Nov 14, 2007

Shock Waves

Although Nazi exploitation and zombie films always seem like the best idea ever, very few of them offer anything other than cheap sex and zombie face make-up smearing (I.E. Zombie Lake). Shock Waves features neither of these things enabling for an original zombie flick and exceptional Nazi zombie flick. The film is directed by Ken Wiederhorn, also known for directing one of the worst and weakest sequels in horror and cinema history, Return of the Living Dead II. Shock Waves was directed in 1976 and ever since, it seems Wiederhorn has gotten boring. Maybe he could even be called the Orson Welles of zombie films.

One of the most unconventional aspects of Shock Waves is its surprisingly beautiful cinematography seen sporadically throughout the film. Fiery skies can be seen during the sunsets and sparkling oceans during the day. It seems that Wiederhorn takes his zombie Nazi SS units seriously.
Casting hammer veteran Peter Cushing provides support for this belief.
Fortunately, Shock Waves doesn’t feature flesh, brain eating cerebral palsy zombies. Gore is great, but try making a film without it. Shock Waves disproves that assumption. Like their historic counterparts, these SS men kill swiftly and efficiently. They are assertive and driven. Their victims notice them after its too late. No goose-stepping involved, these zombies give the full effect of marching soldiers seen in 16mm World War II stock footage.

These zombie soldiers also resemble that of 1970s German experimental electronic pop music group Kraftwerk. Whether or not director Wiederhorn had a fear of both Nazis and/or Kraftwerk, remains to be unknown. Like the men in Kraftwerk, these zombies wear matching uniforms, have hair worthy of Reinhard Heydrich and seem universally and choreographically robotic.

-Ty E

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