Erotic Nights of the Living Dead (1980)
By: Mr Intolerance on February 28, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Shriek Show (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. Mono 112 minutes
The Movie
Director: Joe D'Amato
Starring: Laura Gemser, George Eastman, Dirce Funari, Mark Shannon
Screenplay: George Eastman Music: Marcello Giombini
Country: Italy
AKA: Notti erotiche dei morti viventi, Nite of the Zombies, La Notte degli zombies, Le Notti erotiche, La Regina degli zombi, Sexy Nights of the Living Dead
This is a pretty dismal affair, even by Joe D'Amato's standards. I mean, I've sat through some total stinkers before, but this shite takes the cake. What we get here is some unfortunately minimal gore offset with all-too-frequent hard core sex. Now I'm no prude, and I like sex as much as the next person, but when I buy a horror film, I want horror – and no amount of rather uninspired blow-jobs is going to make up for that.

The plot is flimsy to the point of non-existence. Larry (played by lanky George Eastman of Anthropophagus and Baba Yaga "fame") takes businessman John Wilson and his "girlfriend" to an island Wilson has just bought, and it's inhabited by zombies.

And lots of people have loads of really boring sex.

And some people get chomped on by poorly made-up undead.

And that's pretty much about it.

Oh, and Laura Gemser turns up for a bit as an unexplained cat-girl/ghost-presence on the island and gets nekkid. How unusual.

Now, I've been a vocal campaigner against censorship for many moons, but with this film, I'd actually support the ban, but strictly for aesthetic reasons. It sucks like a Hoover (which is more than I can say for the "ladies" in the film). Every time we get one of the sex scenes, there is REALLY bad 70s style porn music, the atmosphere is non-existent, the zombies are rubbish (apparently sticking what appears to be Play-Doh appliances to peoples' faces makes them scary fearless undead killing machines), the porn is dreadful (there was one point where I was rolling around on the sofa laughing and kicking my legs in the air like a dying cockroach it was so awful), and the gore is ludicrously bad, not to mention ridiculously infrequent.

Simply put: this film gives the noble art of the zombie film a bad name. When I buy a zombie film, I want zombies and flesh-eating (and lots of it), not earth mother muffs and hairy balls. Mind you, I did discover a new way for a woman to open a champagne bottle without using her hands. Talk about muscular control…

There are a range of D'Amato's films I consider to be pretty good, or at least highly entertaining – Beyond the Darkness, Anthropophagus, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (I know, I know – it's a guilty pleasure), Emanuelle In America - but this is definitely not one of them. Matter of fact, from the D'Amato films I'm aware of, this is only surpassed by Porno Holocaust in terms of being purely craptastic. Quite honestly, if you're a fan of extreme cinema like me (and that was why I bought it – it has a certain notoriety), avoid this like a vacation on one of those leper islands. This film was so bad it gave me cancer.
Nothing to write home about. Kind of washed out at times and of variable quality. This is the only Media Blasters/Shriek Show title that has disappointed me.
See the above. Glorious twin mono sound, and rather flat, I thought, to boot. I really found this odd, as like I've previously said, Media Blasters/Shriek show are one of the best distributors around – eminently reliable. I really don't know what happened here.
Extra Features
A few bibs and bobs – alternate footage, which, with this film, you wouldn't want to watch anyway – maybe a completely different film would be good alternate footage…

There are also trailers for Erotic Nights, Zombi 2, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Nightmares Come at Night and Slaughter Hotel. Barring that, the only other things are some production stills and a gallery of Laura Gemser (which is no bad thing) – probably the only highlight on the entire disc.
The Verdict
Seriously, unless you're a D'Amato completist, avoid. And even if you are a D'Amato completist, avoid. And take a good hard look at yourself while you're at it.
Movie Score
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