As Promised Last Week, the Movie Review for Jess Franco’s MANSION OF THE LIVING DEAD
Actual comment made by me to my lovely better half, about 20 minutes into the movie: “I’m tired of boobs now. I want zombies!”
Alas, I did not get them. I’m not sure if the guys in robes and skull masks were SUPPOSED to be zombies, and the budget for this sewage-burger was so low that they couldn’t afford decent costumes, or if they were just guys in robes and skull masks. The script never made that clear. The script never made much of anything clear. Unless you are suffering from chronic insomnia, do NOT watch this movie. BAD movie. And I’m talking bad-bad, not good-bad. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad movie.
I hate to speak ill of the dead, but watching the director’s interview that accompanied the film—in for a penny, in for a pound—Jess Franco badmouthed George Romero, and I’m like, you creepy little pervy hack, you couldn’t carry Romero’s jockstrap! You couldn’t even carry Amando de Ossorio’s jockstrap. The latter is the guy who gave us the good-bad Blind Dead movies, the real ones that Franco so shamelessly—and admittedly—ripped-off with his farce. Whereas the real Blind Zombie flicks are hilarious and fun, however, Franco’s ersatz attempt is just DULL. It isn’t a legit Horror movie. It’s a porno flick pretending to be a legit Horror movie. And while it tries to be both it manages to be good at neither. It’s a boring porno and it’s a boring zombie flick.
The senseless plot, the wooden acting, the abominably slow pacing, all these things could have been forgiven if Franco had delivered on the zombies. Alas, his Kmart zombies did NOTHING, nothing at all, save for stand around and watch as their foreman—you can tell he enjoys this vaunted position because he actually gets to speak and he has pancake batter smeared on his face—rapes women. Or watches one of the others rape women. Honestly I couldn’t keep up with who was doing the raping, nor did I care. You have to work pretty damn hard to make zombie rape boring, but damn if Franco didn’t manage it!
As far as special effects and costumes, the zombies’ masks look like something you could buy at the aforementioned Kmart, and the best makeup in the entire film—the ONLY makeup in the entire film—belongs to the guy with dough on his face! The sheer ineptitude of this one SHOULD have made it fun, but it isn’t.
Oh, and the title of the movie is MANSION OF THE LIVING DEAD. And guess what—there is no mansion! Which is a perfect metaphor, actually. The movie taunts with the promise of being a Blind Zombie flick but fails to deliver. It isn’t even worth viewing as a curiosity. It just plain SUCKS.
Save yourselves, friends. Skip this one altogether.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!