TNT 100: NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES (1980) In 35MM + 100th Anniversary Clip Ritual aka Hell of the Living Dead aka Virus Dir. Vincent Dawn aka Bruno Mattei w/ Claudio Fragasso Spain/Italy Horror It's Dawn
TNT 100: NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES (1980) In 35MM + 100th Anniversary Clip Ritual
aka Hell of the Living Dead aka Virus
Dir. Vincent Dawn aka Bruno Mattei w/ Claudio Fragasso
It’s Dawn of the Dead, but in New Guinea.
From director Bruno Mattei and his left hand man Claudio Fragasso, auteurs who spent the final decades of the 20th century cranking out cheap Italo knock-offs of American blockbusters including Predator (Robowar), Rambo (Strike Commando), and an Alien/Terminator hybrid they had the balls to release as Terminator 2 several years before James Cameron delivered his sequel.
Mattei and Fragasso’s films are the cinematic equivalent of bootleg toys from the Dollar Store. Hastily assembled mutants capable of mimicking their host material just enough to cash in while warding off the hordes of attorneys massing on the horizon. It’s Trash in its purest form, their “cheepnis” accidentally revealing more raw, screaming truths about humanity than any ten of your so-called Art films.
Hell of the Living Dead remains true to their M.O. and delivers with the most shameless Dawn of the Dead rip-off ever produced. The magnificent bastards went so far as to misappropriate much of Goblin’s original soundtrack and entire scenes from its profitable inspiration. There’s even an attempt at social commentary feebily struggling somewhere beneath all the pig entrails. It’s a greasy, skid row version of George Romero’s classic which manages to be thoroughly entertaining despite failing to approach anything one could refer to as competence or good taste.
Vintage 35mm print courtesy of SMU’s G William Jones collection. Clip show starts about 8 p.m., Feature 9:15ish. Free admission but donations to the Top Ten Records archive gladly accepted.