Zombie '90: Extreme Pestilence (1991)

DVD Cover (Reel Gore)
Andreas Schnaas Andreas Schnaas
Matthias Kerl Matthias Kerl
Ralf Hess Ralf Hess
Mathias Abbes Mathias Abbes
Marc Trinkhaus Marc Trinkhaus
Christian Biallas Christian Biallas
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3.1 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Zombie Film
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Review by Chad
Added: September 21, 2007
I really hate dubbed movies. If a distributor is going to present us with something from another country, I feel that the only way to release that film is in its original language with subtitles; make an optional dubbed version if you must, but please, for the love of God, give us the subtitled version as an option at the very least. However, I have to admit that there are those rare occasions when a dubbed version works out better than a subtitled version ever could have, and Zombie '90 is one such case. The choice to dub this film made it go from a "worst zombie movie of all time" contender to a "you have to see this" release.

It all begins when a plane carrying an experimental AIDS vaccine crashes into a remote patch of woods in West Germany, spreading said vaccine all over the place. Things take a turn for the worse when it's discovered that this "cure" works by regenerating dead tissue, and - as you've probably guessed already - it eventually causes a bunch of people to turn into flesh-eating zombie bastards. It's up to two doctors to save the day, lots of people die grisly deaths, and you have yet another film by German schlockmeister Andreas Schnaas, a man who values gore above storyline like Uwe Boll values action over coherence. What do those Germans have against plot, anyway?

Now, keep in mind that that's not the gist of the storyline, nor is it a brief summary: that is the storyline. With the exception of a dream sequence towards the end (which is just an excuse to insert more gore), that is the entire storyline from beginning to end, and the rest of the film is devoted to showing random zombie kills. We'll watch as some random guy walks into the woods, we'll be treated to a five-minute scene in which he's torn to pieces by the zombies, and we'll then jump over to some random broad walking around in the woods and the process will start all over again. Is this truly a surprise from a man who gave us the Violent Shit series?

The gore is of the typical low budget zombie flick variety: guts are ripped out, heads are chopped off, limbs are severed, the usual. There's also a few scenes that show some actual inspiration, such as when a woman has her tit hacked off (I never knew women had guts under their tits), a baby (obviously a toy doll) is torn to pieces by a ravenous zombie, and yes, there's even some good ol' vagina mutilation to be found. The scenes involving the guts look decent enough thanks to the fact that they apparently used animal intestines for these scenes, but other than that, the gore is nothing to write home about; it might impress a first-timer to the zombie genre, but anyone who has seen two or three of the better films will almost certainly be unimpressed.

So, how did the dubbing factor into all this? Well, it seems as though the people who actually did the dubbing had no idea what was going on in the movie and simply improvised their lines as they went, and the voice casting was atrociously awesome. The main character in the movie is a white guy who is so white that he would go on to play Hitler in Zombie Doom, and here, his voice is dubbed over by a jive-talking black guy who makes Shaft seem like a cracker from the suburbs by comparison. Then we have his partner, a pudgy little man who gets the honor of being dubbed by an effeminate guy who sounds like he was going for the Peggy Bundy voice while loaded up on helium.

The voice actors play it straight for the first chunk of the movie, but as time goes on, it seems as though they gave up and just started doing their best impression of MST3K instead. Listening to these two go back and forth with dialogue that probably had nothing in common with the original script was priceless enough, but then we have the minor characters who... well, let's just say that the dubbers transformed a scene where two lovers are making out in the woods into a scene where the guy really has to take a shit. It sounds stupid, and I guess it is, but I dare you to keep a straight face throughout this scene and the dozens of others like it (including the one with the "Jimi Hendrix" zombie).

So, let's see here. I have to go with a 0/10 for the actual movie as it was the very definition of awful, but when factoring in the dub job provided on the Shock-O-Rama disc, that rating soars up to a 6/10 based on the laughs alone.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 09/21/2007, 11:21 AM
Just from the pictures to the side of this page, this film looks beyond dreadful. Until "Diary of the Dead" and "The Zombie Diaries" come out this year, I am just giving up on the zombie genre entirely.
Chad #2: Chad - added 09/21/2007, 12:52 PM
I've got Zombie Diaries coming in any day now (yay UK imports!), and with the price I paid for it, it'd better be damned good. Diary? I've heard nothing but praise for it. But this one... man, you really have to hear the dubbing, those pictures just don't do it justice.
Crispy #3: Crispy - added 09/21/2007, 02:30 PM
You were right. This review has moved Zombie '90 to the top of my torrent queue. In fact, I can hardly wait until I can get to my grandmothers and fire it up.
Tristan #4: Tristan - added 09/21/2007, 03:54 PM
You found it?
Damn, I had no luck.
Crispy #5: Crispy - added 09/21/2007, 04:34 PM
Yes and no. It's on Demonoid, but it's only got one seed, so it's going to be slow going.
Tristan #6: Tristan - added 10/01/2007, 08:48 PM
Demonoid's been done for a while, so how'd you swing that?
Crispy #7: Crispy - added 10/01/2007, 10:41 PM
Demonoid's still good in the States. There server was in Canada, and the Canadian version of the RIAA started giving them shit, so they blocked all Canadian track.
Tristan #8: Tristan - added 10/01/2007, 10:46 PM
Kind of like how we still have Torrentspy, and you boys don't.
Crispy #9: Crispy - added 10/01/2007, 11:42 PM
Yep, exactly like that.
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