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I'm getting rather sick of seeing uncomplimentary reviews of this truly classic gorefest. Yes it does contain poor acting, yes it is a cheap rip off of some of the genres other classic titles, yes it does contain stock footage, yes it is low budget, yes it does contain moments of pointlessness and yes it is pure cheese! I'm unsure what some of the unhappy viewers were expecting when they got this film as it is obviously primarily a zombie film that is fast paced with absolutely loads of blood guts and gore practically all the way through the film. If you want an in depth meaningful life affirming film then look elsewhere. If however you want a highly entertaining fast paced ultra bloody zombie gore film that doesn't let up its relentless assault on the senses until the final reel then wait no longer.
This is not Dawn of the Dead. It's not Night of the Living Dead. It's a low grade 70's Italian zombie gore flick. The acting is not great, the story is shaky, the dubbing is bad, and the clips of animals are completely off of the story. But you have to take this movie for what it is. It's got some good gore and is a fun movie if you're into zombies. It's not Shakespeare. It's campy and schlocky and goofy, and if you're looking for a true quality horror movie you should go elsewhere. But if you enjoy the Italian zombie genre, you'll enjoy this one. Just don't expect Oscar caliber.
I am a huge gore-fan. And my favorite director is Lucio Fulci. I have seen gore from Fulci to Argento to Raimi to Itenbach to Schnaas to Romero to Lenzi to etc... But for some reason alot of people hate movies with the name "Bruno Mattei" on it. Hell of the Living Dead has been put down and made fun of by so many. Why? I saw "Night of the Zombies" years ago on VHS and was hooked. The movie, written by Claudio Fragasso [Zombie 3, Rats, Beyond Darkness, AfterDeath, etc..] is a complete rip off of Dawn of the Dead, with Goblin Music [taken from Dawn of the Dead & Luigi Cozzi's Toxic Spawn], a swat team, etc. So its a rip off, Who cares. The movie is awesome. Where else are you going to see a swat member dress up in drag, only to be eaten by zombies. The characters are hilarious! My favorite member is the swat member with long brown hair ["Guess I'm not on the menu after all!"]. The dubbing is so bad it rules! The acting is hilarious and fun. The story is basically the same "Government project gone wrong" story. FX are cheesy, yet fun to watch. This title is pure cheese, but great cheese!Thank god Anchor Bay decided to pick up some Bruno Mattei flicks and re-release them on DVD. This and Bruno Mattei's "Rats: Nights of Terror" are now out, and they are definate "Must Have" titles. If you want a serious zombie flick, look elsewhere. But Hell of the Living Dead rules! Now, if Anchor Bay can pick up the Lucio Fulci/Bruno Mattei "Zombie 3" rights and put it on DVD!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Woah! I didn't realise this movie had so many different titles, i guess
the producers have made very sure to cover their tracks with this one.
I know that, i, for one would not like people to know i was involved in
the making and distribution of this umm...comedy?
I know, i know, maybe i shouldn't be so harsh, it is a zombie movie after all....NO ! NO this is without equal, THE MOST STUPID MOVIE EVER MADE. I remember being a young petulant youth, obsessed with all things zombie, back in the days of the "video nasty" and being lucky enough to come across what was titled Zombi Creeping Flesh. I laughed at so many scenes in this movie, i thought i may implode! You know that kinda laughter? The one that stops you breathing, the one that hurts? Yea, thats the one...Oh, OK, maybe not, but hell this will remain in my heart forever more. Still not sure if this was ever actually a serious attempt at a horror story, or a campy fun filled tongue in cheek gore fest, like Redneck Zombies, Which by the way, is actually an awesome movie, deliberately poking fun at itself as well as being extremely gory. Dawn of the Dead, circa 1978 this ain't... I know dubbing can never recreate the original impact of the scripted Italian dialogue, but this movie has lines of absurd proportions falling out of every pore. I mean like, LAUGH OUT LOUD lines of complete inanity! Some of the situations the characters get themselves into makes you wonder if the writers found out the cast beforehand and must have been harbouring some kind of grudge to have put the actors through this. There is a complete disregard for any kind of continuity or story, for that matter... I also think that there is probably more stock footage of SLOW MOTION ANIMALS SEEN THROUGH BINOCULARS than there is actual shot footage by the crew. A Fantastic scene involving the acceptance of the local villagers for the SWAT team ranks high in the many gems within. Slow motion desert dwelling animals in the very depths of the rain forest is an indication that Mattei had long since given up. The gore is aplenty, as long as you see the fully uncut version with a blatant DOTD embassy storming ( substituting tenement blocks for government offices ). There is a lot of gore, mainly ranging from the above average to the downright silly. Soundtrack is Goblin, so therefore fantastic by default. Though several pieces lifted from DOTD...not necessarily a bad thing. Watch this movie with the view that it is going to be BAD, VERY BAD, and i think you will enjoy it. It is THE best of the the worst, in the wide range of poor 70s/80s zombie movies just because of the sheer downright laziness involved. There are plenty more stinkers out there, but this just pips them all.
