One good movie and another okay movie for the price of one!
Spencer Wendleton | Independence, MO United States | 07/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hell of the living dead is not a perfect zombie movie, but if you're looking for a horror flick with apocalyptic atmopshere with gut munchin' and head blowin' action, this is it. Sure, it's cheesy, but fun as a whistle. If you liked Burial Ground, Zombie, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, then this one is a gem. Goblin is on the soundtrack, the one ripped off from Dawn of the Dead.
...I don't care what people say, the movie works--5 STARS! Rats, on the other hand, is a film where every death scene is so off it's not funny or cool. The main characters come off as goofy super-heroes (one by the name of 'video'). The rat action is mis-guided and comical, the director didn't believe in realism whatsover with the gore effects and character reaction--the dubbing doens't help either. I give this DVD 2 stars by itself, but Hell of the Living Dead is so awesome, it's a good deal to get two DVDs for the price of one."
5 for rats 3 for hell of living dead
Jon | lancaster, PA United States | 06/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"first of all its true all the rats being killed in this film are real but thats wat they did back then to make movies look real and the movie was great let me tell you but hell of the living dead desapointed me because it was kinda boring and zombies warnt that good but gores great and is still a must see trust me im a great itallian horror fan."
Bruno Mattei Was Highly Influenced By George Romero And Dari
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 04/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Italian director Bruno Mattei was a great visionary of apocalyptic horror. He is famous for directing low budget exploitation films such as the ones presented in this double feature from Anchor Bay: "Hell of the Living Dead" and "Rats." Both films have excellent premises but are harmed mostly by inferior special effects.
In "Hell of the Living Dead," grainy stock footage from a New Guinea documentary is clumsily inserted into the film. It serves little purpose but to slow down the pace. According to commentary from Mattei, "Hell of the Living Dead" was highly influenced by "Dawn of the Dead" - a collaboration between directors George Romero and Dario Argento. In fact, some scenes, especially the elevator one at the Hope plant, appeared to be imitations from "Dawn of the Dead." Furthermore, Mattei used the famous rock band Goblin which performed for "Dawn of the Dead" and numerous Italian gialli (murder mysteries) directed by Dario Argento.
"Rats" also was harmed by inferior special effects that could've been omitted without harming the plot. One in particular was what appeared to be a cardboard cutout of rats going up and down as if on a merry go round that simulated them running en mass.
Both films are set in the future and involve apocalyptic disasters. In "Hell of the Living Dead," an experimental gas is released from the Hope plant which turns humans into flesh eating zombies. In "Rats," uncouth bikers are trapped inside a laboratory where scientists have been experimenting on mutating rats. This film, according to Mattei, is based on George Romero's "The Night of the Living Dead," except it has rats in lieu of zombies. The incredible twist ending makes this film worth watching.
This double feature from Anchor Bay is an excellent introduction to the exploitation works of Bruno Mattei. It is highly recommended for fans of low budget Italian films. Though not on the same level as Dario Argento or Mario Bava, they are still influential. If you can find this out-of-print double feature at a reasonable price, I recommend that you purchase it. Just don't watch it while trying to eat, especially during "Hell of the Living Dead."
Hell Rats of the Living Dead!
Monty Moonlight | TX | 12/11/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Anchor Bay brings us a Drive-In double feature with two Bruno Mattei Euro-shlock classics!
First, a scientific experiment goes wrong at a lab in New Guinea resulting in the outbreak of a deadly virus with horrifying symptoms. The disease spreads quickly, and soon the island is overrun by flesh-eating zombies. When a commando squad shows up on the island without knowing the situation, they proceed on dead reckoning, picking up an attractive television reporter and her cameraman along the way. Those that survive make their way to the Hope Centre laboratory where the disease originated to discover it's dark purpose.
"Hell of the Living Dead," AKA "Virus," AKA "Zombi 4," AKA "Zombi 5: Ultimate Nightmare," AKA "Zombie Creeping Flesh" and a slew of other names, is, in many ways, your typical Italian "Dawn of the Dead" wannabe. There's plenty of cannibalistic gore, a swat team, lots of shooting, and they even borrow the music by Goblin. The film also uses stock footage to give the impression that it takes place in New Guinea when it was actually shot in Spain (it's not THAT badly done though). Nevertheless, "Hell of the Living Dead" is somehow more engaging than other films of its type. Perhaps it's the characters, badly dubbed as they are (hate that UN scene). Perhaps it's the breasts. For some, it's probably the butcher shop gore and crocodile gutting scene. There's also the origin of the disease that is revealed at the end, which I think definitely takes the film up a notch. I also love that the film includes a final scene, similar to what Fulci did in "Zombie" though not quite as grand, showing that the virus has moved out of the jungle and on to a highly populated area, as I personally prefer seeing zombie films set in more civilized locales to the jungle zombie films. It's just scarier when you see it happening in an area that looks more familiar to you. Overall, if you enjoy zombie films you should see this one, and especially if you're a fan of the Italian entries into the genre.
Next, set in the year 215 A.B. (after the bomb), "Rats" is the story of a group of motorcycle riding nomads who travel around scavenging the leftover cities of the world that have become ghost towns. Most humans never resurfaced after going underground to avoid the radiation all those years before, but the biker gang soon discovers that the humans moving underground forced the world's rat population above ground, and it is they who now hold power over us!
Putting his own spin on Romero's "Night of the Living Dead," famed European schlock-horror director Bruno Mattei replaces zombies with rats and takes us into the future to a world turned upside down. If that sounds intriguing to you, you may want to give this one a look, but be prepared for the worst. Everything about this one is pretty bad (and kinda gross) except for the twist ending and some of the general concept itself. It's all in good fun if you enjoy bad movies though, but one sort of feels this would have been more effective as part of an anthology since it really doesn't need to be feature length.
This great looking double-sided DVD from Anchor Bay includes "Hell Rats of the Living Dead" (an interview with director Bruno Mattei), a Bruno Mattei bio, a still and poster gallery, and theatrical trailers. Films are presented in widescreen format.