Hell of the Living Dead/Review

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< Hell of the Living Dead

'Hell of the Living Dead' is the kinda zombie movie you see after you've seen all the good ones. And yeah, this is pretty crappy, and not as amusing on a camp level as a lotta other lousy horror movies. However, if you're the sorta person who is even considering watching this film, you might as well go ahead. You'll probably enjoy yourself, more or less, though you'll probably just wanna watch 'Dawn of the Dead' or The Beyond again for the 10th time rather than watch this again.

Zombie movies have never been too good with plot, and this film is no exception. There's a not too bright seeming journalist lady, who will get naked, a couple a dudes in blue uniforms who are apparently supposed to be SWAT team members, and zombies. A whole zombie conspiracy, as a matter of fact, leading to what has got to be the lamest attempt at social commentary your gonna see in a zombie movie outside of 'Dr.Butcher M.D.' perhaps. (That movie is awesome. Check it out if you haven't seen it, though if you're looking at this, you probably already have.) The film takes place in New Guinea, I believe, which leaves them ample opportunity to splice in a lot of nature doctumentary footage, and some tribal people documentaries as well. This is totally the least convincing, most obvious combination of multiple films in the modern era. Pretty funny. Some of the stuff they show doesn't seem like it would be in New Guinea, but I've never actually been there, so I can't prove 'em wrong. It can get boring though. Still, aside from travel footage Mattei likes to throw in a nice shot of bird or something totally at random, like right after a zombie is attacking someone. Pieced together doesn't begin to describe it.

The zombies are standard Romero style ones, with obviously cheap but passable makeup. What can I say, zombies are always fun, and these ones aren't bad at all, 'cept they aren't given enough to do. They do have some of the finest zombie moaning/wheezing I've ever heard, however. There's some gore, but it's nothing to remarkable. However, I can't comment on it all that well, as the version I saw was pitch black. I guess they dropped the print in a tar pit, or something. Everything was severely murky all the time, and it is literally impossible to make anything out at a few points. Still, I don't think being able to see it would've helped this movie too much.

They stole the soundtrack from Dawn Of The Dead, and don't use it very well. That soundtrack was kinda a mixed bag, definitely some of Goblin's weakest work, but the real problem is that they totally don't know how to use it. The music is frequently highly inappropriate to the scene. Still, some of it is pretty cool.

There's quite a bit of hilarious dubbing, but the movie as whole is a bit too slow moving, with mundane zombie carnage, which makes it not totally work on a camp level. Still, I was never terribly bored, and more or less amused most of the time, so I can't help but tell other Italian/Zombie horror fans to check it out. But, it is pretty damn crappy, no doubt about it.

Reviewed by Biohazard - 4/18/08

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