Upbeat Cynicism

what do you mean i lost my mind?

Horror of the Zombies, 1974

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[Two hours to go, but I made it. Seven days in a row — Woo Hoo!]

So there’s these two girls, supposedly models ((Neither of them is ugly, but neither of them is a model, either. )), out on a pathetically tiny boat in the Atlantic Ocean, involved in some stupid publicity stunt at the behest of their agent/manager/I’m not quite sure just what he’s supposed to be, actually. The publicity stunt makes no sense. But then, nothing in Horror of the Zombies makes any damn sense. Not even at first glance.

The boat is enveloped by smoke machines fog, and the girls experience heat (by which I mean abnormally high air temperatures). Then they see an old Spanish Galleon. They radio what’s happening back to the jerk who sent them out there, and one gets onto the galleon.

In the boring meantime, back on land, there is some to-do about how to get the girls back. A helicopter goes looking, finds nothing. While consulting a meteorologist, one of the Jerk’s associates mentions what the women claim to have seen. The meteorologist turns out to know a lot about the ghost ship, and tags along for the rescue mission. ((The meteorologist turns out to know anything the plot requires, as the movie wears on, including how to conduct an ad hoc excorcism.))

So off they go in a boat, and the same stuff happens — smoke machines fog, heat, a hilariously tiny model Spanish Galleon in a tub that’s supposed to be the real thing on the high seas, the works. Everyone gets onto the galleon, their own boat disappears, meteorologist theorizes that they are now in another dimension, and nobody can find the initial two girls.

I pause here to note that the Jerk and his Gal have discussed killing everyone, claiming loss at sea, so that no embarrassing questions will need to be answered. Again, nothing in this movie makes sense.

Anyway, what’s going on is that this ghost ship contains the corpses of Knights Templar who worshiped the devil. They lure small craft into another dimension so that they may feed. Which, of course, means that the two somewhat-cuties from the beginning are yesterday’s dinner. No leftovers, either.

The survivors survive a little longer, the zombies attack, a few people make it off the boat to shore, but the zombies come and get them anyway.

And apart from how nothing makes a damn bit of sense, there’s still plenty wrong with this movie.

Starting with the fact that the most sympathetic characters die first, and the Jerk and his Gal are the last two buy the farm. I mean, come on, I’m watching a dreadfully bad movie, is it too much to ask that I give a damn what happens to the characters I spend the most time with?

Then there’s the zombie stuff. I won’t quibble about them being zombies, though this is not really a Romero-influenced take on the genre. But there is one kill that is actually shown. One! That’s it!

And there are three or four characters who are supposedly models, and are certainly young and attractive ladies. And none of them gets naked. This is an Italian horror movie, and not one ounce of nudity? Isn’t that against the rules???

No, this is not the most offensive thing I’ve ever watched, not even close. But it’s bad, stupid, and pointless, with lousy special effects into the bargain. The zombies themselves were creepy, the couple of times they’re onscreen. But that’s it. Nothing else to recommend this one.

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