across whilst scouting for locations.

But enough of that because the movie is racing (limping?) toward its exciting climax as suddenly the dead begin to rise from the dunes hell bent on eating the would be gold-baggers....

Will Robert and his friends survive the attack?

Will they find the gold?

Will Erika escape or will the zombies eat her whole? (seeing as most of the undead spit that bit out).

Is 'gold-baggers' actually a word?

And how many of my reviews have featured that 'joke' (which was way past it's sell by date when they used it in Carry On Columbus)?

Franco's Oasis of the Zombies can be viewed as a terrifying companion piece to Jean Rollin's classic Zombie Lake, seeing as both films share a similar plot, villains and structure.

Oh yes, and the same script.

Bizarre as it sounds that's actually true and to add even more confusion to the background of the epic Oasis was actually released in dozens of re-edited versions, each one concentrating on a different thread of the plot.

But the strangest thing regarding Oasis of the Zombies is that Franco shot two separate versions of the film simultaneously, one for the French market and one for the Spanish.

Neither of them that good.

"You ain't seen me right?"

As with most (all?) Jess Franco flicks the acting varies from unemotional cardboard to sturdy MDF with most of the females being cast due to arse size and an abundance of bush rather than any thespian ability.

Make-up wise the Nazi zombies are a step up from the green, gloss painted goons of Zombie Lake (which admittedly isn't that difficult) tho' some do look a wee bit too much like necrophiliac sex dolls for my liking.

The Matt Hancock love doll: Insert cock here and fuck him like he fucked the NHS.

Still it's worth a look for any fans of the much maligned Nazi zombie genre or large 1970's European bottoms.

Which means everyone here I guess.

*But don't quote me on that as it may be a total lie.

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