Oasis of the Zombies (1982)

Unrated   |    |  Horror


Oasis of the Zombies (1982) Poster

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.


2.6/10
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  • Oasis of the Zombies (1982)
  • Oasis of the Zombies (1982)
  • Oasis of the Zombies (1982)
  • Oasis of the Zombies (1982)
  • Oasis of the Zombies (1982)

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8 March 2009 | Zeegrade
2
| I seem to have found myself................extremely bored.
Jess Franco has directed what is widely considered two of the worst zombie movies of all time, Zombie Lake and Oasis of the Zombies. How Franco, who writes and directs this yawn-inducer, is considered an exploitation icon is an absolute mystery to me. There isn't a single scene in this film that hints at any talent whatsoever.

During the second world war a nazi Afrika Korp is ambushed by the British at an Oasis outside of Tripoli where $6,000,000 of gold is buried. Fast forward to the present day, one assumes as the movie gives no dates, and the former British and German commanders meet to discuss where the exact location of the oasis is, excavate the site, and split the gold. As soon as the German learns where the location is he kills the British character. We next jump to a university in London where a young man named Robert receives a message about the death of his dad. Turns out the British commander was his father. Robert feigns sadness and immediately gathers his friends Ronald, the bowl cut dork, Ahmed, who insist on wearing a fez hat making him look even dorkier than Ronald, and Robert's girlfriend. They travel to Tripoli in search of the Sheik who knows the location to the Oasis as well as a warning that it's infested with the living dead corpses of the Nazis. Robert ignores the warnings and travels to the oasis. He does find something more important however. (Eyes Rolling)

Manuel Gelin manages to outdo his zombie counterparts as the most lifeless corpse on the screen. Just watch the scene where he learns of his father's death. Emote baby, emote! The backstory is told through a flashback which has some serious flaws. First is the fact that Robert's dad must be an immortal as he has not aged a day since the war. At least cut his hair and shave that mustache for crissakes! Second, Robert was the product of his father and the Sheik's daughter Aisha. This is during World War II which would make Robert in his late thirties at the very least! Instead Robert is a mid-twenties college student. More Franco brilliance? They at least try to make the Sheik age as he is given silver streaks in his hair and adorned with the most fake mustache ever. The zombies themselves are on par with I Eat Your Skin which was made twenty years earlier. They are basically men smeared with mud, worms, and oatmeal. One of the non-actor zombies looks as if it's a male blow up doll. Probably the source for Jess Franco's "inspiration". Even the ending sucks! Was he hiding the jeep under his sheets? An oasis from solid movie-making. Don't bother.

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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.


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.

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