An expedition searching for treasure supposedly buried by the German army in the African desert during WW II comes up against an army of Nazi zombies guarding the fortune.An expedition searching for treasure supposedly buried by the German army in the African desert during WW II comes up against an army of Nazi zombies guarding the fortune.An expedition searching for treasure supposedly buried by the German army in the African desert during WW II comes up against an army of Nazi zombies guarding the fortune.
Now, I can't recall it being boring -- of course, I was only eight or night, and this film was one of those ghastly oddities from the horror section, and I had the luxury of actually being able to view it... so I was hooked. I didn't remember a lot about the film -- that is to say, about the story -- but what I did remember of it was what would come to be a graphic standard of the genre: a scene where the star zombies were making blue plate specials out of some campers in the desert. It was stomach churning, it was gruesome, yet at the same time I was covering my face with my hands, was I was looking between my fingers, I continued to watch it with that same, weird fascination.
That was also when one of my parents walked in, took one look at the movie and scene I was witnessing, said "Unh-ugh,", and turned it off, and that was the end of that.
Ten years passed before I would be able to find and watch that movie again. I didn't remember the title, and I didn't remember the story -- but I had always remembered what the box looked like, and that gory zombie luncheon scene had definitely stuck with me in the back of my mind. So, armed with that much knowledge, I had always searched different video stores during those ten years just on the chance that I might find it, and, low and behold, in August of 2001, at a video discount store in Simi Valley, California (you know, one of those places that has racks and racks of all different kinds of films for low prices), I found it without even looking for it. Same box, same everything.
I bought it for a couple of bucks, popped it in, and watched it. And I didn't see what was so bad about it. Sure, it had a very low budget, and perhaps the acting was at times mediocre, but, all in all, I still felt it was a nice effort by an apparently notorious director -- I was just as intrigued watching the film as I was ten years earlier at any rate. As I said, many have said it was boring -- particularly the "flashback time-filler". I've come to attach these type of comments from this and other films of the genre to those persons that I like to refer to as "gorehounds". They like zombie movies, they LOVE zombies movies, but the only thing they love about them, apparently, is the gore, and that's all. Now, perhaps I'm wrong here, but I felt that there was a decent attempt at concentration on the STORY here. Sure, there was a long flashback sequence -- but I don't see how it could be boring. Most of it depicted a heavy gun battle. What's boring about something like that? And so what if it did have a flashback sequence? "The Green Mile" and "The Bounty", as other films, were both told in flashback for the entirety of them. I'm not comparing this film to those wonderful cinematic events, but why don't people give old Jess a break? He gave it his best with what he had. Which is what most filmmakers do -- otherwise they wouldn't be taking the time to do it. Yes, by today's standards, this film probably is boring. But this is a foreign film, remember, and it's also twenty years old, and people had longer attention spans then.
Give this underrated film a showing if you have about an hour and a half to spare -- and don't be a gorehound and watch this film for the blood and guts; watch it for the atmosphere, which I feel it's loaded with. Pay attention to the story, because there just so happens to be a little one whether you like it or not, and you might just find yourself getting drawn into it. I quote the man on the camel at the end of this film. He asks one of the survivors of the zombie attack: "Did you find what you were looking for?" The survivor replies: "Yes... but I think I mostly found myself." Maybe you'll find a neat little gem of a movie here. Give it a chance. Granted: It's not Romero, and for all you gorehounds out there it may not be a Fulci... but I think it's worth a look.
- Nov 11, 2001