Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Revenge of the Living Dead Girls / La Revanche des mortes vivantes (France, 1987)

That this film continually gets bad word of mouth is beyond comprehension. Without a doubt, Revenge of the Living Dead Girls is one of the most amazingly disgusting, inane, exploitive, sleazy pieces of celluloid eurotrash ever made, a truly sick and enjoyable jaw-dropper that defies logic as it swerves from making you laugh to making you queasy. Were Georges Bataille alive today and to write a film script for a sleazy low budget zombie gore flick, he might have written something like this magnificent French monstrosity.
Former porno director Pierre B. Reinhardt — the man behind such high-class fare as Outrages transsexuels des petites filles violées et sodomisées / Outrageous Transsexual Girls Raped and Sodomized (1985) — takes no prisoners and shows no restraints in his visualization of what many claim to be the first French gore film, reflecting a world driven by materialistic and self-centered greed and abject moral turpitude. In its uncut form, there are few films as sleazy as this exploitation masterpiece, and even less that are so transgrerssive in terms of narrative and zombie conventions.
True, the film shares the odd pacing, bad dubbing and lack of logical that so many better known eurotrash favorites such as Zombie Lake (1981) or virtually anything by Jess Franco, but is it not these very distinctive characteristics that make eurotrash so enjoyably different from the norm? Search for an uncut version of this film and pop it in your DVD player — you might be disgusted, you might be amazed, you might even scratch your head in confusion, but you won't be disappointed. Seriously: a four-way lesbian scene featuring a naked hooker and three zombies? A zombie that bites off a man's wiener on a back road? A zombie shoving a sword deep into a woman's vagina? Zombies taking a midnight swim or wear highheals (and kill with them, too)? Zombies that drive and play organs? A screaming, pregnant woman's belly that dissolves so that her baby pops out while she showers? Revenge of the Living Dead Girls is one sick fucking film — and absolutely awe-inspiring, despite the occasional overly long expository passages.
Revenge of the Living Dead Girls opens with a hooker hitching a ride from a passing-by milk-tank truck. When they pull over to have sex in an ancient abandoned tower, a motorcyclist pulls up and pours something into the tank. Next we see a farm girl named Catherine, who is due to get married, sitting around in her kitchen with her mom decked out, like all farm girls about to get married, in straps and white see-through frillies. No sooner does she drink her milk than does she fall over dead. The motorcyclist stops for a drink at a bar where two young girls, Jocylin and Florence, are playing pinball; a drink of milk later they are lying dead on the floor. The motorcyclist freaks and splits to confront his contractor, whom he promptly bonks. To this comes another plotline of corrupt factory officials and the illegal dumping of chemicals — in the very cemetery where the three girls are buried. This seemingly brings the three dead girls back to life, and they wander off to do fun stuff like lesbian sex and murder almost everyone that has any connection to the factory. The plot of the film involves a lot of other confusing and illogical stuff, but the flabbergasting ending nicely ties up all the not-so-loose-after-all threads into a tidy if hilarious and wonderfully downbeat knot.
Revenge of the Living Dead Girls
is pure solid gold trash, a gross and outlandish tale of sex, greed, gore, tits, revenge, death, big business, petty people and zombies that are actually more than what they seem to be. This film is much better than its undeserved bad reputation and definitely deserves rediscovery.

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