Monday, March 22, 2010

Shock Waves (1977)

A small vessel containing its crew and a handful of tourists breaks down off the coast of a desolate island. They experience an "underwater disturbance" as the grizzled old sea captain stereotype refers to it. Later that night, the boat is sideswiped by what they think is a ghost ship (feel free to recite that last line again in your best Shaggy voice), only to discover at sun up, a rusted out old wreck lying dead in the waters. It is assumed that they ran into this hunk despite the fact that the collision practically capsizes their vessel, but they are now anchored hundreds of yards away. The only course of action left is to investigate the island where they come upon an old villa occupied by a hermit that acts surprised to hear of the massive wreck just off the coast and who clearly knows more than he lets on. I've said it before, never trust a guy with one of those thick, over the eye scars.

The nazi zombie sub-genre is a small, but much beleaguered area of horror. There have been recent efforts like Dead Snow (2009) that focused too heavily on lame humor and older affairs such as Zombie Lake (1981) that are ludicrously awful though not wholly unentertaining. Is that straight to DVD Joel Schumacher film that came out recently another example? I have yet to see it though I think its villian(s) fall under one of the other supposed experiments conducted by the Third Reich. Oh, that Hitler. Such a kook.

Shock Waves is arguably the most recognized of the bunch, a solid effort that holds up to multiple viewings. We are treated to several shots of the Death Corp. rising slowly out of the water (ocean, riverbed and even swimming pool, mind you). It may be a tad bit of overkill, but effectively creepy all the same. The Nazis themselves have a great look about them, similar to the mutants of The Omega Man (1971), complexion wise, but with shocks of yellow hair and killer goggles I would never take off if I had a pair...nor should the Nazis as that comes out in the third act. Good atmosphere, good score, a little light on the gore. As cool as it was when a Nazi opened its eyes underwater and dragged a river crosser to their respective death, a bit of blood is always welcome.

Fairly positive review...



  1. I love this film. Maybe a bit slow, but effective and creepy, too. I think it would make for a great double bill with "The Fog".

  2. That would be good, but really, Carpenter goes with everything.

  3. BTW, your link to this review on the main page is broken.