Friday, October 31, 2014

Oasis of the Zombies (1981)

Happy Halloween!

When I first thought about what it would be that I would watch for the Halloween edition of B-Movie Enema, I had some classics.  I thought about something classic like The Creature from the Black Lagoon or The Giant Claw.  I even thought about doing one of the Friday the 13th movies.

But then, I was all like, "Fuck it...  Oasis of the Zombies."

Here we have a French production about some treasure hunters in a film by Jesus Franco.  It's got Nazi zombies, so how can it be bad?  (That's not me setting up the fact that it's likely bad.  I'm being serious, how bad can a movie featuring Nazi zombies be bad???)

From the 50-Disc Chilling Classics set, our synopsis is as follows: "During World War II, a platoon of German soliders is transporting a large shipment of gold across the African desert when they're attacked by Allied forces who force them to hide the treasure in a remote desert oasis.  Fifty years later, the son of the only surviving Allied attacker decides to lead an expedition to track down the hidden gold.  Facing numerous perils along the way, the adventurers find the hidden oasis only to discover it is guarded by horrifying Nazi zombies."

Well, hot diggity damn!  Nazi zombies.  See?  Told you so.  Let's get this started...


To start things out, the movie delivers on one promise - a jeep rides past an oasis.  Two girls who are heavily overdubbed hop out of the jeep, and walk around the place.  We'll call them Legs and Boobies.  Boobies is not so cool with the area and scenery despite Legs telling her like eight times to just chill out and enjoy it.  We get a long, lingering shot of their asses as they continue to walk through the oasis talking about who knows what because, frankly, the whole point of this scene, I believe, is to show t heir asses.  Boobies takes off for the jeep only to be grabbed by some hands and Legs gets chased by something (my money's on a zombie), and we're off and running.

So after some shitty credits, up comes another jeep driven by a poor man's Sean Connery and another lady who is probably wearing more than Boobies or Legs were in the previous scene.  He goes to meet with a guy who looks like a Spanish Sean Penn.  They talk about some expedition to find some treasure.  They talk about ghosts of soldiers guarding the treasure.  Span Penn shows Senior Connery a map and Connery sticks Penn with some sort of needle containing some sort of heart attack inducing death.

Smash cut to London where I'm sure we're going to find actors who actually speak English, but, alas, we do not.  We're introduced to the son of Span Penn who arrives to go through some of his pop's journals.  We then see some flashback showing us the happenings of that World War II gold hiding business.  All this time, I'm starting to think if we're going to see anymore short shorts and butt shots, but I'm fairly certain we will not for the rest of the movie.  We do, however, get a lot of shots of people awkwardly falling down when shot and bad editing and some good laughs when Span Penn falls down some dunes.  One thing I am discovering about this movie is that there is absolutely no sense of time.  Things happen, and don't happen, and kinda happen, but we have no idea how long things have progressed.  We're not really even sure who Span Penn is talking to.  I'm guessing this lady is the son's mother, but I don't know.  I don't know if these are friendly locals or neutrals in this war business or what.  Span Penn and the lady do make sweet sweet, scratchy desert love.

So the son and his pals (all of which are supposedly British, but not a single one of them truly looks like they ever set foot north of the French Riviera) are gonna take up the search for the treasure.  Meanwhile, Senior Connery and his motley crew pull into the titular oasis.  The two dirtbags with Connery decide they are going to take the money for themselves.  You can only guess what's going to happen to these douches, can't ya?  Nearly halfway through this movie, we finally see our first fucking zombie, they look like shit, and I'm officially pissed.  So the two guys die.  And I should point out for a second that this death scene is edited somewhat similarly to the death scene in the grocery store in Messiah of Evil, but with the difference being that the editor of this movie had the unfortunate condition of having massive head trauma.  Anyway, everyone in this group, except for Senior Connery gets eaten.

After a "short" trip to the bazaar, the son and his gang meet up with some other people who have some sort of connection to something...?  Anyway, they see Senior Connery who is flipping out and stumbling about.  Because he was bitten by one of the dudes from Oasis (the band), he dies and must be burned so he doesn't look back in anger...  I mean, so he doesn't come back to life.

So some more time passes and two people have a topless makeout session before everyone heads out to somewhere to talk to someone or some such shit.  You know what?  This movie is some serious fuck.  It's impossible to really get what the hell is going on.  For a French movie, there's little to no sexuality (which would have at least spiced this shitfest up a touch).  The makeup is pretty non-existent.  The story is incomprehensible.  It's just like a series of shots of desert-y things.  With a dash of zombie.  I'm about 20 minutes away from the conclusion of this movie and I want to throw the disc out the window and into a pile of camel shit.

I'd like to try to make a bunch of Oasis jokes about brothers hating each other or zombie heads exploding into champagne supernovas or hiding behind wonderwalls and try to make this movie at least a funny watching experience, but even that wouldn't make me feel any better.

The problem is that this movie is working on a paper-thin script.  The idea of the movie is kinda cool.  You're starting with Nazis who become zombies.  You should be able to cobble together a decent script from there.  But these assholes didn't.  On top of that, the pacing is so slow that all I wanted to do is punch a puppy to hurry this movie along.  I didn't care about anyone in the movie.  It's just so horrific.  It's like a big middle finger to the audience.  Only a handful of people really die.  What makes matters worse is that our intrepid heroes decide to use fire to try to escape, and the smoke ends up making the big climax nearly unwatchable.  So in a movie that you have little to no idea what's truly going on, you get a finish that you REALLY don't know what's going on.

Just stay away from the movie.  It's not even worth farting on it.  It would be a disgrace to your flatulence.

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