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Erotic Nights Of The Living Dead (1980)

DVD Cover (Shriek Show)
Genres:
Hardcore Sex Film, Horror, Sex Horror, Zombie Film
Director:
Joe D'Amato Joe D'Amato
Starring:
Laura Gemser Laura Gemser
George Eastman George Eastman
Dirce Funari Dirce Funari
Mark Shannon Mark Shannon
Carolyn De Fonseca Carolyn De Fonseca

4.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: February 06, 2008
There are certain movies that should have been instant classics based on the concepts and names that came along with them, and honestly, Erotic Nights of the Living Dead is one of them. Let's take a look at what it had going in its favor, shall we? First, it's a zombie movie - I love some of the most horrible zombie movies to ever get a DVD release, so this is a huge help. Secondly, it took a lot of inspiration from Fulci's Zombi 2, and if you're going to rip someone off, you might as well rip off one of the masters, right? Next up is the fact that it mixes in both softcore and hardcore porn, and who out there doesn't want to see a little of the ol' in-out along with their gut-munching fun? Oh, and the director just so happened to be Joe D'Amato, a man who... well, he's had some stinkers, but he's also proven that he can put together a damned memorable film. Finally, we've got the legendary Laura Gemser in a starring role, and when you put all of this together, you should find yourself with a film that will go down in history as one of the greats in the trashy horror genre. Well, it looks that way on paper, but after sitting through the damned near two hours that the disc ran for, I'm going to have to disagree.

Alright folks, let's not shit ourselves: zombie films aren't usually known for their award-winning storylines, and porno flicks usually don't even have a storyline beyond "here's a man and a woman, watch them fuck." Needless to say, you'd have to be a little slow on the uptake to assume even for a moment that I went into this one with expectations of an enthralling plot and endless twists, so it's hard to criticize it on that front.

What we do get in the way of storyline begins with a wealthy businessman named John (Mark Shannon) who has just purchased a remote island with the intention of turning it into a luxury resort complete with hotels, bungalows, and yes, even a helicopter landing pad. He plans to head out to this island to get some measurements and take some pictures before construction begins, but before he even leaves the mainland, he finds time to get it on with a pair of prostitutes before getting some action from a lady named Fiona (Dirce Funari). After his pipes have been thoroughly cleaned out, we jump over to our rugged, lovable sailor Larry (George Eastman) and watch as he gawks at a stripper who is both seductive with her stripteases and who also has a talent for popping champagne bottles with her vagina.

John eventually meets up with Larry and asks him to take him out to this remote island so that he can get on with his business (and so that we can get on with the storyline), and after a fair amount of money has traded hands, Larry reluctantly agrees. Why reluctantly? Well, this island is rumored to be cursed, and wouldn't you know it - the rumors are true as this island is packed full of the walking dead. The trio soon finds themselves stranded on this hellish island with only a pair of natives for backup, one of which is the lovely Fiona (Laura Gemser). Will they survive the night? More importantly, can the men keep it in their pants for more than five minutes?

Once again, let me point out that one does not pick up a movie like this and proceed to bitch about the lack of a storyline; no, you watch a movie like this for two simple reasons, with said reasons being "zombie action" and "mindless T&A." The problem with this film is simple: both of these things are technically delivered, but neither is very exciting. In fact, you could even reasonably claim that both aspects of the film failed, as the T&A runs its course rather quickly and the horror side of things is just flat out dull.

You see, this film is the polar opposite of most attempts to mix horror with titillation; whereas most of these films are horror flicks with a little bit of porn inserted to appease those who are looking for that sort of thing, Erotic Nights of the Living Dead is a seventies-inspired porno flick with a little bit of horror inserted to pad out the running time. It's as bizarre as it sounds, but even though I knew that I was in for some hardcore porn action before I even pushed play, I have to admit that I got bored with it rather quickly. The first hour of the film is nothing more than a mixture of softcore and hardcore action, and honestly, I found myself wishing that they'd just get on with the fucking film more than once only to be greeted with the closure of one such scene and the beginning of another.

Alright, so how about the horror side of things - the side that most of us will pick up the film for? Well, that doesn't fare much better, as even though there are some surprisingly good moments, the vast majority of it is a complete and utter failure. On the positive side of things, the zombies found here were obviously inspired by those found in Fulci's masterpiece, and even though they didn't look nearly as good, they were still visually appealing. There's a severe shortage of gore considering that this is a zombie film and all, but the few moments and shots that we do get are perfectly acceptable - nothing revolutionary, but nothing to gripe about, either.

So, after giving the horror side of things that praise, why did I say that it was a failure? One word can sum it up nicely: padding. Yes, the battle between the living and the dead is extremely padded out, and this isn't even including the sex scenes. We watch as the zombies rise up out of the ground and shamble towards the humans... and keep on shambling... and shamble some more... and then shamble just a little bit more for good measure. Without any sort of exaggeration, there was a solid five minute stretch of film that featured nothing more than zombies walking around in slow motion, only to be interrupted by a brief visit to the humans... which then led into more slow motion zombie shambling. At this point, I found myself wishing for another sex scene if only for the break in monotony that it would provide.

It's a shame that it turned out to be this bad, because it could have been something memorable; the ingredients were there, but it would seem as though the measurements were all wrong. I'm going to have to label this one as an "avoid," unless you're one of those few people who make up the market for zombie porno flicks. It's not as bad as I expected it to be and it definitely could have been much worse, but it's certainly not a film that I can recommend in good conscience. 3/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 02/06/2008, 11:30 PM
Oh Chadders, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. While it was pretty sad as far as a porn film goes, I kind of enjoyed it more for the zombie aspect, and the sex was just a bit of a bonus. 6/10
Chad #2: Chad - added 02/07/2008, 04:49 PM
Even you have to admit that it was padded to hell and back, and that's what killed it for me.
ignacio frisancho #3: ignacio frisancho - added 11/29/2010, 07:38 PM
I think Laura Gemser was able to make desirable almost any movie....
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