Bad Movies Beware!
I’ve seen some real s**tstains in my day, but this movie takes the cake.
It was released in 1981 in France as Le Lac des Morts Vivants and was directed by Jean Rollin (credited as J.A. Laser. Yeah, didn’t even want his real name on it).
I’ve watched four seasons of The Walking Dead and countless zombie flicks filmed here, so I know how we’d handle an outbreak. But, apparently, they try to identify with the zombies in France. I do know that dead people make girls take their clothes off in France.
Oh, yeah. To the film’s credit, I’ve seen less nudity on the internet. In Europe, nudity just is what it is, and isn’t really viewed with as much spectacular regard as it is here in America. Needless to say, no character is immune to skin time with the camera. In some cases, great! In others…dude, really?
Guess that’s just the Polite Southerner in me.
Case in point: The film opens with a young girl, I’d say about eighteen to early twenties, walking along the lake. She strips completely and sunbathes for a bit while the God-awful music plays in the background.
She eventually decides to swim, tosses the “No Swimming” sign aside, and dives in. We switch to underwater cam and watch her swim. At this point, there is no mystery to any given crack or crevice on this chick. I almost expected a penis enlargement ad to pop up.
Very soon she’s attacked by a dude in green make-up…wait. What the…
THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE A ZOMBIE.
Apparently this zombie was shot in the eye as a human. The make-up wouldn’t have been nearly as laughable if he’d been able to actually keep the skin-patch on his eye.
The girl is grabbed and dragged under, and the zombie emerges from the lake and wanders into town. He attacks a girl doing the wash and rubs his face in her neck while spreading fake blood all over the place.
Yes, this is how French zombies eat.
The zombie heads back to the water, and the townsfolk bring a second dead girl to the mayor and leave her body on his front stoop. As it turns out, she is the daughter of Gazik, a local man who has only one line in the film, and this scene isn’t it.
Chanak, the mayor’s right hand man, explains that the girl was found dead. He’s concerned about how it happened and wants to call the police. The mayor is hesitant and says that he wants to try and deal with it first
The mayor meets two boys at the park—
Wha…where was the transition?
Wait, I don’t…(A) when was it mentioned that these kids ever saw a damn thing, and (B) when did the mayor go from his office where he was comforting Gazik to the park to meet two boys who don’t even get enough screen time to tell what they saw?!
A reporter shows up in town and stops by the pub where Chanak and the rest of the town are having a drink. No, I’m not kidding. The movie really does jump around like a hyperactive attention deficit cheerleader on meth.
The reporter, Katya, is looking for a scoop and asks the locals about “The Lake of the Damned.” Chanak directs her to the mayor, who lives in a small castle at the edge of town. Chanak takes her there, and the mayor takes her inside and sits her down for story time.
Flashback to the war, and we follow a group of German soldiers riding through the town. There’s an air strike, and one of them saves a young girl from the strike and risks his own life. She nurses him back to health, gives him a pendant, and has sex with him.
These two never get named in the film, so they are now known as Dagwood and Blondie.
Dagwood heads back off with the squad, and we see that one of them is more than a little jealous of him. It’s never fleshed out, but neither is the rest of the movie, so hey.
Dagwood goes off screen to battle for roughly ten seconds, then comes back to find that Blondie is dying from giving birth to their new daughter, Helena. Dagwood looks at the child, looks at Blondie, and heads back out.
No, really. Neither of them have lines in the movie. They say absolutely nothing to each other. Ever.
One minute later (a few days in movie time, but transitions are for wimps) Dagwood and his troops are killed off by French Rebels. They toss the crew into the lake and walk away. Meanwhile, Blondie dies and the nanny raises Helena.
Years later (there’s a full two minutes this time), we meet Helena, who is about ten or twelve. She is drawn to the barn where Dagwood and Blondie played sandwich and carries the sadness of never meeting her parents.
Meanwhile, a van pulls up to the lake, and seven members of an all-girl basketball team get out and, literally, frolic around the lake before stripping and diving in.
Yes, people! We may have something here! To this point, I’ve not seen this phenomena truly visited on this level in a film. Dukes of Hazzard doesn’t count because those girls were merely topless. No, sir! Zombie Lake features a scene with seven completely nude girls playing in the grass and in the water together!
The only thing that kills this scene is (you guessed it) the music. It’s actually so bad that it made the scene difficult to watch. I couldn’t even bring myself to cheer when the zombies came a munchin’. One of the girls is able to get away and runs to the pub. Chanak and his crew are happy to help the poor completely nude hysterical girl, and they fill the mayor in.
The mayor calls the police, and they send in two officers to investigate. They are met with resistance from the townspeople and end up visiting the mayor.
