Saturday, April 21, 2012

Revenge of the Dead Is a Zombie Detective Thriller

I have only one small quibble with the 1983 "zombie" movie Revenge of the Dead (Zeder): no zombies. Despite one of the best zombie movie posters of all time...

There are no zombies in this movie at all. Not really. It's a supernatural detective story, and the plot is somewhat similar to the story in the Johnny Depp movie The Ninth Gate. Stefano, a young journalist, buys a used typewriter and accidentally sees that some text is still readable on the ribbon. He manages to reconstruct the story of a scientist, Paolo Zeder, who in the 1950's discovered that some types of terrain have the power to revive the dead that are buried in them. Stefano's investigations bring him in contact with a group of renegade scientists that are still making experiments to prove Zeder's theories.

More accurately, his girlfriend buys him this typewriter, which still contains the secrets of the mysterious "K" zone. He begins to dive into the mystery. The story is good and well done, so once you get over the fact that this isn't going to be a zombie movie at all you'll be rewarded by a far above average horror movie.

No small part of which is this beautiful example of a derelict building. It evokes images of movies such as The Shining and Session 9, so if the forsaken places subgenre is your thing you'll love the look of this movie. 

Once inside that enormous building. Stefano discovers a room where scientists seem to be monitoring the sleep of someone. I won't spoil the obvious, but...

Shit, I lied, there apparently are some zombies in this movie. It won't be enough to entertain those who like their blood and guts splashed across the screen like a slaughterhouse, but I forgot this scene. I'm actually going to go watch the movies again now. 

Here's a zombie wandering around in the skeleton of a huge, derelict structure. This is a magnificent shot. The whole damn movie is unique. I'm not going to overhype it, but even on IMDB it receives a 6.3 rating, which is astronomical for a low budget "zombie" movie. So...

The dead don't really rise, but get over it, and watch Revenge of the Dead.

March 29, 2013 update: A movie poster I'd love to have in my collection, and not too expensive or hard to find, but I just don't have anywhere to put it.

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