OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES
(La Tumba de los Muertos Vivientes)
Oasis of the Zombies was one of the numerous continental zombie films that came out in imitation of George Romeros Dawn of the Dead (1979). In particular, the Italian film industry was very prolific in the production of these. Oasis of the Zombies was one among a mini-spate of these that dealt with Nazi zombies. The film that kicked this sub-genre off was Shock Waves (1975) and in the same year as Oasis we also had Night of the Zombies (1981) and Jean Rollins Zombies Lake (1981). Of these, Shock Waves is the only effort that is in any way a good film. A few years later, the Nazi zombie film was revived on substantially better budgets with Outpost (2007) and Dead Snow (2009), both of which have produced sequels, as well as War of the Dead (2011) and Bunker of the Dead (2015).
Oasis of the Zombies is not a very good film. Even though he was entering his third decade of working in the horror film, Jess Franco makes something that feels like a dreary 1960s B movie rather than an imitator of Dawn of the Dead. The films pace is slow and meandering much of the action is taken up between various parties wandering back and forward between locales more than it ever is at the oasis. Even then, the zombies are dull and uninteresting figures. There are some okay rotting corpses and worm-covered makeups and one or two gut-munching scenes thrown in in an effort to satisfy the gore-drenched fad that followed Dawn of the Dead. However, in terms of everything we expect from a zombie film, Oasis of the Zombies is severely lacking. One of the biggest disappointments is the whole Nazi zombie angle. All of the other Nazi zombie films mentioned above draw strongly on the images of zombies in stormtrooper helmets or SS uniforms. Here though, the zombies are simply dressed in brown fatigues so anonymous it is hard to tell even if they are military uniforms of any type.
The film is crippled by many of the cheap aspects familiar to Francos films. He appears to have tried to make a film set in the Sahara while going on location in the Canary Islands, resulting in a cut-price attempt to approximate Egypt a not-too convincing bazaar where the Egyptians wear jeans and sneakers and what look like handtowels thrown over their heads in lieu of burnooses. Endemic to almost any 1970s/80s foreign-language import, there is some terrible dubbing. The film sinks into the completely ridiculous from the prologue with some of the prize dialogue with two girls discovering the oasis where we go from them enquiring about whether the trees are date palms to talking about going on dates I wouldnt mind a date, Bone somebody.
Jesus Francos other genre films are: The Awful Dr Orloff (1962), The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus (1962), The Secret of Dr Orloff (1964), Attack of the Robots (1966), The Diabolical Dr Z/Miss Death (1966), The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968), Necronomicon/Succubus (1968), The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969), Justine (1969), Kiss Me Monster (1969), 99 Women (1969), Sadisterotica/Red Lips (1969), The Girl from Rio (1969), Venus in Furs/Paroxysmus (1969), The Bloody Judge/Night of the Blood Monster (1970), Count Dracula (1970), Eugenie/Philosophy in the Boudoir (1970), Nightmares Come at Night (1970), Vampyros Lesbos (1970), Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein (1971), She Killed in Ecstasy (1971), The Corpse Packs His Bags (1972), Daughter of Dracula (1972), The Demons (1972), Doctor Mabuse (1972), The Erotic Adventures of Frankenstein (1972), The Silence of the Tomb (1972), The Sinister Eyes of Dr Orloff (1973), The Bare-Breasted Countess/Eroti-Kill/Female Vampire (1973), The Erotic Adventures of Maciste in Atlantis (1973), The Obscene Mirror (1973), A Virgin Among the Living Dead/Christina, Princess of Eroticism (1973), Lorna the Exorcist (1974), The Perverse Countess (1974), Eugenie (1975), Doriana Grey (1976), Jack the Ripper (1976), Night of the Assassins (1976), Sexy Sisters (1976), Greta the Mad Butcher/Wanda the Wicked Warden (1977), Call of the Blonde Goddess/Voodoo Passion (1977), Wicked Women (1977), Demoniac/Exorcism/The Ripper of Notre Dame (1979), Man Hunter/The Devil Hunter (1980), White Cannibal Queen (1980), Bloody Moon (1981), Revenge of the House of Usher (1982), Grave of the Living Dead (1983), The Treasure of the White Goddess (1983), The Sinister Dr Orloff (1984), Mansion of the Living Dead (1985), Faceless (1987), The Killer Barbies (1996), Lust for Frankenstein (1998), Marie-Cookie and the Killer Tarantula in 8 Legs to Love You (1998), Tender Flesh (1998), Vampire Blues (1999), Vampire Junction (2001), Incubus (2002), Killer Barbies vs Dracula (2002), Snakewoman (2005), Paula-Paula (2010), Al Pereira vs the Alligator Ladies (2012), Crypt of the Condemned (2012) and Revenge of the Alligator Ladies (2013).
Full film available online here:-