Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dark Echo (1977)

Hey, wattya say about this: an underwater-zombie film no one talks about! A co-production between Yugoslavia and Austria and starring Karin Dor! Yeah, Dark Echo might have a reason for not being talked about so much, but it’s still a quite well-paced movie with gorgeous locations and a nice monster. Another reviewer wrote that this could have been a fitting double feature together with Loreley’s Grasp, and I guess that’s true. The atmosphere is similar and the gore is cheap but effective. Not that John Carpenter’s The Fog has the most original story, but Dark Echo kinda resembles Carpenter’s classic in more than one way. Let’s take a look at the story…

100 years ago a ship sank in the big lake by the little town of Hochberg in Austria. 86 people died and now the captain of the boat comes back to take revenge on those that caused him and his passengers to die! From the dark waters of the lake, with a rotten body and a nice captain’s hat, he’s brutally kills the relatives of the guilty ones!

Yeah. That’s it I guess. Sure, there’s a hero, a heroine, a brave inspector, some teens – the usual gang of meatheads running around in this kinda flick. What I like about it is that it has a good pace. It’s not so much happening really, but time flies and you never get bored. Maybe check the updates on Facebook a bit to many times, thoughts starts to wander away, but then that darn moisty zombie turns up again and kills someone. So, is it gory? Not really, everything is quite bloodless and off screen until the last half-hour when they suddenly chops the top of the head of a character in gory, graphic fashion and then shows us the brain falling out in slow-mo! I could buy this movie only for that scene!

So the money-shot is there, how’s about the zombie himself? Yeah, he’s a nice creation with a couple of fun underwater-scenes and a lot of full-zombie make-up on screen, nothing hides in the shadows. He’s not hungry, but strangles a poor woman, drowns some people, throws another fucker of an old tower and uses the axe (as mentioned above) at one point. Can’t complain about that, but Dark Echo could have used a lot more gore.

Another very good thing with the film, except the stunning locations, is the awesome electronic score by Slobodan Markovic and Sanja Ilic. This is so good and so fitting to the beautiful locations. One thing that makes me confused is that everywhere 1977 is the production year, but during the end credits it’s copyrighted in 1986. I know it could have been re-copyrighted that year, but the fashion and the music seem much newer than 1977. Well, who knows and who cares?

If you get the chance, take it and watch Dark Echo. Far from any masterpiece, but the zombie and that head-chopping scene made it worth watching!

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