JESS FRANCO MONTH: Oasis of the Zombies (1982)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally ran on December 13, 2020, back in the days when the idea of watching more than fifty Jess Franco movies in one month felt either quixotic or just plain insane. Well, as we’re currently in the middle of a month of Franco’s films, let’s bring this back with some more info and thoughts.

Jess Franco wrote, directed, produced, acted and scored around 200 or so feature films and I have been cursed to watch all of them. This one, he made for French producer Marius Lesoeur and its also known as L’Abîme des Morts-Vivants* (The Abyss of the Living Dead), as there are unqiue Spanish and French versions of this movie.

This is where I discovered the drug inside a Franco film and his ability to somehow lull you into a fuzzed out haze, helped by a bad looking print, as you wait and wait and watch and hope and dream of the moment when the zombies that guard some Nazi gold will emerge and kill the treasure hunters.

Tubi has a print that looks like a VHS that has been rented thousands of times, which makes this so much better of a viewing experience than a pristine version would be.

Roger Braden also reviewed this for our site and he said, “Looks and sounds like a decent movie to watch, right? You couldn’t be more fucking wrong.” and “When the zombies finally make their appearance they are some of the worst looking creatures you’ll ever see.”

Yeah, Jess Franco is an acquired taste.

Robert Blabert, the hero trying to find the Nazi gold, should be like forty if this is really set in 1982. And the Nazis hunting him shouldn’t probably be much, much older. But come on, why am I looking for logic in a zombie movie, much less something to make sense in a Jess Franco movie?

*It’s also known as Bloodsucking Nazi Zombies, El Desierto de los Zombies, The Grave of the Living Dead, The Treasure of the Living Dead and for having a Spanish version called La Tumba de los Muertos Vivientes that is blessed with Lina Romay as the Nazi doctor’s wife.

You can watch this on KInoCult.

Oasis of the Zombies is also on the ARROW PLAYER. Head over to ARROW to start your 30-day free trial. Subscriptions are available for $4.99 monthly or $49.99 yearly. ARROW is available in the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland on the following Apps/devices: Roku (all Roku sticks, boxes, devices, etc), Apple TV & iOS devices, Android TV and mobile devices, Fire TV (all Amazon Fire TV Sticks, boxes, etc), and on all web browsers at https://www.arrow-player.com.

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