Originally set to be directed by Jesus Franco, but due to him leaving the project Jean Rollin along with some help from Julian deLaserna picked up the reins and so Zombie Lake was born (under the name of JA Laser). In fact the film is full of pseudonyms which is typical of a European movie of the 70s and 80s.
Within a minute of the film starting and set due to some music Geoff Love would have been proud of arranging, a woman strips up and goes for a swim in a lake. Not any lake, but a lake which due to local legend is haunted. Soon enough a zombie in a miltary uniform pops up and she bites the dust. The mayor holds out to see if she turns up after she is reported missing but in the meantime the zombie kills a local girl.
Shortly after a nosy reporter comes to the village and is told the story of how a bunch of Germans ended up in the bottom of the lake during World War II.
Zombie Lake has the potential to be quite the horror movie but it’s slack direction and cheap production values stop it from happening. The zombie make-up is so piss-poor that at one point it’s not even on one of the actors faces, it’s smeared off. The music apparently is ‘borrowed’ from several other films and the bontempi organ arrangement for one of the zombie stalking sequences must have been composed by a tone deaf 4 year old. Old ham Howard Vernon leads the cast as the town mayor bringing a little bit of class to the proceedings and it’s always good to see a Nazi soldier keep his trousers on when he makes love!!
Zombie Lake is awful on so many levels, but as a gormless, dreadfully bad post-pub film you may enjoy it. I found myself laughing at the sheer rubbishness throughout it’s running time which flew by, which is far scarier than the film could ever be.
- Starring Howard Vernon Pierre Escourrou Anouchka Robert Foster
- Director J.A. Laser
- Distributor Screenbound