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Captain Blabert (Javier Maiza) is the only one who knows where in the
Sahara desert a Nazi treasure is hidden - but he is foolish enough to
(years after teh war) give the location of the treasure away to Colonel
Kurt, his adversary from the war ... and Colonel Kurt wastes no time and
kills him. When he and his wife later make it to the oasis marked out by
Blabert, they are attacked by Nazi zombies, and while the woman is killed,
Kurt makes it to the camp of Sheik Al Kafir (Antonio Mayans), barely
Back home, Blabert's son Robert (Manjuel Gélin) learns about his
father's death, fetches his father's diary, learns the location of the
Nazi treasure, and soon enough he and friends Ronald (Eric Viellard),
Ahmed (Miguel Ángel Aristu) and Sylvia (Caroline Audret) are off to the
Sahara to fetch the treasure.
But once at the oasis, they, too are attacked by Nazi zombies. Somehow
though they find out that the zombies can be warded off by fire ... but in
the end, of the foursome only Robert and Sylvia survive the zombie attack.
Usually, director Jess Franco is just dismissed as an incompetent
schlock producer by high-nosed ignorant know-it-all critics ... and
nothing could be further from the truth. In his early days, Jess Franco
made some visionary, groundbreaking films, like The
Awful Dr.Orloff, Vampyros
Lesbos or The Diabolical Dr.Z,
and he was also responsible for some fun genre pics like Attack
of the Robots, the Red
Lips films or Mari-Cookie and the Killer Tarantula.
However, it is true to say that between highlights such as those, Jess
Franco also had to churn out much worthless trash, for example Bloody
Moon or this one here.
Oasis of the Zombies is probably Jess Franco at his worst, he
clearly shows little interest in producing a formulaic zombie-flick (not
his cup of tea to begin with) and the budget and production schedule did
not allow for any kind of improvisation on the theme - hell, to cut costs
and time, even some battlescenes from another movie, I Giardini de
Diavlo (1971, Alfredo Rizzo), were incorporated into
this one. As a result, Jess Franco here does nothing more than directing
the camera in the more or less right direction and see what comes out -
which sometimes is not much, regarding the climax with our heroes fighting
the zombies with fire which is almost totally obscured by black smoke.
Actually, Oasis of the Zombies is a film that shouldn't have
been given to a director like Franco in the first place, but to add insult
to injury, it is a film Jess Franco is quite frequently associated with,
mainly because it has been readily available for quite a while, having
been reissued on video and DVD again and again, with only rarely a video
company forgetting to mention how rare the film is (nothing could be
further from the truth).
Final verdict: If you love zombie films, don't watch it, but if you are
a fan of Jess Franco (like I am), avoid it at all costs, this doesn't do
the director one bit of justice ...