Monday, December 7, 2015

EROTIC NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980)




After watching Joe D’Amato’s craptacular Porno Holocaust, I sought long and hard for his other horror/porn flick shot at the same time with the same actors, Erotic Nights of the Living Dead (a.k.a. Sexy Nights of the Living Dead). It took a while seeing as an uncut version was hard to come by, and was usually expensive as all fuck, but thanks to the magic that is eBay I was able to procure a copy in the neighborhood of forty bucks.
     So, I hear you asking, was it forty bucks worth tossing down the drain?
     Let’s find out, shall we?
     The film starts off in a looney bin where we are introduced to Larry (George Eastman). Larry meets up with a woman in the boiler room and proceeds to fuck her brains out (though he keeps his clothes on) while a fellow inmate watches and whacks his willy. Que flashback: we see Larry as the captain of a small boat. He is hired by John Wilson (Mark Shanon), an architect who’s planning to build a resort on the mysterious Cat Island, a place which creeps out the superstitious locals. Accompanied by some woman (who is simply here to provide nudity), the trio goes to the island and meet an old dude and his daughter (Laura Gemser) who warn of a curse. Of course the trio ignore the curse; soon, flesh-eating zombies are rising from their graves to wreak havoc on the living! Oh-no! Will our heroes be able to fuck in peace and get off the island in one piece? Or will the zombies turn them into a human buffet?
     Yeah, sounds entertaining, right? I mean, sex and horror go together like beer and pizza, wine and cheese, coffee and cigarettes. Straight up, for about the first forty minutes the film is entertaining. I mean, you get some cheesy dubbing and dialogue, hot beaver shots (complete with fur coats!), beautiful asses, the movie's sole (sadly) hardcore sex scene, a woman sucking and licking on Mark Shanon’s genital wart-ridden nutsack (pretty gross actually, but fascinating to this sick-minded writer) and—the highlight—a woman who removes a champagne cork from the bottle with her pussy! I mean, holy shit, this is gearing up to be a fucking classic! Oh, and we even get a little bit of zombie carnage—just a little, wouldn’t wanna blow our loads too early, right?
     Then, our heroes head out to the island. Oh fuck yeah, shit’s about to get real.
     Well, it would have gotten real had the film suddenly not run out of steam.
     Once on the island, the film decides that watching our characters eat, talk, take pictures, scout and talk about building plans is far more exciting than zombie
carnage and endless fucking. And the bulk of the remaining runtime (about an hour and ten minutes) is composed of this. Thrilling. I mean, you get a couple of sex scenes—a few with Eastman in his pants, again! (I even wrote in my notes “Get a body double for Eastman so we can get some fucking going on!”)—but there is no zombie carnage until the last 20 minutes or so and none of it is worth writing home about. And it’s too little, too late. There is minimal gore (a zombie’s face exploding after being shot is the high point—mainly because it’s really the only one) and the make-up effects are total crap. It looks as though they just smeared some mud on the extra’s faces and said, “Shamble! For thou art zombies!” Of course, though, the money for decent make-up and more gore effects was too deep in Papa D’Amato’s pockets.
     And I’m pretty sure D’Amato tried to emulate the dead rising from their graves scene from Fulci’s Zombie but the results are akin to cat shit. There is not an iota of atmosphere nor creep factor nor talent on display, just cat turd zombies rising from the litter in a pitiful day-for-night shot. Shimber me timbers, I’m tremblin’ in me boots!
     Going in, I at least expected something along the lines of Porno Holocaust. Sadly, this film falls short. While Porno Holocaust is no classic, it knew what the audience wanted to see: fucking. And it delivered it in droves. Erotic Nights of the Living Dead either had no clue what the audience wanted to see or simply didn’t give a fuck. As a result, it is far less entertaining/arousing. Plus, it lacks the latter’s cool title, though both feature awesome opening themes.
     Overall, this film is simply for D’Amato completists, or horror/porn fanatics.
     Or idiots like me who enjoy throwing their money away on utter crap.
     But hey, at least I own the damn thing now and can boast about it at cocktail parties while attendees look at me strangely and have no fucking clue what I’m talking about. 
Sadly, you won't pop like this champagne bottle.

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