Atmosphere over violence
Bloodbath_and_Beyond | usa | 01/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The 70's was the breeding ground for great horror films. The mainstream audiance was being treated to a slur of religious themed horror films (Exorcist, its sequel, The Omen, Beyond The Door) etc, and there was a big underground scene going on. In 1977, this indie shocker crept to theatres and made a small impact. But it's reputation since then has grown and it has been dubbed a classic, rightfully so. Of course there are many clones, the most obvious being the truely horrible Zombie Lake. But this movie, utilizing the underwater nazi zombie idea is very well crafted and lives up to its title. Although some might find it slow and lacking by modern standards, for those who like horror from the era when real horrror was being done, this one is a near essential. Staring an unknown Brooke Adams, and horror legends John Carradine and Peter Cushing, the low budget on this flick is apparent. Like Halloween a year after it, the writers wisely cast one (or 2) highly famaliar face to reel in their target crowd. Although they play the same usual "warning theres something bad going on here" character they've both always played, they do it with the bravado you'd expect of both the veterans. Some island tourists aboard a boat captaine'd by Caradine has some kind of equipment problems, loses its way, and gets sideswiped by a large unknown ship. They take refuge on a nearby island and not to give too much away, Cushing living there in isolation, is the former head of a core of superhuman killers (not dead nor alive but somewhere in between) that have just so happen to be rising from their watery grave on this day. Of course, on paper this sounds cheesy, however director Ken Wiederhorn really treats this flick as if it were the kind of late 60s Hammer film Cushing himself comes from. It's extremely eerie indeed. The music by Richard Einhorn is what really fills this movie with great tension and a very chilling atmosphere. Of course the shots of the monsters rising from the sea are the trademark image of the movie, this is one of the best horror films of it's decade, at least in the top 30. One thing that might irritate some waters is the lack of gore or any real violence, although others might find this a good thing. That doesn't mean this a kid movie, it's mood more than makes up for the lack of blood, and the raw low budget look will turn off anyone from the younger generation that is used to the typical Hollywood 10 million dollar slasher remake crap. This is a classic yet underlooked horror nugget."
What Can I Say -- I Really Liked It.
Todd and In Charge | Miami, FL | 06/01/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't argue with some of the critical reviews, from slow pacing to misuse of Peter Cushing, to laughably ineffective Nazi scuba zombies.
That said, what can I say -- I really enjoyed this movie.
First off, you have a great premise, great location (the film was shot in Miami and features many scenes in the then-shuttered historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables), and the beautiful Brooke Adams in a bikini.
Add Peter Cushing, a wry John Carradine, creepy soundtrack and atmospheric directing, and you have a pulpy, fun B-movie zombie fest.
I fully understand why this film was a midnight movie staple at the Grove cinema back in the day.
I also enjoyed the extras, including interviews and old Miami Herald press clippings from when they filmed this in South Florida back in 1975."