150 user 113 critic

Hell of the Living Dead (1980)

Virus (original title)
Unrated | | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 14 October 1983 (USA)
After an experiment gone wrong, a virus that turns people into zombies spreads throughout New Guinea, whilst a female reporter and her cameraman and a team of four commandos sent to investigate try to survive the onslaught.


Bruno Mattei (as Vincent Dawn), Claudio Fragasso (uncredited)


Claudio Fragasso (story and screenplay), José María Cunillés (story and screenplay) (as J.M. Cunilles)




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


If only they would die... See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The music playing during the opening title is Luis Bacalov's action theme from Fernando Di Leo's Blood and Diamonds (1977). Another piece from that soundtrack is borrowed for the zombie priest scene. The closing credits theme is "Quiet Drops," from the Beyond the Darkness (1979) soundtrack. See more »


At approx 8 minutes in, the scientists are all wearing anti-radiation protective gear. Some of them are not wearing gloves, and their suits are not sealed, rendering them quite useless against radiation. See more »


[taunting several zombies]
Zantoro: Shit-faced bastards! Lousy bunch of TURDS! Brainless monkies! Ha, ha, you can't catch me! Get back to your graves! Come on! This way! I'm waiting for ya!
[to a zombie]
Zantoro: Hey you. What are you staring at? Are you hungry? Ah, I get it. You want a little bite outta me. Sure, why not? What meat do you like? Drumstick... or wing?
[Zombies start to grab Zantoro's arm]
Zantoro: Oh! Oh, yeah, that's great! A wing, eh? Well suck this!
[shoots at the zombies]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was first submitted to the BBFC (as "Zombie Creeping Flesh") for theatrical release in 1982 in a slightly pre-cut print which removed the graphic flesh eating scenes, bloody shootings, and the final 'eyeball-popping' killing of Lia by zombies. This version was passed without further cuts. However the distributors decided the film was too long and removed a further 14 mins before release, which completely removed the entire SWAT commando/hostage sequence and most of the scene where a camouflaged Lia witnesses the embalming of a jungle native. This reduced the running time to around 84 mins, and this shorter print later appeared as a pre-cert VHS release on the Merlin label. The film then became unavailable for many years due to the inclusion of the Merlin VHS on the DPP list of 72 video nasties. The complete and uncut version was eventually passed by the BBFC in January 2002 and released on the Vipco label. See more »


References Blood and Diamonds (1977) See more »


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

User Reviews

Lousy and cheesy Italian/Spanish Zombie movie co-production filmed in Cataluña
17 April 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This low-budget terror motion picture deals with a group formed by a four-man commando squad who run into a pack of natives terrorizing island of Papua . After a chemical leak at the Hope Centre in New Guinea , an enterprise devoted to feeding underdeveloped countries, turns its staff into flesh-eating zombies , there a special force led by Mike London (Jose Gras 0r Robert O'Neil) are sent to investigate it . They run into a TV news crew led by celebrity journalist (Evelyn Newton) , who are after the same news . As a 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 . Then , the group discovers that the entire country has been overrun by zombies .

Gory, gruesome , pretty repellent , and ghastly cannibal feast in which the stumbling flesh-eating stiffs and can be only destroyed by fire in the head . Unrelenting shock-feast plenty of disturbing images laced with brief touches of black humor . Army of Zombies appearance roaming the countryside , village and some people besieged inside a mansion and a factory deliver the goods , enough to be interesting . Bruno Mattei's main great success is regularly directed with startling visual content and acceptable production by Jose Maria Cunilles , also producing to Mattei and Fragasso a pair of "spaghetti westerns" titled ¨Scalps¨ and ¨Apache Kid¨ ; furthermore special mention to filthy make-up by the craftsman Giuseppe Ferranti. In the first draft, Claudio Fragasso had followed the idea of an entire Third World made up of an army of zombies against whom the armed forces of the industrialized nations would have had to fight. However, the script had to be altered considerably due to budget limitations. This frightening movie is plenty of thrills , chills, body-count executed by the eerie Zombies and photographed in pallid color with lurid images and passable results . Stock footage from the film Nuova Guinea, l'Isola Dei Cannibali was used for the native scenes , it has been recently re-released on DVD as The Real Cannibal Holocaust. This is an ordinary excruciatingly Zombie film where the intrigue , tension , suspense appears threatening and lurking in the sunny outdoors and every room , and corridors from a house , a shack , a native hamlet , jungle and many other places . At the time considered the plus ultra of thoroughly disturbing movie is less stomach-churning by nowadays's standards, yet its fundamental power to thrill remains undiminished. This genuinely frightening story with correct utilization of images-shock is professionally photographed by John Cabrera on location in Barcelona , Catolonia , Spain . Using yet another alias, "Vincent Dawn", Mattei middlingly directed this "Hell of the Living Dead" or ¨Virus¨ , a low-budged zombie picture inspired by other zombie cannibal movies such as Zombi (1978) and Lucio Fulci's Zombie 2 (1979). "Virus" was filmed in Spain and used jungle footage from New Guinea and a patch soundtrack from Goblins "Dawn of the Dead" soundtrack, which was a minor hit in Italy and abroad . ClaudioFragasso, the writer of the screenplay, also directed one half of the movie, he said in an interview .

Mattei directed all kind of genres in low budget and exploitation pictures . He eventually had more pseudonyms than any working director in the world. He returned to editing before making another comeback in 1976 with two low-budget Nazi exploitation films, "Women's Camp 119" and "SS Girls"(1977) . Mattei followed these taboo-breaking films with excursions into porno films and Mondo "shockumentaries", all directed under his many pseudonyms, concentrating on "shock value" with films such as Mondo erotic (1973) and "Libiodomania" . Always on the lookout for new exploitation avenues, Mattei followed with "nunsploitation", with the soft-core sex film La Monaca di Monza (1980) and the violent sex thriller "Guardian of Hell" (1981). Both films involved a partnership with writer/director Claudio Fragasso, who helped him write and direct the back-to-back productions . After directing two women's prison films starring Laura Gemser , Mattei moved to directing sword-and-sorcery flicks , starting with I Sette Magnifici Gadiatori (1983). Both Mattei and Fragasso collaborated on the Sci-Fi/horror flick "Rats " (1984), inspired by the futuristic movies of the early 1980s . Mattei considers this his best work, despite his still having to work with a very low budget. He worked relentlessly through the 1980s, some action flicks and about half of Zombi 3 (1988) after Lucio Fulci was taken off the production, though Mattei was not credited with it.

Rating"Hell of the Living Dead" or "Night of the Zombies" : Passable , this is one more revolting , foul Zombie horror pictures in which the camera stalks in sinister style . It's just one long unrelenting cannibal feast and average budget terror movie that still packs a punch for those who like to be terrorized out their wits.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 150 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »


Official Sites:

Virus (1980)


Italy | Spain


Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

14 October 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zombi 4 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Beatrice Film, Films Dara See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Telecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed