Zombie Lake (1981)

Zombie Lake (1981)

God help us if they rise again!

During World War II, a party of German soldiers were ambushed by the French Resistance and had their bodies dumped in the nearby lake. Little did the villagers know but the lake was once used for Satanic rituals. Years later, the soldiers rise again, now blood-thirsty zombies hungry for human flesh.


Like moths to a flame, the lure of Nazi zombies is enough to make me watch any rubbish. This sub-genre of horror only features a handful of entries and apart from Shock Waves, the rest of the genre has failed to set the world alight. When two of the sleaziest and most notorious directors of the 70s put their heads together for this collaboration, you’d expect the results to be bad but in a good way. Jean Rollin (who directed) and Jesus Franco (who wrote) are more famous for their sexually-charged horror films with copious amounts of sex, sometimes bordering on the soft core and always pushing the boundaries of exploitation. Surely a film about Nazi zombies can’t fail in their grubby hands? Well Zombie Lake not only fails but fails like never before. In all my years of watching horror, I can’t recall a film which borders on the incompetent as much as Zombie Lake. Even the extremely gratuitous and frequent naked women are wasted in this appalling mess.

The zombies are some of the silliest, most pathetic-looking zombies ever to grace film. The German costumes seem authentic enough but the zombies themselves are simply covered in green paint. The make-up department seems to have missed plenty of spots on the actor’s faces, especially behind the ears. It doesn’t even stay on very well either so in some scenes where the zombies are making contact with their victims, their green skin rubs off. Think of a Halloween party you’ve been to where someone has been dressed as a zombie – chances are that their make-up was one hundred times more believable than this. The worst thing is that the zombies are constantly coming out of the water too. Paint + water? Who thought that was a good idea? It starts to run the moment the zombies emerge from the water.

The zombies attack plenty of people during the film but most of the attacks happen in the lake so all you see are the naked chicks being dragged underwater (I’m sure some of the zombies get in a few gropes and boob grabs too). I don’t actually recall any flesh bites or skin punctures at all – usually the staple ingredient of a zombie film. Instead the zombies just close in on their targets and then some red liquid usually squirts out of visible plastic tubes around the dead person’s neck as the zombies seemingly kiss their victims. College film students wouldn’t make such a rudimentary mistake.

The film resorts to constant nudity to try and keep the viewer entertained. I’m all for a bit of nakedness in horror films but this really is overkill. Practically every female under the age of thirty gets naked at some point during the film. Just when you think the film will run out of chicks to strip, up pops a girls’ basketball team which stops off at the lake in their bus and proceed to skinny dip. Apart from the fact that this lake is one of the most dirty you’ll ever see, it seems to have this uncanny ability to force females to strip in its vicinity. We get plenty of underwater shots too of the naked swimmers – sometimes you’ll see more than you do in soft core porn! Its full frontal nudity at it’s most sleazy.

In between the constant nude scenes, there are attempts at a story. But the film is really all over the place. The script must have said ‘boobs + zombies’ and they made the rest up on the spot. Continuity is ridiculous, the acting is diabolical and the pace of film is horrendous. You’ll be asleep before the next woman takes off her clothes.


The lure of constant nudity is definitely not enough to make anyone watch Zombie Lake. Its quite simply one of the worst zombie films of all time, one of the worst horror films of all time and one of the worst films of all time.





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