'Zombie Creeping Flesh' (as it was originally entitled here in the UK) was
one in an entire glut of zombie flicks to follow the success of Romero's
endeavours into the (zombie) horror genre.
In it's entirety 'Creeping Flesh' is a decidedly 'weak' film. The acting is crass, macho and hilarious at times. And the fact that the film must consist of at least (I assume) 30% stock-footage gives the impression that director Bruno Mattei really wasn't that enthusiastic about making the film whatsoever - either that or he was severely lacking the funding that it so desperately needed.
Having said that, the film is an entertaining enough affair; in the sense that the comedy and violence is enough to keep most horror fans interested, if not glued to the screen. The idea that zombies, and cannibalism, are a sort of metaphor for Third World hunger is a somewhat unusual idea for a zombie film and I guess this is a sort of reflection surrounding the anxieties in the era in which it was made.
I personally don't believe that this film is as bad as some people have made out. It is, by no means, on par with any of Romero's or Fulci's work yet I don't feel it deserves to be totally written-off. 'Creeping Flesh' is certainly a lot more fulfilling than 'Zombie Holocaust', for example, and a great deal more 'gung-ho'. It just fails though because it is alarmingly 'corny' and very derivate of so much that stood before it. The fact that a fair portion of the soundtrack was originally used in 'Dawn of The Dead' just goes to prove this. If you thrive on gore, zombies, cannibalism, and insane violence then try and check this film out: just don't get your hopes up too high.
Horror fans have labeled films such as "Burial Ground", "Zombie", "Cannibal
Apocalypse", and others as "Dawn of the Dead" rip-offs. Well, they ain't
never seen this atrocity! "Night of the Zombies" COPIES EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT
OF "DAWN OF THE DEAD"! It takes too long to list, but here's a few: male and
female TV people, SWAT team, hostage situation in the beginning of the
movie, stolen Goblin music, a zombie kid, scientists and politicians
deciding what to do, a SWAT team member who jokingly shoots zombies, and the
list goes on. Plus, the ending rips off "Zombie"!
Now, that doesn't make this movie bad....well, yeah it does, but I mean that it doesn't make the movie unwatchable. Set in New Guinea, there is documentary footage of wildlife every 5 minutes intercut with mindless dialogue sequences (badly dubbed) and ineffective zombie attacks. A lot of the zombies are just people with mud rubbed on their face, while others are genuinely creepy. Unfortunately, their attack scenes are not scary, the gore effects gratuitous and obviously fake (some deliver some jolts, though), and their victims are idiots who stand frigidly as the zombies move in for the kill. The SWAT team members shoot aimlessly into the bodies of zombies even after the fact that they have to be shot in the head is established. Even one of the team members gets fed up with telling his friends to shoot them in the head! Add some meaningless topless scenes (female journalist gets nekkid and puts on make-up to interact with a tribe), some mondo footage (natives wiping dead peoples' blood on their faces, a maggot-eating ritual), and dead-weight characters and you have the final result: a whole lot of fun to watch, yet painfully mind-boggling as to how it could have possibly gotten past the script stage!
