Garden of the Dead (1974)

GARDEN OF THE DEAD (1974)
Article 3878 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-18-2012
Posting Date: 3-27-2012
Directed by John Hayes
Featuring Phillip Kenneally, Duncan McLeod, John Dullaghan
Country: USA
What it is: Low-budget zombie mayhem

Convicts forced to work in a camp manufacturing formaldehyde plan a breakout which then goes awry, and they all die and are buried in unmarked graves. But some of the formaldehyde spills onto the graves, and they rise to take revenge!

I’ll give the movie a little credit for not being a slavish imitation of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD; the zombies here are intelligent (which is to say that they’re as intelligent as they were when they were alive), able to talk, and can move fast. But that doesn’t keep this one from going off the goofy meter; for one thing, despite the fact that they’re intelligent, they still like to walk around saying “Urrrr… Urrrr….Urrrr” (Is that all they can think of to say, or does that just come with the territory?) And instead of going after human flesh, they’re after … hold on, I can barely believe it myself… FORMALDEHYDE!! which they sniff, pour over their bodies, rub on their faces…I guess it must be like zombie catnip. Oh, they have their weaknesses; bright light is fatal to them, they can be killed by close-range shotgun blasts, and they’re hypnotized by… and once again, I can barely believe it myself…. CLEAVAGE! Yes, they can be stopped in their tracks by the sight of a low-cut blouse. No wonder Troma’s logo opens the movie. Can’t you just see the inevitable sequel being made, BIKINI BIMBOS VS. FORMALDEHYDE ZOMBIES. Oh, I certainly hope I don’t give anybody ideas out there. Awful, but irresistible.

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