-In 1981 Jean Rollins (the master behind such films like “The Grapes of Death” or “Demoniacs”) took the second identity of J.A. Laser and released upon the world the mess of a film that is “Zombie Lake”.
The film takes place in a small French village were young women are disappearing without a trace, the superstitious locals blame the village’s lake; which they believed to be haunted by ghosts. The mayor really can’t be arsed to do anything so more titillating deaths take place and we soon find out that the deaths aren’t being caused by ghosts; as Nazi zombies are real culprits behind this mystery. These zombies are massacring the locals as a form of revenge, as rebels from the village killed this large gang off Nazis and threw their bodies into the lake; thus turning them into these vile walking corpses. In a final battle the villagers kill the zombies; allowing them to live in peace.
I went into this film, not expecting Citizen Kane, instead I went in expecting the Nazi zombie equivalent to Plan Nine from Outer Space; though to my dismay this film did not even fall into the “so bad its good” category. Nothing about this film brought me entertainment, it attempted at a slow build up, trying add mystery to the zombies before they are fully revealed; but the writing is so dreadful and the performances are so poor – that I really started to lose all interest. It also attempts at building tension, but when the victim’s breasts have built a bigger personality than the female that they are growing off; you really don’t care.
The effects are also dreadful, the zombie make-up is nothing more than green paint (which starts to drip off when the zombies clamber out of their lake), the gore effects are none existent; the farthest they go is a little red paint of the faces of some corpses – it’s really nothing exciting.
Is there anything good about this film? Well... The film does have some decent shots and the scene of the resistance taking out the Nazis is mildly entertaining; but it really doesn’t save this film.
As you can assume I am not going to recommend this film as it is trash, I really do understand why Jean Rollins did not put his name on this piece off work. As he is a talented director, if you want to see a true Rollins attempt at the genre then try “The Grapes Of Death” – A film which is mildly flawed but is very good and holds its own weight in the horror genre. If you really have an uncontrollable urge to watch a Nazi zombie flick check “Dead Snow” or “Outpost” instead.