5.0/10
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138 user 103 critic

Hell of the Living Dead (1980)

Virus (original title)
Unrated | | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 14 October 1983 (USA)
A tough female reporter and her cameraman boyfriend team up with a four-man commando unit in the New Guinea jungle who are fighting flesh-eating zombies.

Directors:

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

Writers:

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

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Get ready... It's gonna be one hell of a Night... See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Virus (1980)

Country:

Italy | Spain

Language:

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Telecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although proud and happy with the film she starred in, Margie Newton finds it hard to watch the violent scenes, she was shocked at the violence when she first saw it in the cinema. See more »

Goofs

(at around 48 mins) When the first set of zombies attack the village, the camera shows us that there is bloody wounds on their legs, in the next shot the wounds are gone. See more »

Quotes

Zantoro: Just keep calm, kiddies...
[camera zooms in dramatically on Zantoro]
Zantoro: Because I'm one baby they're not bitin'. I know how to deal with 'em!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Vestron Home Video's release, around 1985, of the picture, under the title Night Of The Zombies, was the same print used by Creature Features for home video tape in 1996. Creature Features added a brief card to the tail end of the closing credits for its copyright. This exact same print, even including the Creature Features copyright card, was used by Cydonia Pictures for its Night Of The Zombies DVD release in 2002. The same year, Anchor Bay Entertainment, released a cleaned up DVD under the title Hell Of The Living Dead. All of these Night Of The Zombies versions are identical, save for the inserted Creature Features copyright card. The film print is the infamous one known for being too dark, due to numerous copies being made, and, thus nearly impossible to tell a lot of what is going on in the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Black Is Beautiful (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

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 »

User Reviews

Hypnotic and surreal. I really enjoyed it, but not for the "right" reasons.
24 December 2008 | by amazing_sincodekSee all my reviews

When someone says a movie is so-bad-it's-good, they usually mean that it's unintentionally comedic. "Virus" is so inept that it is enjoyable in a way it was not intended to be, but it doesn't fit the traditional so-bad-it's-good classification. (Actually, there was one scene in Virus that I thought was really funny. It involves breasts--you'll know it when you see it.) Here's why I liked Virus: all the ridiculousness adds together to form a fascinating and impossibly cohesive whole. The final product is sort of like a surrealist meditation on human insignificance.

The ridiculous, slow, editing; the idiotic behavior of the characters; and the meandering plot combine to make the movie like a sort of gentle nightmare. It's really like nothing else I've ever seen. There are these lazy, extended struggles with zombies where a bunch of guys just stand back and watch nervously. Most of the heroes are soldiers, and there's an officer, but they are all equally helpless and profoundly "alone." There's a laziness to everything that gives the film an appropriate sense of inevitability. The plot is ambiguous, like in a dream. You get a general sense of what's going on but it's also rather aimless, and only when the characters got to their "destination" did I realize that they had any objective at all. The simple beauty of the animal stock footage provides a startling contrast to the bleakness it surrounds.

I don't mean you have to watch it like it's T. S. Eliot and analyze everything you see for meaning. It is, of course, a meaningless mess of incompetence. But if you sit back and just soak it all in, you will find it hypnotic, bleak, and beautiful.


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