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Hell of the Living Dead (1980)

Virus (original title)
Unrated | | Horror | 20 January 1984 (USA)
A tough female reporter and her cameraman boyfriend team up with a four-man commando unit in the New Guinea jungle whom are fighting flesh-eating zombies.


(as Vincent Dawn), (uncredited)


(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) (as J.M. Cunilles)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Margit Evelyn Newton ...
Lia Rousseau
Franco Garofalo ...
Zantoro (as Frank Garfield)
Selan Karay ...
José Gras ...
Lt. Mike London (as Robert O'Neil)
Gabriel Renom ...
Pierre (as Gaby Renom)
Josep Lluís Fonoll ...
Osborne (as Luis Fonoll)
Pietro Fumelli ...
Man on TV (as Piero Fumelli)
Bruno Boni ...
Patrizia Costa ...
Woman in Bar
Cesare Di Vito ...
TV Speaker
Sergio Pislar ...
Technician Lawson
Bernard Seray ...
Prof. Barrett's Assistant
Víctor Israel ...
Zombie priest
Pep Ballester ...
Josie's Husband (as Pep Ballenster)
Joaquín Blanco ...
Professor Barrett


After a chemical leak at the Hope Centre in Papua New Guinea (an organization devoted to feeding underdeveloped countries) turns its staff into flesh-eating zombies, a four-man commando squad led by Mike London are sent to investigate. They run into a TV news crew led by celebrity reporter Lia, who are after the same story, but when they discover that the entire country has been overrun by zombies, what are the chances of them getting the message across? Unlike most zombie films, this actually tries to make a serious point - that if we don't feed the Third World, they'll come and feed on us! Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They eat the living! See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

20 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hell of the Living Dead  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The documentary footage of the New Guinea tribe is real footage filmed of a burial service. The rest of the footage can be seen on the documentary Des morts (1979) See more »


The priest zombie can be seen later at the end of the movie, at the Hope Center. You can tell it is him by his hair and face. See more »


Vincent: Patience is the chief virtue for those who have faith. Mahatma Gandhi, New Delhi, 1946.
Lt. Mike London: Up your ass. Lieutenant Mike London, Shit Creek, the year is now.
See more »


Referenced in Mulberry St (2006) See more »


Most of the soundtrack music by Goblin was borrowed from
the films "Dawn of the Dead" and "Alien Contamination".
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Cheese with some good wine
9 July 2006 | by (Los Angeles, Ca) – See all my reviews

"Hell of the Living Dead" is better than it's rumors say it is.


At a chemical plant in Guinea, a radioactive leak spreads out, infecting the population. After stopping a terrorist organization, a special anti-terrorist group, Vincent (Josep Luis Fonoll) Zantoro, (Franco Garofalo) Osbourne, (Gaby Renom) and Lt. Mike London, (Jose Gras) arrive there on a vacation. While journeying across the landscape, they run across Lia Rousseau, (Margit Evelyn Newton) a reporter who specializes in the tribes on the island, and her husband Max, (Selan Karay). After their other two members, Josie, (Patrizia Costa) and her husband, (Bruno Boni) have been consumed by zombies, they travel into the heart of the island to another tribe. After they are also attacked by zombies, the band flees again into the jungle, trying to find shelter and an explanation for the zombie outbreak.

The Good News: I don't really get why this one is so bashed. Sure, the documentary footage inserted into it may distract some from it, but I viewed it as "Zombies on the Animal Planet," and that really increased my enjoyment of the film. There really isn't all that much when looking at the total time of footage used and the film's total run time. It doesn't distract from the gut-munching, the real reason for this movie. The film does have some great moments of flesh-ripping, producing some good gore moments. Granted, most of it is in the form of blood-splatter early on, but once the zombies get in on the action, the gore gets moving and flowing. From bites that cause blood spurts to shoot out to some great flesh-ripping to some nice full-body corpse devouring. The zombies on display are quite passable, especially considering how great the Italian ones usually are. The usual rotting faces appear, complete with large facial wounds and distortions that are typical for the scene. Not as memorable as some others, but more than passable for this type. There is a pretty fair amount of action in here, with plenty of gunfights and chases in here, and it can seem pretty non-stop at times. The opening assault on the consulate is a prime example, as is the first encounter with the zombies in an abandoned village. The later village sequences are also full of action, and it gets non-stop deeper into the movie, which is nice to know.

The Bad News: OK, so yes most of the film looks borrowed from other films and used as stock footage. Yes, there are shots of animals randomly thrown in to pad out the running. Yes, there are tons of moments where things don't make sense at all. These can all be distractions at times, especially the last one. The infamous shot of a soldier dancing around in a dress during the middle of a battle is an obvious one, as is the fact that the soldiers continually shot the zombies full of holes despite learning in their first encounter that a head shot is the ideal way of dealing with the creatures. There are plenty of other, more notable moments in here to choose as to which one to grasp onto, but those are some of the most obvious. The stock footage, not just of animals but also features regular scenes as well, is not in the slightest made to blend in with the normal film, making them all the more obvious as to which ones are included and why they are there in the first place. Many times the animals shown aren't even in the New Guinea, and proves even clearer as to why it's inclusion is there. The plot also makes little sense. The group travels off and on towards a radioactive plant, but then is dropped off to include an action sequence with the zombies. It moves along quickly enough, but stops along at too many intervals to really get a sense of what is going on.

The Final Verdict: This one wasn't all that bad. There are many entertaining parts in here that over-weigh the negatives. I won't say it's the worst one I've seen, but in no way is it the worst one either. All zombie fans should see this one just in case they might like it.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Adult Language and Nudity

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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