Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Zombie Creeping Flesh (aka: Hell of the Living Dead) (1980, Bruno Mattei)

Sheer insanity from "Vincent Dawn", aka Bruno Mattei in a film with more alternate titles than cast members. Here we have a plot which is reminiscent - to put it mildly - of Romero's classic "Dawn of the Dead" (commando squad storm a building in the opening ten minutes, one rogue member of said team is a trigger-happy psycho), and also semi-Fulci "Zombie Flesh Eaters 2" (zombie outbreak caused by toxic clouds from chemical plant / lab/ refinery / whatever); although as this movie came around seven years earlier than that particular abomination, we can rule out any ripo... er... 'homage' on that score.
We follow this crack commando squadron (not, so far as we know, framed for a murder they didn't commit) to the tropical wilderness of Papua New Guinea - portrayed by Italian parks plus stock natural history footage - to contain a zombie outbreak caused by a chemical leak from a factory/lab setup known ironically as a "Hope centre". As BP can tell you, this sort of thing is not good for business.
Along the way, our team hook up with hot ace reporter Lia and her camera dude. Lia is, thankfully, an expert on the customs of the local natives, and - having obviously watched Alexandra Della Colli in "Zombie Holocaust" - knows that the best way to avoid being eaten by cannibals is to get your baps out and paint yourself strange colours. Hey, man, it worked for me. Cue a mishmash of stock footage of native dances, until relief arrives when the zombies showup to massacre the village. Phew.

The standout character here is definitely Santoro, played with crazy-eyed intensity by Franco Garofalo / Frank Garfield. It's as if Wooley, the crazy SWAT gay from the opening scenes of Dawn of the Dead, went on to be major character throughout the whole movie. I dunno about you, but i've always wanted to see that: and here it is. See him grin and laugh as he shoots rotting revenants thru the head. See him cackle with glee as he sets a ghoul ablaze with a burning torch. I loved it. He should have his own series.
  Also competing for Most Bizarre Behaviour by a Commando is Osbourne, who when told to check out the basement of a seemingly deserted house in zombie territory, ransacks the wardrobe to dress up in a tutu and top hat before being eaten alive. I'm sure it's how he wanted to go.
All this, and a quality tongue-ripping and eye-gouging to end on. A veritable feast of entertainment that i highly endorse.


  1. You know the amount of nudey ladies who show up in your reviews reminds me of a rant I went on about how modern (post 2001) US horror films don't have gratuitous female nudity in them hardly at all these days, not even if you buy the "unrated" DVD. Sadly the person I was ranting to was my mother and she didn't seem at all sympathetic, chiz chiz etc.

  2. The volume of nudey ladies is - i'm sure you shan't believe - coincidental. They're an undoubted bonus as far as i'm concerned, but they're certainly not my prime motive in the films i seek out.
    But yeah, things seem to be a lot more prudish these days: especially American films. I blame the Nu-Puritans. Violence fine, sex a no-no. These people are stranger than any kind of fiction.