JUNE 18, 2007
Oasis Of The Zombies may very well be the worst Italian zombie I have ever seen. I didn’t think it was possible to botch NAZI ZOMBIES, but Jesus (Jess) Franco accomplished just that.
Before I begin my trademark ranting, I will say that the zombie makeup is very good (hence: no "Crap" deeming). Like Fulci’s zombies, they actually LOOK like they have been dead for awhile, unlike the “theyre human, just green” look of Romero’s undead. Nice work.
But that’s about all I can positively say about it. The rest is as boring as a dog’s ass, save for some occasional unintentional hilarity. There’s a love scene (one that lasts longer than any zombie attack scene) where the guy suddenly just goes “I’ve got to get back to the others… I hate to leave you like this.” And it’s not like his alarm goes off or someone says “Hey, let’s go!” He just randomly says it out of the blue. I don’t even know if he came!
There’s also this dialogue exchange:
Omar Sharif-y guy: “Did you find what you were looking for?”
Hero: “I mainly found myself.”
Omar: (nods, as if this meant a goddamn thing at all, then) “Let me take you back."
We then cut to a scene of the hero driving a jeep and Omar on a camel, not really “taking” anyone anywhere. And they are traveling roughly 1 MPH. You can see the actor having trouble driving the jeep so slowly.
There’s barely any zombie action in the film either. Even when there is, it is usually devoid of excitement. In the first zombie attack, he pops out of the ground and grabs a girl’s ankles. But she doesn’t struggle, and the zombie doesn’t seem to be trying to pull her anywhere. She just stands there and screams and we cut away. Again, these are NAZI ZOMBIES. They cut to a swastika some 900 times over the course of the film. OK, WE GET IT! Evil! And, due to the constant reminder that they are Nazis, I’m expecting them to be the most vicious zombies ever on film. But... they’re not. Ed at the end of Shaun of the Dead is more bloodthirsty. Half of the shots of zombies in this are close-ups, where you can’t tell if they are even MOVING, let alone attacking. Lame. At least the sound of approaching zombies (I think that’s what it is anyway) is worth hearing (again, not for the reason intended): it sounds like that thing from Lost crossed with a squeaky spring door and a dying frog. Nothing more terrifying than assorted household noises!
Speaking of the soundtrack, it would be nice if it wasn’t at odds with itself. As the film is dubbed, they could have had the actors say anything. So why are they saying things like “It’s so quiet” and “Just enjoy the silence” when we can clearly hear at least three separate birds making nonstop annoying bird noises? And the bird sounds themselves are clearly library effects; as are the other assorted things we hear during the “silence”. I half expected to hear the Wilhelm Scream thrown in there for good measure.
I also take issue with the film’s full frame transfer. Even though the film is originally only 1.66:1 (which amounts to very little visual information lost, like less than 10%), there is a cropped credit (“sistant Director”) at the beginning of the film. Which is all the more a shame when you consider that there are no end credits at all. The score suddenly cuts out and we see THE END and then the disc stops. Of course, this IS from my 50 Chilling Movies budget pack, so I’m not expecting a Criterion transfer, but still, end credits shouldn’t be cut out. Some people work upwards of 20 minutes a day making end credit sequences.
What say you?