Garden of the Dead

I had an hour to kill, and that’s all this movie lasted so here’s my review of Garden of the Dead! 
. . . isn’t half bad actually. At least this image seems good. A foamy nasty zombie head that’s really wonderfully nattily rendered, a line of suffering toiling farmers and the title clearly shown at the bottom.

The illustrator is pretty good though I wonder about the headstones. The title is posted on one of the cheaper variety and the fact that the post couldn’t be in the middle of the composition is clumsily handled by putting it off to the side instead of simple at an angle. The Fact that the post and the headstone in the foreground are the same height as the the characters in the background makes them look smaller and visually separates the top and bottom in an unsatisfying way. Added to that the terrible black typography on the left side of the sign and I’m left thinking this is going to be a well-meaning crap fest of a movie.

And I’m totally right.

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The plot summary I found online says a lot.
“A group of prison inmates in a chain gang obtain some experimental formaldehyde, and get high off of it. They later try to escape and are shot dead. They are buried, and rise again to kill everyone in their path, and to find more formaldehyde to get high from.”

It’s sort of the, we don’t know any science so let’s fabricate some science and blame it on and experimental version of something loosely connected with the subject matter.
This movie came out in 1972 and things wouldn’t be this bad again until 2005’s Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave.

– The music. God the music is bad. Like something from an episode of Dragnet bad.
– The bad guy wears black. And black gloves. C’mon, seriously. Who wears gloves!?
– The acting.
– When the zombie come back one of them starts saying “We shall destroy the living!” So, the prisoners died, and upon reviving not long after they found themselves bent on the total annihilation of all living people on earth? Is this meant to be demonic possession? What caused these freedom seeking petty criminals into world killers?
– And ninjas! These guys come back as some serious power houses. Speedy as the devil and murderous to boot! They are clever enough to run off when outgunned and swing pickaxes like they were whiffle ball bats. Regardless of how bad the movie is, these guys wouldn’t be fun to fight.
– Zombie melt in the light? I thought that was vampires.
– Zombies are overcome by their memories of lusty feelings for their fellow inmate’s girlfriend. So much so they come around chanting: “Send us the girl. Send her out.” It’s kind of like a couple of nine or ten year old boys playing over a girl they like. They make her the object or the prize like the princess in Mario Brothers because they don’t even fully understand their feelings towards her. Zombies? Same thing.


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Mike Kloran

Educational Designer from Brooklyn New York. I'm a teacher, an artist, an athlete and constantly doing, making, drawing, creating! It's a busy life but I'm doing what I love and that's what matters most to me!

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