Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Oasis of the Zombies (1983)

Let's start off with a quick bit of arithmetic.  If you have a character who was born in mid-1944 in a movie set no earlier than mid-1979, how old should they be?

If your answer is "Eh, who cares?", then congratulations - you could have a career working on turkeys like this film.

The character in question is the sort-of protagonist.  I say "sort of" because we don't see him until about ten minutes in, and then it's just to introduce a twenty minute flashback about how he came to be conceived (and incidentally to pad the running time with some stock footage from another film) ... and then we go back to the characters from the first ten minutes of the movie for a while longer.  So it is really not until the halfway point that he does more than read a letter from his deceased father.

Said letter explains the story of his conception during World War Two, and of the Nazi bullion his father left behind in the desert.  In about the only sane decision he will make in the film, the kid (he looks about 20, despite the fact that he should be 35) decides to go find the gold.  Of course, what he doesn't know is that he's not the only one who's looking for it.  Oh, and that it's guarded by zombie Afrika Korps soldiers.

Now as it happens our "hero" won't be in the dark on these two fronts for very long, because despite the rather lackadaisical approach he takes to the search, he manages to stumble right into a fatally injured rival gold-hunter.  Which at least ought to tell him that the place is dangerous, even if he doesn't believe the "walking dead' stories that people - including survivors of zombie attacks - keep telling him.

Frankly, it's enough to make you hope he ends up as zombie chow, but the film-makers are apparently under the mistaken impression that we want to see this guy survive, so there's no joy there.

This is a tedious affair, feeling considerably longer than its 84 minute run time.  Other than a couple of epic early 80s moustaches, there's nothing worthwhile to see.  Skip.

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