Le Lac des morts vivants (1981)
(AKA: Zombie Lake [USA])
(AKA: El Lago de los muertos vivientes [Spain])
(AKA: The Lake of the Living Dead [Literal English Title])
(AKA: Zombies Lake [Enlgish Title for European Release])
(AKA: Zombie's Lake [Enlgish Variant Title for European Release])

(Release Date: May 13, 1981)

Hey, Hey, Momma, said the way you MOVE, gonna Make you Sweat, gonna Make You Groove!


J.C. Maçek III... 

Skinny Dipping ZOMBIE Critic!
J.C. Maçek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

Whew! Zombie Lake! We're talkin' BAD! Man. You know what, though? I love this movie, and I could probably watch it a hundred million times. And will. Hey, when Eurociné made this thing, they packed it with the two things they did best. Bad Horror and Good Nudity. Yes, the maker of cheesy European lechery and cheesy European blood baths finally decided that the twain should meet in the middle. Essentially, this is soft core porn for the Halloween crowd.

That's good enough for me, man!
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Observe. During the opening credits a startlingly beautiful French girl, who dares wear short shorts, walks casually out to a gazebo near the lake of the title. She gives a half-assed look around to see if anyone is watching, then takes off all of her clothes. It doesn't take long, she's not wearing any panties. She then takes out her swim suit, looks around again, decides no one is watching, again, and decides to skinny dip, leaving the bathing suit blissfully unused. But not before a tantalizing sunbathing stint during which I'm sure the cameraman wondered why he was getting a paycheck with perks like this. Then into the murky lake she descends. Well, it's murky on the surface, under the water it's crystal clear, and every angle and pose reveals every part of her naked body (and I do mean every)! How is this possible? The film makers didn't care, folks. All the underwater scenes are filmed in a swimming pool. Oh, they threw in some lily pads, and all, but you can see the wall, you can see the light, the vents, the leaf traps, the cleaning hoses, and everything. Hell, look upward and see an actual life preserver above the surface. See, we soon notice this because there's someone else in the pool. A decaying zombie in a Nazi uniform (!), whom we'd rather avoid seeing. He soon grabs the naked hottie and pulls her down into the pool's depths with him.

Talk about a great job, man. Getting paid to dress up in cheap fright makeup and fondle naked French models underwater. Why the hell did I go to College, man?

But that's Zombie Lake for you! A bunch of walking (and swimming) dead Nazis, and a bunch of naked chicks doing a bunch of naked things.

The flashback sequence (which exists mostly to give us more nudity and sex) tells us that during the Nazi occupation of France, a young Arian soldier gets lucky with a hot and consistently naked French Mademoiselle on the French Countryside. On the day their daughter Helena is born, the Nazis pull out of France and the French Resistance kills this little group of soldiers and throws them in an enchanted lake.

Flash forward to 1981 when Helena (now played by Anouchka Lesoeur) is somewhere around ten years old and the Nazombies are rising... HEY, wait a second! 1981? The Nazi occupation of France was ended in mid 1944. Even if the girl is twelve, we're looking at the middle of the fifties, and should have to duck to miss Marty McFly! But the cars, hair, style of dress (when the chicks are wearing clothes at all) and everything else, pretty well sustains the 1981 theme. Hell the French Volleyball (or is it Basketball) team (yes, comprised of naked twenty-year-olds) even drives up in a Seventies model VW Van! Period Piece is OUT! Folks, the producers just didn't care!

Regardless, even if these Nazombies haven't been underwater for 37 years, let's say it really is only 10 or 12, shouldn't they be rather... well... decomposed? Because they aren't! These zombies look FANTASTIC! On occasion they've got some green greasepaint smeared on them and maybe a little spirit gum, but I'm here to tell you, most Nazis don't look this good while they're still alive. I guess the squad leader (Pierre-Marie Escourrou, less General Cornwallis than Generally CornBallAss) has to look at least presentable because he limps on over to go introduce himself to his daughter Helena! I'm serious. Except it's not really limping. He, and all his Nazombie brethren, actually don't appear to be staggering, but dancing like Joe Cocker at Woodstock. Play "A Little Help from my Friends" and mute the badly dubbed dialogue. You'll laugh.

Anyway, most of the rest is what you'd expect from Eurociné. Once you discover that (all pseudonyms aside) this piece of piss was written by Jess "Jesus" Franco and directed by Jean Rollin, two European Schlock peddlers who made Lucio Fulci look like Francis Coppola, you could write your own ending. My favorite part is when a one-eyed Nazombie attacks a French Chick, pulls her to the ground, pulls up her dress, and down her top and spits up some red dye onto her neck. That's their idea of a death scene! He even accidentally smears some green greasepaint onto her chin and breasts as he does it. The birdies outside my window are reciting their own review: "Cheap, Cheap, Cheap, Cheap!"

But again, I mean this: I love this movie! It's so bad that it becomes hilarious in scene after scene. The plot set ups go NOWHERE, and where they run out of ideas the film makers give you nudity. Even that doesn't make sense. When girls go swimming, they're naked. When girls take a bubble bath, they wear bikini bottoms. That happens! But hey, in France, the Aerobics shows have naked breasts in them, so the Horror Flicks pretty much HAVE to! Even the idiot Mayor (Howard Vernon) manages to look like a complete joke when he states that the actions of Free France created these Monsters. Yeah, because before they became Zombies these servants of Der Furher were just as sweet as corn syrup. What the fuck, is Douche-Bag Franco some kind of Nazi Sympathizer? Shit.

Fans of Plan 9 From Outer Space or Yor, the Hunter from the Future should get a kick out of this thing. It's hilarious, and if not taken seriously, it's so funny it manages to be engrossing. For the rest of yous guys out there, wait another couple of minutes. Somebody naked will wander on screen sooner or later. Yes, I love this movie! No, loving it for these reasons doesn't manage to change the fact that Zombie Lake, or Zombies Lake, or Zombie's Lake, or El Lago de los muertos vivientes, or The Lake of the Living Dead or Le Lac des morts vivants is a complete and total DOG! Luckily, none of the naked chicks are. There are two ways to watch this film. In the original French, or horrible dubbed into English. Subtitles, like brassieres, are conspicuously absent in the DVD release. But then, if you're watching this flick for the dialogue, you're probably missing the point. So until the French Language self-help book "How to make love to a Zombie" is released in paperback form, I'll see you in the next reel!

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Le Lac des morts vivants (1981) Reviewed by J.C. Maçek III
who is solely responsible for the opinions expressed on this page,
and for the fact that he wants to remake and star in this flick!

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