Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Shock Waves

This is yet another addition in my ongoing love fest with Peter Cushing on this blog. I’m not sure why I’ve been reviewing so many of his films recently (you know, as opposed to five years ago when this blog didn’t exist), but I can’t really complain when the overall quality of the films is up to the level of Shock Waves.

Shock Waves was a bit of a necessity for me to get, as it combined three of my ongoing man crushes: Peter Cushing, zombies, and nazis. Yes, the zombies in this are the result of nazi experiments to create invincible SS soldiers, but due to their insatiable bloodlust (not represented in this curiously bloodless film) the experiments were scrapped and these grand soldiers were never properly utilized. Sent away on a U-boat to avoid capture by the Allies, they, along with their nazi commander Peter Cushing, crashed on a deserted tropical island, where they slumber to this day. Only now, as a group of idiots goes off course and crashes into the island, do they awaken to wreak terrible revenge against all enemies of Deutschland.

It’s a delightful premise, really, and it’s carried off well, though with some odd peculiarities. The most glaring one is that, for a movie that purports to be rated R, there is no blood or nudity to be found, and while there may have been some profanity, I certainly didn’t notice any. The nazis don’t really bite or rend or anything like that; having been specifically bred for underwater combat, they simply hide in the unending water-filled locations on the island and drown any passers-by. You may find yourself, film unseen, asking why the characters don’t just avoid any areas with water then, if that’s their big gimmick. Well you’re a fool for asking this. A damn fool. There is water everywhere these characters turn. There are rivers, streams, suspiciously large puddles, ponds, canals, a pool in the building, hell, one of the cast is even found dead after having been drowned in a goddamn fish tank. Questions about how this character was killed in such a manner without ever thinking to perhaps break the glass on the sides of the fish tank would be justified, I suppose.

There is a lot to like about this movie. It has a good deal of goofy charm to it, the zombie nazis have a pretty badass look to them, the island pretty much looks exactly like the type of place where you could expect to see old nazis experiments still roaming the land in search of fresh victims, and to my surprise the cute girl that spent the entire film in a bikini actually survived. It’s a bit slow paced, but believe me, you could do a lot worse than this.

Rating: ***

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