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shock-o-rama presents
Zombie Doom (1999)

"We figured out a special way of punishing our dear and treacherous friends."
- Karl Jr. (Andreas Schnaas)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: August 05, 2002

Stars: Giang Le, Joe Neumann, Uwe Gruntjes, Winni Hall
Other Stars: Andreas Schnaas, Mark Trinkhaus, Andreas Sroka
Director: Andreas Schnaas

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (graphic horror violence and nudity)
Run Time: 01h:18m:35s
Release Date: July 30, 2002
UPC: 612385524097
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
D- FC-D C-

DVD Review

German splatter/gore director Andreas Schnaas is the man behind the Violent Sh** trilogy, of which Zombie Doom (1999) is thankfully the third and final installment (I hope) in the series. Now I'm sure there are hard core Schnaas fans out there, to say nothing of fans of the whole splatter genre in general, but I just don't get or understand the enjoyment of films like this. I use the term "film" loosely, as Zombie Doom is really nothing more than a crudely shot video that's sole purpose appears to be an excuse for an endless parade of graphically violent, stomach-churning visuals of heads being severed, chests flayed and intestines being chewed on. This, when coupled with what is possibly THE second worst dub track ever recorded (the worst is the other Schnaas film included as an extra on this disc), you have what is without a doubt the most unpleasant waste of seventy-eight minutes I have ever spent.

As the third part of a trilogy, this is still pretty much a standalone piece, though it does apparently use characters from the previous two films; the plot trots out the old standby of having three guys shipwrecked on a remote island, which just happens to be inhabited by a psychotic army of killers who all wear identical steel masks. The machete-wielding maniacs look like extras in a Slipknot music video, and they spend a lot of time waving blades over their heads and shuffling around menacingly. The leader of the wackos is The Meister (Mark Trinkhaus), a withered old crone with an equally demented second-in-command, his son Karl Jr. (director Andreas Schnaas, who exhibits all of the acting subtlety of a professional wrestler).

The only good thing I can say about Zombie Doom (and believe me, that is very difficult for me to do) is the occasional use of different film stock, which does give the mayhem an unsettling, almost documentary feel. Unfortunately, the knee-deep viscera that Schnaas unleashes quickly defuses any dramatic tension that might have been created, and the film then becomes a desensitizing panorama of gore.

An array of human victims are pointlessly dismembered, dissected and decimated during Zombie Doom, all under the guttural histrionics of Karl Jr. Some of the moments have a perverse cleverness, like the quadruple guillotine, but the startling excess of blood and guts quickly became overwhelmingly disturbing. The shock value of seeing a man having his chest ripped open is immediately topped by the equally vomit-inducing shot of someone having the flesh ripped from their skull.

Before I get accused of lugging around a double standard, I will admit that when it comes to horror, some level of gore is necessary. It goes with the territory. In Stuart Gordon's Dagon (an example of a GREAT horror film), a character, still alive, has the flesh removed from his skull, too. How is that any different from Schnaas's bloody flesh-ripping scene in Zombie Doom? Gordon is a filmmaker skilled in presenting horrific images, while Schnaas comes across like an attention-starved high-schooler wishing only to shock the viewer. Gordon placed his scene within the context of a well-told script, which made the scene all the more deplorable. Schnaas is simply trying to string together as many mind-numbing forms of murder as is possible in seventy-eight minutes.

Did we really need to see a man get his spine pulled out through his anus?

Rating for Style: D-
Rating for Substance: F

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Rationo
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The 1.85:1 widescreen transfer is grainy and largely washed out, though some of the blood looks redder at times than it does at others. The alternating film stock gives some of the scenes an even grainer look, but that appears to have been intentional by Schnaas, for alleged dramatic effect. Zombie Doom was shot on video, and it looks it.

Image Transfer Grade: C-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The English 2.0 stereo dub is laughably bad, and sounds like it was recorded in a very large room, with the voice talent about forty feet away from the mikes. The absence of any ambient sounds, combined with the unnatural flatness of the voices makes this a disc that is almost as hard to listen to as it was to watch.

Horrible.

Audio Transfer Grade: D

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 14 cues and remote access
24 Other Trailer(s) featuring Psycho Sisters, Demoness, Cremains, The Night Divides the Day, Demon Lust, Santa Claws, Vamps, Possession of Nurse Sherri, Lethal Seduction, Roxanna, Pleasures of a Woman, Female Animal, Master's Plaything, Inga, Seduction of Inga, Play-Mate of the Apes, Witchbabe: The Erotic Witch Project III, Mummy Raider, TITanic 2000, Gladiator Eroticus, Sexy 6th Sense, Mistress Frankenstein
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Zombie '90: Extreme Pestilence
Extras Review: If Zombie Doom wasn't bad enough, this disc also includes an earlier Schnaas film entitled Zombie '90: Extreme Pestilence (01h:12m:27s). This full-length crapheap is a splatter version of the traditional zombie film, with an overdose of closeups of flesh-eating and blood-spewing dismemberment. There is plenty of disturbing gore to be found here too, and it has an even more laughably bad English dub.

A whopping 24 assorted trailers for various shock-o-rama, Seduction, and Retro Seduction titles are included, and it was only the presence of Misty Mundae's Mummy Raider trailer that made any part of this disc worthwhile. Save me, Misty....

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

As a long time fan of horror, I can do little but label Zombie Doom as vile, reprehensible trash desperately trying to pass as some shallow, disturbing form of entertainment. Even some of the mildly inventive special effects, as basely disturbing as they are, can not be construed as something that is "fun" to watch in any way shape or form.

If you are a splatter fan, I guess you are the target audience for this dungheap of mindless gore. Is a film like Zombie Doom enjoyable on some level? I can't imagine how.

As for anyone else, avoid it all costs.

 


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