Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oasis of the Zombies (1981)

Look here, I have two releases of Oasis of the Zombies on DVD. Really, I have. Anyway, yesterday I decided to watch it again and just grabbed one of them. The UK Arrow release. I remember it to have ok quality and I don't demand so much of just this movie to be honest. Just so I can see what happens. The funniest thing with the Arrow release is the inside of the cover where you find information probably not for us fans and buyer out there, but to the retailers that once would buy this movie and sell it to innocent customers. Here's what the information say to the retailers:


* A heady mix of NUDITY and GORE - Jess Franco's Trademark
* The zombie make-up is FANTASTIC, as the is the music by Daniel White.
* The atmosphere and the totally INCREDIBLE zombies makes this film.
* The make up effects are good, the story is well written, the scenery SPECTACULAR and the cast likable.
* A must for any fans of the Euro-horror genre."

This is of course wrong. Everything, though some of the make up-effects is better than expected and there's some frames here and there of atmosphere. I'm sure Arrow must have been desperate and just too the advice from Hitler that the biggest lie is the best lie. The story itself is okey, but way to drawn out and confusing to really be something fantastic. The nazi's hides some gold out in an oasis (or something), and the only survivor (Javier Maiza... I think!) gets killed by a treasure hunter and the son of the the survivor travels to the desert to get some kinda revenge and find the treasure himself together with his moronic friends. Something like that, I'm not totally sure.

The good thing with Oasis of the Dead is the locations. Nothing spectacular, but it's a different look than a lot of other horror movies for once. But remember this is mixed up with stock footage from a so far unidentified war movie, something that looks likes photos being substitute for real landscapes and some of the worst dubbing ever. Most of the time the pacing is somewhere else and the dialogue is dumber than anything in 10000 BC (but still Oasis is a better movie than that suck-fest) but it as some moments. The ending is sloppy, but features some nice zombie-footage and cool atmospheric music-experiments) and Franco shows the desert in a beautiful way.

But don't expect any "heady mix of nudity and gore" (I'm not sure of "heady" was supposed to be "heavy", but both still works). It's very little of both, and the gore is non-FX like throwing around a piece of meat or put a few sprinkles of fake blood on the victim. Despite this, it's one of Franco's trashiest and most stupid movies from this time and it's entertaining if you - like me - manages to watch all they way through it. I might even like it a little bit.

But Oasis of the Zombies is also an existential horror movie, which this much-quoted lines say. Enjoy.

The Sheik: Did you find what you were looking for?
Robert: I mainly found myself.


CiNEZiLLA said...

Cool! I haven't seen this one in ages. I seem to recall having it on some weird double bill with Zombie Lake... not exactly the best double feature for someone wanting a quick fix of action packed zombie hell. Wasn't this one of the Eurocine movies? don't you find that their movies often are a bit too far on the slow, low budget, tame side of things..? (or is that just how I recall them today) :)

Ninja Dixon said...

Yes, it's Eurocine!:) And I haven't seen many good or exiting movies from them. This is one of the more entertaining ones though.

For me Eurocine is the same as no gore, no pace and no fun most of the time.

Alex Bakshaev said...

ha ha I too own the Arrow DVD with that dodgy inside cover text:)
EUROCINE are an acquired taste, for sure.
I've seen OASIS more often than any sane man should, and hopefully won't watch it anyomre as it's so thin on redeeming values.

forestofthedead said...

Got this one in a Millcreek Entertainment box set. Enjoyable though dear god not great. Liked your review. :)

David A. Zuzelo said...

Good review Fred, there is a different cut of the film that has Lina Romay and Eduardo Fajardo in the lead roles that features a lot of different shots and a different score by Daniel White that is much more Franco. The French version was produced by Eurocine and Franco did not shoot the scenes with the new lead actors.

Eurocine is an acquired taste, I like them myself. I wish I had a good version of MANIAC KILLER for the world to see. That film is ridiculous and crazy with Bo Svenson, Robert Ginty and Chuck Connors trashing it up!

dfordoom said...

I'm actually quite fond of this movie. Possibly because I don't like gore and I don't like zombies. Most of the so-called classic zombie movies (such as Romero's) bore me to tears, but I have a taste for strange off-beat zombie films like this one and Jean Rollin's The Living Dead Girl and Night of the Hunted.

Alex Bakshaev said...

mmm, Night of the Hunted - my very favourite Rollin!
I too dislike "realistic" zombies, such as Romeros.
Eurocine films are of course boring froma traditional standpoint but they're also rich in sublime oddness and retarded charm.

dfordoom said...

Alex, I think I kind of like sublime oddness and retarded charm! And Night of the Hunted certainly has both. It has real horror, and yet it's also so desperately sad.

Only Rollin can do that with zombie movies - he can make zombie movies that make you cry.

Jocke Andersson said...

I have a spanish dvd with that alternate cut, but since my spanish is pretty nonexistent, I havent watched it yet. Though I suppose it couldnt be that hard... :)