A cop chases two hippies suspected of a series of Manson family-like murders; unbeknownst to him, the real culprits are the living dead, brought to life with a thirst for human flesh by chemical pesticides being used by area farmers.
In the 13th century there existed a legion of evil knights known as the Templars, who quested for eternal life by drinking human blood and committing sacrifices. Executed for their unholy ... See full summary »
Amando de Ossorio
María Elena Arpón
A cop chases two young people visiting the English countryside, suspecting them of a local murder; unbeknownst to him, the real culprits are the living dead, brought to life with a thirst for human flesh by radiation being used by area farmers as a pesticide alternative.Written by
This is an outstanding zombie film that instead of going straight for the jugular, piles on the atmosphere and tension...and then goes for the jugular.
Slightly annoying antiques dealer/hippy George leaves the polluted and overcrowded city and heads for the countryside on his motorbike, where he intends to spend the weekend watching the grass grow in the back garden of his cottage. His weekend is ruined when Cristinia Galbo reverses her car into his bike, wrecking it, so the least she can do is give him a ride to his cottage. Cristina soon finds that George is a bit of a gobby smartarse who might have a point, talking as he is about how the powers that be are destroying the Earth. George finds out the Cristina is a neurotic flake who doesn't even know where her sister's house is.
George ends up leaving Cristina in the car to go and ask a farmer for directions. It's at the farm he discovers an experimental machine that is being used for destroying insects and parasites (haven't these folk heard of the food chain?), which he lectures the scientists about in his strangely Zippy-from-Rainbow-like voice. It's about this time that a strange man dripping with water tries to attack Cristina, but when George and the farmer get back to the car, the man is gone. It's weird however how the description of the man reminds the farmer of Old Guthrie, a tramp who drowned in the area recently.
It's dark by the time George and Cristina get to her sister's house. It turns out Cristina's sister is a junky just about to be taken to rehab, and while trying to sneak a fix in the shed she's attacked by Guthrie, which leads to the death of her husband Martin. Enter the cops, especially hard-ass Irish cop Arthur Kennedy, and if there's one thing he hates more than dead bodies, it's hippies! He doesn't buy the story of walking corpses and arrests Cristina's sister after he finds out she's a junky. How are George and Cristina going to prove her innocence?
It takes ages for the first full on zombie attack to occur, but you won't be caring. Every scene in the film is just filled with atmosphere. Martin is killed right in front of his automatic camera that keeps flashing upon the scene of a waterfall. His house is adorned with pictures of his wife having withdrawl symptoms. The local pub has a scabby live owl perched in the hallway. When the zombies do rise up, there aren't that many of them but the sheer terror of the victims comes through live and clear. The zombie rules haven't truly been written in stone either - these zombies are super strong, can take a shot to the head, but really don't like being set on fire.
Grau doesn't skimp on the gore either, especially when zombies rise up in the hospital and attack the receptionist. Best of all is Arthur Kennedy's performance as the copper. He hates George so much that he will not listen to anything he's saying at all, even if it could save lives. This leads to several shocks near the end of the film, as well as the ambiguous ending.
I must admit this is one film I did rush out and buy when it appeared on DVD, and have watched it many a time. It's a good one! The only thing it lacks in comparison to the later Italian zombie film is cheese.
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