Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oasis of the Zombies (1982)

aka La tumba de los muertos vivientes; aka The Treasure of the Living Dead

During World War II, the Nazis were riding around the desert hiding gold in random sandy spots. But this time the oasis they choose is already being utilized by the Allies, who are helped by the locals.  Why there are any locals anyone hanging out in the isolated oasis is a mystery.

A fire fight ensues in which it is impossible to tell the Nazis from the Allies due to everyone being clad in tan fatigues.  Luckily for the viewer, everyone dies except for the only member of the Allies who is recognizable. He is rescued from the desert and nursed back to health by his hosts daughter.  Soon the pretty young thing has been impregnated, which surprisingly doesn't result in his death.

Many years later, some scantily clad women who've been driving in the desert for hours  - where the heck are they going? - stop to explore. Because an oasis is often a place full of endless fun and happiness. Instead they hear crunching noises and soon find Nazi-point-of-view death. Now I feel I must point out that in my mind I picture an oasis as a palm tree laden spot with a nice little pool of water to wet the whistle.  But this oasis refers to some random scrub trees, lots of brush, and a creepy feeling which turns out to not only be due to it's isolation, but it's bounty of sand Nazis.

Meanwhile in a  nearby city, the only surviving Allied fighter is tricked into revealing the location of the oasis to a treasure hunter who has promised to be his partner in a hunt for the gold, but instead promptly kills him.  No one shall ask why the man who knew the location of the gold treasure would need a partner, especially one who shows up out of nowhere.  As usual when ne'er-do-well treasure hunters dig for Nazi gold, it doesn't go well.

Upon learning of the death of his father (the lone survivor), his college aged son reads his dads journal and decides it would be a great adventure to go search for the oasis. He brings a few friends and they all trudge toward their doom. Because we all know that college students are no match for sand zombies.

This should be an entertaining movie, but it's not.  It's slow and often tedious. The Nazis have unnaturally long hair for WWII, and while the zombie makeup is kind of gross, they don't do much except slowly wander around. I'm actually surprised they are able to catch anyone.  The characters prove to be incredibly stupid when they first arrive at the oasis and discover two people - one dead and one who appears to be dead.  The survivor tells them about the attack, but they don't believe her story and camp at the oasis. AARRGGHHH!!!!  Geez, even if you thought her story was crap, there's still a dead guy on the sand and someone or something killed him!  

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