Monday, December 29, 2014


Mean zombie kid wakes-up hungry for lunch in Bruno Mattei’s Hell of the Living Dead (aka Virus aka Night of the Zombies). I love this 1980 Dawn of the Dead knock-off from Italy (it even uses Goblin’s classic Dawn score, and apes the opening SWAT segment from Romero’s classic). Lots of gory, kooky fun but also has a real grotty, oppressive atmosphere to it. Great cast of sweaty faces, though Margit Evelyn Newton certainly pretties up the Papua New Guinea jungle setting (the film was actually shot on the outskirts of Barcelona, with obvious stock footage used to create the jungle ambience). I love how Newton’s reporter character, and her male cameraman, both figure that knee-high leather boots make suitable attire to go prancing around the hostile jungle in, and no one is spared a grisly death (Newton’s death being particularly gruesome). Like Fulci’s Zombie (1979), the film ends with the living dead infecting major cities, seemingly sealing humanity’s faith (or at least leaving the door open for a sequel).

Some brilliant lines of dialogue as well (“Buildings have people in them, I think we’ll go and investigate”), my favourite being this exchange between two technicians checking the safety dials at a chemical plant:

Tech 1: “She may not know much about chemistry, but in bed her reactions are terrific.”
Tech 2: “I’m not surprised, with that cute little ass of hers.”
Tech 1: “I’m a tit man, myself.”