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MOVIE REVIEW ARCHIVES

A-C     D-F     G-I     J-L     M-O     P-R     S-U     V-X     Y-Z

 Y

Young Hannah: Queen of the Vampires

 

 

Z

Zombie 3: Night of Terror

Zombie Lake

 

 

YOUNG HANNAH: QUEEN OF THE VAMPIRES
(1973)
Directed by Ray Danton.
Starring Andrew Prine, Mark Damon, Patty Shepard

Andrew Prine travels to a remote Turkish island to investigate the death of his father, who was crushed by a burial tomb, after being murdered.  The tomb is thought to hold the body of Queen Hannah, a 700-year old vampire.  Also starring is Mark Damon, Patty Sheppard, and Teresa Gimpera and Hannah.  To get this father out from under the tomb, they first have to remove the lid (Iím guessing to make it lighter?).  Once they do, trouble starts to happen.

The island is filled with superstitious people, who remember the tales of old, about the island being inhabited by vampires.  Itís hard to get them to help with moving the tomb.  They are afraid that Hannah will come back to life and attack them.

I had looked forward to seeing this film.  But after seeing it, I found it a little slow.  It does have some great atmosphere, and some great talent there, but it just didnít really do much for me.

Originally released on video under the title CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD, this DVD release does wonders when compared to the video version.  The DVD is letterboxed at 1.85:1, and you can really tell the difference when watching the film.  In the video version there are many scenes where people are cut off the screen, or when there is a huge close up of an actor.  But now with the DVD, you can see the whole scene played out.  There is one scene where Mark Damon and Andrew Prine are walking to the house.  On the far left, through the open door, you can see them approaching through the fog, all the while theyíre talking.  In the video version, you hear them talking but can see the doorway that theyíre walking towards.  Plus the quality of the print is so much better than that old pre-record.  The picture is much more sharper and clear.

But the strange thing is if you back up the movie right after it starts, you can see the title CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD.  I watched my pre-record of CRYPT, right after watching the DVD, and didnít see anything that different.  Unless weíre talking a couple of seconds, it looked like the same version.

VCI Entertainment has done another wonderful job in releasing a great print of this rare title.  The features contain a trailer and bios.  While I thought the film was a little slow, it does make a nice addition for those fans of vampire films.


ZOMBIE 3: NIGHT OF TERROR
(1980)
Directed by Andrea Bianchi
Starring Karin Well, Gianluigi Chirizzi, Simone Mattioli, Antonella Antinori, Roberto Caporali, Claudio Zucchet, Peter Bark, Anna Valente, Raimondo Barbieri, Mariangela Giordano.

This is one of those classic Italian zombie films.  No waiting for the zombies or gore in this one, no way folks.  In the first few minutes, we have attacking zombies.  And the only real break in the beginning is having a group of people show up at this mansion.  Shortly after arriving (and having sex), the zombies start to attack, forcing them to hold up in the house.  But itís only a matter of time, before the lumbering killers break into their fortress.

The makeup effects used for this film are very reminiscences of the Tales From The Crypt style.  These are zombies that have been dead for quite some time.  Some of the zombies have very little make-up on, especially on some of the arms and hands, while others have quite a bit of detail.  Any zombie with a close-up has live maggots crawling all over their face.  The gore isnít over the top, such as a Romero zombie movie, but it does has its share of organs spilling about.

And while these guys arenít the fastest movie zombies, they are very smart and creative.  There are a few points when you will applaud their imaginative thinking.  Plus there is the one sequence that this film is known for, but we wonít give any details, other than it deals with a mother breast-feeding her (very strange looking) son.  You wonít see anything like it in an American movie!

This was released here in the states under the title BURIAL GROUND, but is cut.  It has been released on DVD in the UK, but soon will be released by Shriek Show here in the States.  So if you are in the mood for some mindless Italian zombies and gore, you canít go wrong with this film.

Did I mention that itís pretty gory?


(1981)
Directed by J.A. Lazer (Jean Rollin)
Starring Howard Vernon, Nadine Pascale, Pierre Escourrou, Jean Rollin, Antonio Mayans, Youri Radionow

The movie opens with a young girl deciding to take a swim in a lake.  Of course, thatís after she sunbaths for enough time for the camera to pan down her completely naked body.  Then itís into the water.  But waitÖthereís something else in the water.  Nazi Zombies!  Of course the girl is pulled under into her water grave.

Now how does one top that opening?  Well, leaving it up to Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, thatís easy.  You have a vanload of female volleyball (pronounced Ďbasketballí in the film) pull up to the lake and decide also to do a little skinny-dipping.

Written by Franco and directed by Rollin, Iím assuming this is their version of SHOCK WAVES.  Some years ago, when the German soldiers were coming through a small village, they are killed and their bodies dumped in the lake.  But not before one of the soldiers has a little affair with one of the local women, who becomes pregnant.  Since theyíre deaths, the lake has become the known to the villagers as the Ďlake of ghostsí.  They come drudging out of the water every so often looking for a victim or two, either drowning them in the lake, or chomping on their throats.

This is everything one could want in a bad Franco or Rollin film.  It has some really cheesy makeup effects, some nudity, great dubbed dialog, really no plot, Howard Vernon as the mayor, and then some more nudity.  Hell, you even have two of the zombies start fighting each other at one point.  This really wouldn't be the movie to try pointing out the good points of Franco and Rollin's films.

I was really impressed with the underwater footage.    Not just because of the bunch of naked women swimming above, but for the fact that they actually spent money on a good underwater camera.  That was probably half the budget.  Although it is strange how the water is so clear when youíre underneath, but on the surface, you canít anything below.  Or the fact that you can see the sides of the swimming pool that looks to be covered by a tarp or something.

The makeup is as basic as one could get, consisting of mainly green makeup.  The gore effects are really only the blood coming from either the victimís mouth, or the zombieís mouth when they are biting someone.  Actually, instead of biting their victims, it looks more like they're necking with them.

The DVD was released by Image and contains a few extras.  One strange but interesting extra is an alternate clothed sequences.  They are the same scenes, such as the opening or with the volleyball girls, except they only strip down to their underwear.  Iím guessing these were for the more conservative markets, like the U.S.  It also comes with the trailer, and alternate English language title sequence.

This is one title that I always wanted to pick up, but never got around to it.  Mainly since I knew it wasnít going to be one of those high on the re-watch list.  But since I was able to get it for about $8, I couldnít pass up the opportunity.  So if youíre looking for some real good Euro-cheese, youíve found one.