Review: Shock Waves (1977)

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Review by: Monkey Fist
SCUM Rating:    ☆ 

A group of survivors of a boat disaster get stranded on an island – and that’s the least of their concerns. A hermit residing there informs them that the island isn’t safe as there are killer Nazi zombies (Death Corps) that lay dormant off the coast. Like with most B-Grade horror flicks, it’s all too late as they have risen from the depths of the sea and are back for blood!

For an incredibly low-budget film this was enjoyable and a bit inventive in the execution. If you think it’s going to be like your usual zombie film forget it. There are no gruesome flesh-eating scenes and it lacks gore….in fact, there isn’t any at all. There are no action-packed scenes where zombies and people get blown away or sliced up and the deaths happen to be pretty quick and sharp. Unlike the zombies featured in the “Dawn of The Dead” remake, these guys aren’t exactly speedy at all. They just pace around in the sea and surface occasionally to stalk their victims. Some of the death scenes are implied and we do not get to witness them at all. But I think the point of the film wasn’t to shock the audience with violence or gore, but rather, to utilise the atmosphere and images to keep them captivated.

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I thought the concept of the living dead in this one was pretty interesting. In the past, Nazis experimented with invincible soldiers for World War 2 that can adapt to any environment because they could live without food and oxygen and are programmed to kill. When the war ended, their U-boat was supposedly destroyed and they vanished without a trace, or so they thought!

The plot is far from perfect (Eg. Why the hell do these aquatic zombies decide to surface after 35 years??) and gets a bit repetitive at times. The pacing is rather slow as well. On the whole, I thought it was still an eerie and atmospheric film given the budget. Of course, if you were to compare the zombie make-up effects to those featured in “The Walking Dead”, this one definitely pales in comparison. However back it in the 70s, I would say that the make-up effects were pretty decent and the zombies do project a certain sense of creepiness.

I caught this flick back in the late 70s as a lad and found it to be pretty haunting and scary. Looking back, I thought the concept of the film was quite unique but the acting and overall plot were at most average. Regardless, this is still a charming horror gem from the 70s and could be considered for viewing if you are in the mood for a cult zombie film!

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About The Author

Monkey Fist’s fascination with film began in the late ‘70s when he was first introduced to B-classics such as 'The Car', 'Konga' and 'The Incredible Melting Man'. Life might have been very different if he had heeded his mom’s advice to read Enid Blyton novels instead. Seriously, he’s just glad he didn’t! Instead, a lot of time was spent checking out the latest flicks in local theaters or getting updates from the 'Movie News' mag. It wasn’t long before he delved into Japanese anime and Tokusatsu gems like Voltron, Gatchaman and Kamen Rider. Today, he continues exploring and collecting classics from the reel world!


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