Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hell of the Living Dead (1980)

After taking an elbow to t he temple during a basketball game today, I woke from my nap with a desire to see the undead terrorizing unsuspecting victims in search of their next meal. Today’s selection, the 1980 European zombie flick Hell of the Living Dead (AKA Virus/Zombie Creeping Flesh).

Plot/ After a chemical leak at the Hope Centre in Papua New Guinea (an organization devoted to feeding underdeveloped countries) turns its staff into flesh-eating zombies, a four-man commando squad led by Mike London are sent to investigate. They run into a TV news crew led by celebrity reporter Lea, who are after the same story, but when they discover that the entire country has been overrun by zombies, what are the chances of them getting the message across? Unlike most zombie films, this actually tries to make a serious point - that if we do not feed the Third World, they will come and feed on us!

I have been enjoying the zombie genre ever since seeing Night of the Living Dead for the first time in my youth during the 1970s, and I have to say that there is quite an array of material out there. This film, while not as iconic as some of its predecessors definitely has some good stuff in it. Yes, the rip-off Dawn of the Dead sountrack, the acting and voiceover audio leave a bit to be desired, as does the random overuse of safari footage, but that should not detract from the film as a whole. The storyline, the effects and the realistic scenes of gore should more than make-up for the earlier mentioned shortfalls for fans of the zombie apocalypse. Is it a masterpiece, no way, but it does stand the test of time and make for an interesting afternoon of viewing!

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