Tall, Dark, and Dead – 4 – Shock Waves

Title: Shock Waves
Year: 1977
Director: Ken Wiederhorn
Leads: Peter Cushing, John Carradine, Brooke Adams

Favorite quote: “Their innate desire for violence made their behavior unpredictable and erratic. There were even incidents where they attacked their own soldiers.”

Thoughts: The opening of this film had me going, “Oh, hey! Hellboy! Awesome!”

Unfortunately, not so much. Although it did have Peter Cushing in it! With a sexy scar!

Shock Waves is about an island where a group of leftover Nazi zombie super soldiers make their home. The film’s introduction starts off talking about these creations in terms of magic or the paranormal – supernatural research is mentioned concerning ancient legends about unkillable warriors, yada yada. (It’s also said that these soldiers derive their strength from “the very earth itself” – yet another connection to the idea of zombies as earth elementals?) The very same intro, however, then veers off and talks about the “scientific labs” where corpses were sent for study. So, again, we’ve got confusion about the scientific/spiritual roots of zombies.

This particular group of zombies were created to man submarines that never needed to surface for air. To that end, they are extremely adept when it comes to existing and maneuvering in the water. The moments when the zombies rise from the deep could be compared to the moments in other zombie films when the dead emerge from the earth, and I’m sure could be spun into a metaphor about evil “constantly popping up” or “always washing up” – usually just when you think it’s gone for good.

Even though we see very odd solar activity right at the start of this film (and in fact, we could read this solar activity as heralding the arrival of the zombies), it appears that light is what kills them, in the end – they’re blind under their dark goggles. Poor things.

 

Links: Shock Waves at IMDB

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