December 15, 2013

Shock Waves

Underwater Nazi zombies. These days, such a ridiculous phrase sounds like a cliché. But when Shock Waves premiered in theatres, it was relatively new ground. It's a low-budget cult classic (made for about 200,000 dollars, although Wikipedia erroneously claims the budget was a million) that asks the question: What if the Germans were experimenting with dead soldiers during the war only to create a division of ultimate Aryan fighting machines? And then, what if these creatures were submerged in a watery grave for thirty years near an island off the coast of Florida, only to be resurrected when a small group of boaters runs into their ghostly death ship? As idiotic as it sounds, Shock Waves isn't bad. The zombies are appropriately ominous looking, and the synth score by Richard Einhorn is effective. Plus there's the presence of two cinema legends in small but amusing roles: Peter Cushing, as the aging SS commander living in isolation on the island, and John Carradine, as the cantankerous captain of the ill-fated boat that runs afoul of the zombies. With Brooke Adams (in her first major screen role), Luke Halpin, and Fred Buch. Written by Ken Wiederhorn (who also directed) and John Harrison. Filmed in 1975, copyrighted in 1976, and released in 1977. Also known as Death Corps and Almost Human. ½

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