OMG HOW F**KING LONG IS THIS GODFORSAKEN MOVIE?!
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the mayor since he doesn’t give a fat rat’s left a** cheek about the town anyway, the zombies wander into town and start killing women left and right. Dagwood wanders into Helena’s house. Helena recognizes him from his pendant since her mother is wearing the same one in a photo and they share a moment of awkward staring.
Dagwood and Helena walk hand-in-hand to the barn, and Dagwood leaves to join the other zombies as they return to the lake. Along the way, they emerge from the lake (What. The. Hell) and kill off the two cops.
Out of sequence much?
Dagwood and the other zombies storm the town again. There’s a woman bathing in an outdoor tub for no reason other than onscreen boobies (eaten), a girl walking down the street (eaten), one enters the pub (pub gets trashed), and a couple making out in the barn (cock-blocked and eaten).
The townsfolk agree to launch a counterattack against the zombies that night. They wait until the sky looks dim enough for the camera to pretend it’s kind of night time and go against the zombies full-force. Bullets do nothing but make the zombies grunt and stagger (kind of like a drunk dude at a metal concert), and Dagwood attacks and eats Chanak.
Dagwood and Helena go for another stroll. Dagwood protects her from the other zombies and fights off the jealous zombie when he tries to eat her.
Helena runs away and is confronted in her room by the mayor, who asks her to help him destroy the zombies. Helena refuses because she doesn’t want to give up Dagwood.
All together now:
Katya meets up with the mayor so that he can spend some film time recapping the story thus far in hopes that he meets the run time the director was looking for. Katya suggests using napalm on the zombies.
That same evening, Maria (WTF is Maria?!) is killed by the zombies. Helena agrees to the destruction of the zombies to save the town. As the zombies lay siege, they kill off Katya because she was just serving no purpose to the film whatsoever.
Yeah, I said it. Chick had to go.
Dagwood pays Helena her nightly visit, and she uses fresh blood in a bucket to lure him to the mill. He and the other zombies follow, and she leaves the bucket behind and runs off. As the zombies share the blood, taking turns with the bowl (no, really, not joking here), the townspeople attack.
INCLUDING THE MAYOR, who somehow found time to teleport to Helena’s room DURING the attack so that he could comfort her in her grief over Dagwood’s death.
Well, his RE-death.
The townsfolk use an old flamethrower on the zombies, and the creatures burn with the mill while I pull my hair out and scream WHY THE HELL WAS THIS NOT THE FIRST IDEA?!
The end. Just like that.
F**k your stupid transitions.
VERDICT: LAKE FUNGUS GROWING ON MY BUTT.
I did it! I never thought the day would come! Thanks to Bill Mulligan, who derives great pleasure in my pain, I have successfully found a film that beats out the worst!
You saw it right, people! This movie makes Troll 2 look like a Sundance Film Festival Winner. I’ve now, officially, seen the worst of the worst of THE worst. And yet, my S**ty Senses are tingling that there are more out there haunting the film industry like a lingering fart in a lingerie store.
The acting, even in the original language, was just bad. I speak not one word of French, but I can tell what the intention of a line is based on tonal inflection, and these actors intended to draw a paycheck. Nothing more. Even little Helena came off a little whiney at times when she wasn’t supposed to be. The mayor spent more time pondering his next move than actually making it (hey, points for accuracy in politics), and Chanak was either sober or drunk depending on what scene was going on at the time.
In fact, let’s talk about that s**t, shall we? The continuity in this movie was…ah, f**k it. There was no damn continuity. This movie was all over the place. It was like the original prints were mixed up in a food processor, mixed with a dash of bulls**t, and spread all over poor innocent final print film like monkey poo on a pancake.
Night was never really night. In fact, only an easily-missed line indicated any kind of time progression. Transitions were completely left out of the equation, here. Take out those lines, and this movie easily happened within a day’s time.
The music was actually worse than any film I’ve listened to. I think I would actually rather listen to Justin Bieber than hear the soundtrack to this movie again.
Okay, maybe not. But it doesn’t mean the music isn’t God-awful.
If I didn’t drink, I wouldn’t be able to sit through this pile of crap again. This movie is one of those films that’s so bad it just pisses you off when you watch it. I mean, for the love of Christ, at least make your bad movie FUN to watch. Don’t hand me a bunch of sap about zombies with feelings and memories. If Dagwood had tried to eat Helena, and the mayor swooped in to save her, then that would’ve been somewhat redeeming. But no, we get Dagwood and his undead feels.
If you see this movie, look the other way. I’d rather watch the O.J. Simpson trial again than hit the play button on this putrid jug of toilet water.