It’s October, the month of Halloween and what would be more clichéd than doing a rundown of one’s top horror films, so fully admitting to being a walking cliché, I will be doing a series of blogs running down the films in my own personal top 20. Here’s the previous blog in regards numbers 20, Audition, and 19, Night of the Demon.
Zombie Flesh Eaters isn’t about a plot. The plot is essentially meaningless as it’s probably the purest, most distilled zombie/gore film you will ever see. The plot is there to ensure that a scene of extreme gore happens as quickly as possibly, but unlike a lot of exploitation films in the 70’s and 80’s (not to mention the reams of fucking awful zombie films being pumped out today) is that it’s beautifully shot, not to mention it’s amazingly well directed so that it ramps up the terror and gore just when it needs to. One thing this film isn’t is boring.
I stumbled across the film in a one-page review in Starburst and was instantly intrigued as any 12 year old would be by the idea of breasts, zombies and gore, but it was a day I wandered into the Virgin Megastore in Glasgow and stumbled across a newish magazine with this cover that sealed the deal for me..
How can you not fall in love with a cover like that? It’s still a spectacular image decades later. It also formed the major part of the American advertising campaign.
That poster to this day still has the best line ever. Who’d not go see a film with a worm infested zombie saying we are going to eat you!
Sadly when I eventually saw the film for the first time it was a dodgy seventh generation VHS copy which was cut anyhow, so the ‘eye scene’ was edited as were most of the more extreme scenes of gore. Thankfully in the mid-80’s I managed to get a chance to finally see an uncut version as I was organising the film room at the Eisnercon, Glasgow’s first 3-day comic book convention. I managed to suitably disgust most people in the room when it was shown, but I finally saw, and fell in love with this utter gem of horror and exploitation cinema.
Don’t come to this film expecting high art, plot, great acting or anything a ‘real’ film would. It does feature a zombie fighting a shark (it’s a real shark by the way) multiple scenes of gore, and of course, that scene involving a splinter of a door and an eyeball which is still horribly tense even though you know exactly what’s coming but you think it’s going to cut away and it doesn’t. That’s the attitude that makes me love this film. It doesn’t give a fuck and it’s got a brilliant electronic score, though a wee warning before watching the trailer. It gives away a lot of the shocks. That said, enjoy!
Next time we hit number 17 on my countdown and it’s only a movie…..