The recipe of a classic zombie film is that the zombies have to be shot in the head to die, you turn into a zombie if you get bitten and a group of strangers must always work together as a team. George A. Romero was one of the first to ever use this recipe when he made Night Of The Living Dead in ’68. But Romero also commented on modern society in his films, while most Italian zombie films like Hell Of The Living Dead
focused more on gore. The story begins with a leak at a chemical plant on an exotic island where a deadly virus is released.
A female reporter (who loves to be nekkid) and a group of soldiers are sent to investigate. But, good grief, when they arrive at the island, they discover that it’s full of zombies. This film certainly delivers what it promises; You get moaning zombies and they want to eat people. Cool. None of the actors are annoying and the bloody effects are surprisingly good. Notorious director Bruno Mattei (Women’s Prison Massacre) also uses a lot of documentary jungle footage with skulls, caterpillars and monkeys and stuff. Things like that help to enhance the exotic tone of the film. But the quality of these clips are varied.
Hell Of The Living Dead isn’t a good movie. But who cares as long as it’s fun, right? It doesn’t have a single dull moment. It’s full of red paint and creepy zombies, and Margit Evelyn Newton is memorable in the lead role. Her character specializes on the native tribes on the island, and she wins their trust by walking around naked. Apart from a small role in The Last Hunter (1980), she hasn’t been in anything particularly good. But I really liked this movie though. It’s not among the best zombie films I’ve seen, and I can’t give it a higher rating than five. But it’s still one of my personal favorite zombie films. Just take it for what it is; a low grade and campy gore flick, but extremely entertaining.
Hell of the Living Dead
Release year: 1980
Director: Bruno Mattei
Aka. Zombie Creeping Flesh & Virus
Style and coolness
– If only they would die…
– When the creeping dead devour the living flesh!
– They eat the living!
– Pray it will never happen!