Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence (1991)
By: Craig Villinger on March 22, 2012 | Comments
Astro Records & Filmworks (Germany). All Regions, PAL. 4:3. English 2.0, German 2.0. 74 Minutes
The Movie
Director: Andreas Schnaas
Starring: Mattias Kerl, Ralf Hess, Mathias Abbes, Mark Trinkhaus, Christian Biallis, Wolfgang Hinz
Tagline: The ultimate gore film!
Country: Germany
Warning: The motion picture you are about to see contains scenes of extreme graphic violence and gore.

Watchat your own risk...

That is the warning preceeding the presentation of Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence, the outrageous low budget "home movie" style effort from German director Andreas Schnaas. This is a very responsible move on behalf of the makers of this film, and in these sensitive times where on screen violence can be seen as having a detrimental effect on some viewers, they should be commended for giving an early indication of what the audience is in for. However, after sitting through the feature presentation one gets the feeling that several important issues were not addressed in this very brief forewarning. While the violence in the film was indeed very graphic and the gore level was extremely high, many will find themselves suffering permanent mental scarring as a result of the dire acting, shoddy camera work, ridiculous dialogue, poor production values and the general stench of amateurism that is on display all throughout this film. I can't help but think that if those involved were truly concerned about the welfare of the viewer, then these facts would have also been presented prior to the opening of the movie.

Ok, that is probably not the best way to open a review that is actually intended to be positive, but I didn't want the reader to be under any illusions. This is a bad movie, and you could make something that looks fairly similar to this yourself with about four hours of your time, a group of friends, a cheap home video camera and several tons of meat and tomato sauce. So why did I find this film so enjoyable? Who knows...

A military cargo plane carrying a top secret chemical crashes while on a secret mission. The government assures the population that everything is under control and that there is no cause for alarm, but that is clearly not the case as the town closest to the crash site is quickly overrun by an army of rabid, flesh eating zombies who set about devouring the population in a most brutal and graphic manner. The only two people who actually seem to know that something unusual is going on are two doctors who initially set out to investigate the cause of the zombie phenomena, but end up becoming nothing more than a zombie extermination squad, using their detailed knowledge of the human anatomical structure to put the zombies out of their misery once and for all.

In Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence the plot is almost non-existent and takes a back seat to the films' constant gore effects. Interestingly, there is no screenwriting credit given here, which suggests that either the person who wrote the script didn't want to be credited with it, or that there simply was no script to begin with (my money is on the latter of the two). The lack of a decent script simply means there are more excuses for gory mayhem, and splatter fans will be delighted with the on screen carnage that director Schnaas serves up. The movie is a virtual wall-to-wall gore-fest, with barely 2 minutes passing by without more blood and guts being tossed around. We are treated to constant scenes of intestinal spillage, spurting fountains of arterial blood, chainsaw dismemberments, exploding heads, disembowellings, stabbings, flesh and internal organ consumption, beheadings, and much, much more. While some of the gore effects look fairly cheesy, they are piled on so heavily that even the most hardened of gore hounds will at some stage find themselves feeling a little ill.

Apart from the gore, there is little else to recommend, with dreadful acting and poor production values that make this movie look like something that has been submitted to the "Funniest Home Videos" show. The dubbed English language track is so terrible that it inadvertently adds to the films entertainment value. Some of the lines of dialogue used here are priceless, and you may find yourself laughing hysterically on more than one occasion at lines like "I love the smell of zombies in the morning", "I wonder if she farted and didn't tell me" and the classic "Now I'm gonna run this mo' fuckers dick over!". There is even a female character whose voiceover is quite obviously being performed by a man. Classic stuff!

Even with its numerous faults and poor production values, this film is a thoroughly enjoyable splatter romp. If you are a fan of low budget gore movies and can tolerate the cheesiness then you can't go wrong with Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence.
The Disc
Presented in a full frame 4:3 aspect ratio, the image quality is surprisingly decent when you consider the source material, but just remember that this was shot on video, so don't expect too much. Colours are actually quite rich, and the constant geysers of fake blood look very impressive.

The audio is very average, but in all fairness the poor audio quality is no doubt due to the original audio mix and could not be improved upon. I have heard worse, but this is perhaps not the disc to use when showing off your new surround sound set up to your friends.

While hardly what you would call a "feature packed" disc, there is actually more on offer here than you would expect from such a low budget experience. Not only do we get trailers for all three films in the Violent Shit trilogy (directed by Schnaas), but we are also treated to almost 20 minutes of out-takes, a brief slide show and some home video footage of the films German theatrical premiere (this was actually shown in cinemas?).
The Verdict
A thoroughly enjoyable piece of crap. Recommended! Please remember however that at no point did I suggest this was a work of art. My conscience is clear.
Movie Score
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