Since one cannot discuss ZOMBIE LAKE as a good film, no one thinks it's good, or even an acceptable cheap Euro zombie film, another path must be taken. I plan to present a prismatic approach here. I first saw this as a video rental from a long gone Mom and Pop outlet in Syracuse NY in 1986. I had heard it was a Jean Rollin film, but a I hadn't seen any of his interesting sounding films. This would prove a bad place to start.
I somewhat liked the film, it was unique it that it was bad in a fascinating way. It was hard to look away. It had the appeal of a train wreck or a fatal auto accident. That's when I first realized that I was not normal, I was going to get very interested in the world of EUROPEAN TRASH CINEMA.
Little did I realize that I would, over a matter of years, get to talk to the film's original writer and director, his replacement, the producer and one of the actors. And those encounters would all come about by not wanting to seek these people out to talk about ZOMBIE LAKE, but by indirection. But before we go into all that I would like to hear some reader's experiences with this film. We all know that it's one of the worst, if not THE worst, zombie film ever made. But it does mix Nazis, zombies, Howard Vernon, a French castle, Jess Franco tropes, Eurocine performers, incredibly primitive special effects makeup, archive footage and has become something of a legend. So, it's not enough just to say "it sucks" although it certainly does. It makes Eurocine's L'ABIME DES MORTS VIVANTS (1981) look good in comparison.