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Oasis of the Zombies (1982)

La tumba de los muertos vivientes (original title)
Unrated | | Horror | 21 April 1982 (France)
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.

Director:

Jesús Franco (as A.M. Frank)

Writers:

Jesús Franco (screenplay) (as A.L. Mariaux), Ramón Llidó (story) (as Ramón Llido) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Manuel Gélin Manuel Gélin ... Robert Blabert
Eduardo Fajardo ... Colonel Kurt Meitzell
France Lomay ... Erika (as France Jordan)
Jeff Montgomery Jeff Montgomery ... Ben
Lina Romay ... Kurt's Wife
Myriam Landson Myriam Landson ... Kurt's Wife
Antonio Mayans ... Sheik Mohamed Al-Kafir
Javier Maiza Javier Maiza ... Captain Blabert
Eric Viellard Eric Viellard ... Ronald (as Eric Saint-Just)
Caroline Audret Caroline Audret ... Sylvie
Albino Graziani Albino Graziani ... Prof. Deniken
Miguel Ángel Aristu Miguel Ángel Aristu ... Ahmed (as Miguel Aristu)
Henri Lambert Henri Lambert ... Kurt (as Henry Lambert)
Doris Regina Doris Regina ... Aisha
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jesús Franco ... Zombie
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Storyline

During World War II, a small German squadron was assigned the task of carrying a shipment of Nazi gold across the African desert. Along the way, the squadron was ambushed by the Allies, and only one American soldier, Robert, survived. Years later, Robert tells his story to a German treasure hunter named Kurt, who promptly murders him. Robert's son, upon learning of his father's death, vows to travel to Africa and find the lost gold himself. While the desert is hazardous enough by itself, the dangers lurking around this oasis are more than any of the treasure hunters ever imagined. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher {rocher@fiberbit.net}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

treasure | desert | gold | oasis | nazi | See All (56) »

Taglines:

If you were terrified by "Dawn of the Dead"...this one will eat you alive! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Spain

Language:

French | Spanish

Release Date:

21 April 1982 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Oasis of the Living Dead See more »

Filming Locations:

Canary Islands, Spain

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Girl victim 1: Look at the size of them. Do you suppose they're Redwoods?
Girl victim 2: They're date trees. Come on.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film exist in two versions. The more common French version, which is the one released in the USA by Wizard Video on VHS, Image Entertainment on DVD, and Redemption on Blu-ray. And a more rare Spanish version. In total, there's about 20 minutes of exclusive footage in the Spanish version of the film, which features a partially different cast from the French version. For example, Lina Romay appears in the Spanish cut of the film; she doesn't appear in the French/English version. The gore scenes are also much more effective in the Spanish version of the film. A list of differences follows: General notes about "French version" vs. original "Spanish version" (this movie was made in two completely different versions simultaneously, featuring a French and Spanish cast, respectively): -"Spanish version" is approx. 2:32 min longer. The soundtrack on the Spanish version (credited to Pablo Villa) is completely different and much more effective. It is louder, and uses eerie organ music and "moans" instead of the bland electronic score on the "French version". -There are 4 sequences which have been "re-filmed" for the "Spanish version", basically using the same story outline, but different actors (Lina Romay, Eduardo Fajardo, etc.). They are all longer (and better) than their English/French counterparts - totaling 21m 50s compared to 16m 08s (an additional 5m 42s overall). 1) The first is immediately after the opening credits and shows Lina Romay waiting outside the house in a jeep whilst Eduardo Fajardo tries to extract information about the location of the oasis from Robert's father before killing him. (Spanish = 6m 38s, English = 4m 04s). 2) The second is after about 30m and shows the arrival of the search party at the oasis. They set up camp and attacked at night by the zombies. Lina Romay is graphically killed and her intestines removed. Eduardo Fajardo escapes although he is bitten. The English/French version is nowhere near as graphic (a few brief shots of the zombies are the same in bother versions). (Spanish = 12m 07s, English = 9m 28s). 3) The third is after about 45m and is just a brief sequence in which Eduardo Fajardo wakes up in the jeep and walks off. In the English/French version the man wakes up in bed before getting up. (Spanish = 23s, English = 16s). 4) The fourth is shortly after the above sequence and shows Eduardo Fajardo laughing maniacally as he starts to turn into a zombie from the bite on his neck. He eventually falls conveniently onto a bed of straw before being burnt. There are several cut-away shots of the students watching this from the English/French version. (Spanish = 2m 42s, English = 2m 20s). -After just over 60m there is a 3m 17s sequence of a couple of the students making love in their tent in the oasis (Inga and friend). This has been edited out of the Spanish print entirely. There are 2 further brief sequences not in the Spanish version: 10s after 75m - the girl student (Inga) carrying a petrol can being grabbed by the ankles by a zombie emerging from the sand, and 7s after 76m in which the zombies surround her and bite her leg. -One sequence lasting 46s of a series of shots of the zombies approaching, close-ups of worms on their faces, and shots of the oasis, is in a different place in the Spanish version (after 79m instead of 74m). -Finally after 81m there is one extra shot lasting 12s in the Spanish version showing the zombies disappearing into thin air in front of the oasis. -Of course the opening credits are completely different on both versions, although they last the same time - 1m 10s. The Spanish ones are in red lettering and play over a close-up of a zombie's face, whilst the English/French ones are in white lettering over a shot of the town. The Spanish print ends with 15s of additional credits after "Fin" which credit Jesus Franco as "montage" and Lina Romay as "ayte. de montage". -There is also more narrative voice-over during the war flashback sequence in the Spanish version. -To summarize then, the Spanish version has 22m 02s of footage not in the English/French version, but is missing 3m 34s of original footage and 16m 08s of alternate footage, giving a total difference of 2m 20s + 15s at end - 3s minor jumps = 2m 32s. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Granted: It's not Romero, and it's not Fulci... but I think it's worth a look.
11 November 2001 | by jrdundie32541See all my reviews

I first saw this film when I was about eight or nine. It was at a "99 Cent Video" store in Hesperia, California, and I went there with one of my parents. I always liked to comb through the horror section of video stores (and I still do). I guess I have always had some kind of (morbid?) fascination with that section of the store. Seeing all the horrific video box covers, old films and new, sitting their on the shelves -- I had more fun and more chills reading the back of those video boxes -- films such as "The Seven Doors of Death" (and, yes, I know that is actually a heavily cut version of "The Beyond" by Fulci) or "Zombie Lake", "Slaughter High", or another ghastly title (a lot of them hard to find, and ones that you'll probably never find again) -- and imagining what the particular film would be like to watch then actually watching the film itself. It was in this store that I came across Jess Franco's "Oasis of the Zombies". It was the Filmland distribution copy, and the brief, paragraphic summary on the back of the box was just as said. I don't know how, but one way or another I (conned?) my parent into renting it for me. I got home, popped it in, and began watching it. Let me diverge from the track for a minute by saying that lots of commentors on this film have said that is was "boring".

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.


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