July 20, 2011
Netflix has been really revving up its library of titles on its streaming service. Although many viewers complain that their selection isn't up to snuff with the new release library at Blockbuster, for horror fans, it's actually a treasure trove of classic and not-so-classic horror titles -- many of which aren't even available on Blu-Ray.
As a result, we’ve been selecing semi-weekly picks from this incredible streaming library -- something that isn't on DVD or Blu-Ray already.
This week, "Zombiethon."
Now what the fuck is "Zombiethon" and why isn't it on DVD or Blu-Ray?
Simply put, "Zombiethon" is a late 1980s compliation of sex and gore scenes from '80s zombie films, put together by the now defunct Charles Band company Wizard Video for VHS. Between each film "greatest hits" scenes compilation, we get a short film that sort of ties the collection together -- featuring footage shot on video in Los Angeles, presumably near Wizard Video's former offices. The title is currently owned by MGM.
The selection of films is of course pretty bad -- Eurohorror rip offs of "Dawn of the Dead" from the 1980s. The best of them, "Zombie," starts of the compilation. We basically get a greatest hits collection of gore scenes fromt that Lucio Fulci classic. They would be great if the picture quality was decent -- which it isn't. It looks like this full-frame transfer was culled froma VHS.
Next up, greatest hits gore and nudity scenes from Jean Rollin's very worst movie, "Zombie Lake." It actually looks like a fun movie when you see the plethora of naked French babes and badly made up zombies. Don't be fooled into thinking it's worth renting. It's a bad one.
After that, we get scenes from the incredibly terrible Nazi zombie crapfest "Oasis of the Zombies." Even the best scenes from this clunker aren't worth watching. Next up, scenes from the hard-to-find 1981 film "Fear," which has zero to do with zombies, and everything to do with screaming, half nude women getting caught in fake spider webs.
Things are more interesting with scenes from "The Invisible Dead" (aka "Orloff and the Invisible Man"), which wasn't a zombie film, but a fun Euro-horror film. The scenes are remarkably politically incorrect -- not the kind of stuff they can release today -- basically an invisble man sexually harassing a bunch of naked European gals.
This is followed by some less than-spectacular footage from "A Virgin Among the Living Dead," and "The Astral Zombies," a PG movie from Ted V. Mikels that starred Tura Santana of Russ Meyer fame.
All in all, the compilation is less than remarkable, although it makes for a fun time capsule. The picture quality is pretty atrocious -- clearly a rip from a VHS, although the rights are owned by none less than the mighty MGM.
Worth catching if you're desperate for a horror VHS flashback from the '80s. Otherwise, your time is better spent elsewhere.
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