Not that I want you to spend $20+ on a copy of this movie, but the uncut letterboxed version is the best to get. The widescreen format gives this trash heap a hint of authority and any uncut print is better than a butchered American print. Otherwise, seek out the out-of-print Vestron Video copy at any mom-and-pop video store. It's guaranteed to be there, along with other bad zombie video standards "Burial Ground" and "Zombie Lake".
What to say about this movie? Where to start? I think I will begin with
the title. I bought it as "Hell of the Living Dead". It is also known
as "Virus", "Night of the Zombie", and "Zombie: Creeping Flesh". Out of
these titles the creeping flesh one and virus fit, but the other two do
not. Especially, the night one. Most of the zombie action takes place
in broad daylight. Then there is the stock footage. I know many have
commented on it, but man there is a lot of it. Here is a little advice
to all film makers, don't set the movie in a location you can't film
in. And if you must use stock footage at least use some different shots
rather than just birds and monkeys in the tree tops. Then there is the
music. When people say it is just like "Dawn of the Dead" they aren't
kidding. It is exactly the same music and when it isn't music from Dawn
it is music from a sci-fi movie called "Alien Containamation" and when
it isn't music from it, it is a combination of both. Then there is the
similarities between Dawn and this movie. The swat team, the reporters,
the center at the end and the mall in dawn, the situation at the
beginning where the swat team is first introduced, the elevator scene
and so on. The zombies themselves aren't the best in the game. Well
some do look rather good, but most of them have very little make up.
Then there is the swat team who make it through horde after horde of
zombie only losing one member, this team seems competent, then they
reach the facilty and proceed to become very easily killed idiots. They
aren't very distinct either, I think they are all dubbed by the same
A good point about this movie is the plot. It involves a leak a research facility called "Hope". Its nice to have zombies come to life for a reason and as bad as this flick is the end isn't to bad with plenty of gore effects. In fact after the "Hope" scene the movie cuts to two people attacked in the park and it is like wow this is looks like a better zombie movie about to start! But it is actually the end of this one. You can learn some lessons from this movie though 1) Zombies can only be killed if you shoot them in the head, but go ahead and shoot them in the body because it looks cool and you never run out of ammunition anyway 2) When going into an area of stock footage natives get the girl in your party to take her shirt off and dress up like a native, does it help, no! But if she's willing to do it let her (why didn't the horny soldiers not make one comment when she took off her shirt?) 3) If your friend is attacked by an apparently dead rat, don't lend a hand he deserves to die for being stupid enough to let himself get killed by a rat 4) Don't put your guns down and put on a tu-tu and top hat and pick up a cane when zombies are in the area 5) When on a beach it is possible to find boats just lying around 6) and finally, don't speculate on why everything is happening till you are out of the building where the zombies are, this just gives them a chance to gang up on you. In the end this is a bad flick with some areas that are OK. If you have a wicked sense of humor though and like making fun of films then give it a try.
I've seen quite a few zombie movies over the years and I
to say that the european ones are the best. The gore effects in these movies
are very realistic and provide quite a few scares
and Night of the Zombies is no exception.The gore effects
storyline are good and is what I expected from this type of movie, but what I
didn't expect was the overlong use of stock
footage from a National Geographic special which was not
unnecessary but very annoying and the dubbing could also
been handled better, but overall not a bad movie storywise.
Just remember to keep the VCR remote close so you can fast forward the stock
MY RATTING 7/10
"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
Hell Of The Living Dead is a typical rip off of Dawn Of The Dead made by Bruno Mattei who is a very cheesy director in my opinion! I know that the acting is awful, the zombies look stupid, the make up is cheap and pretty much everything about this film is very poor, but I still love it! The main characters are a beautiful lady who is very interested in primitive tribes who live in a island in which the story takes its place. The other main characters are a group of soldiers who land on that island in order to be eaten by the zombies lol. The version which I have on a DVD is the anchor bay release. This DVD release contains only English audio which is amusingly made. Anyway, Hell Of The Living Dead contains gore, nudity, zombies, cannibals and everything that a fan of b-grade horror movies needs! Just have some booze before you watch it and prepare your self for the creeping dead that devour the living flesh!
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