Sunday, April 2, 2017

Shock Waves, Nazi Zombies

Decades before "Dead Snow," Nazi zombies were already on the prowl.  Unlike that film, 1977's "Shock Waves" is devoid of all humor, and quite ominous.  True, we are treated to the nubile and perky Brooke Adams running around, in much peril, in a nice yellow bikini through the entire film...however, the images put forth in this flick are quite haunting. In contrast to our bikini clad damsel, the antagonists are creepy, not only because they are Nazis, but they will give you the willies in so many other ways.
Ben Morris (John Carradine) is an incompetent captain of a boat cruising some privileged tourists.  He gets them lost, and his boat becomes disabled when a ghost freighter nearly collides with them.  After a weird solar storm, Ben goes missing (for good), and the first mate Keith (Luke Halpin) leads the passengers to an uncharted island.  Most of the passengers are of the throw away variety, and they will be, but the lovely and shapely Rose (Adams) seems with it...for now.  Our guests find a deserted hotel occupied by an old SS commander (Peter Cushing) who warns them to leave as a great danger approaches.
From a mysterious wreck emerges a horde of Nazi zombies.  These creatures are a failed Nazi experiment in which dead soldiers were revived to fight the allied forces.  Unfortunately, they killed everyone they met, including Germans.  Now the zombies, who live underwater, stalk our castaways.  One by one, as the zombies hide in shallow water, the saps get hauled under to their death.  As the bikini clad Rose and hunk Keith lead the survivors back to the hotel, Keith comes up with a really stupid idea.  Now the zombies converge on the hotel, and Keith's dumb idea starts to fall apart.
Will the sultry, and scantily clad Rose survive her new boyfriend's idiocy?  What is Peter Cushing's relationship with these fiends?  Is there any stopping these dregs of the Third Reich, or are they destined to make it to the mainland?  Directed by Ken Wiederhorn, "Shock Waves" has aged well. Unlike today's zombie films, this film delivers scares in a subtle, but lasting manner.  For a zombie film which will work on you in a psychological sense, and not so much a shock flick, see "Shock Waves" on YouTube.

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