The names Jean Rollin and Jess Franco are pretty much synonymous with Euro sleaze, just as their film titles alone tell you exactly what kind of film you’re in for. Here’s a taste: Sex Charade, Vampyros Lesbos, Diary of a Nymphomaniac, Swedish Nympho Slaves, Rape of the Vampire, The Nude Vampire, Caged Virgins, Curse of the Living Dead, Lips of Blood, Hard Penetration — they both even have an Emmanuelle film on their resume. So it should come as no surprise that at some point the two would team up for a couple of zombie films. However, each bring their own flare to the proceedings with Rollin directing the far more titillating Zombie Lake and Franco trying to class up the joint with way too much story in Oasis of the Zombies, both now available via Kino Lorber’s Redemption line of Blu-rays.
In Zombie Lake, small town Mayor (Howard Vernon) is dealing with a case of the undead rising from their cursed lake the townsfolk have named “Lake of the Damned.” The Mayor calls in a pair of investigators after a young honey badger skinny dipper (she don’t give a shit as she points out when she takes down the warning sign at the lake), a local girl, and a group of skinny dipping volleyball girls(!) go missing into the lake. Katya (Marcia Sharif) comes to town as well and everyone must face the fact that during Nazi occupied France, a bunch of soldiers were thrown into the lake. Meanwhile, one of the soldiers had a literal roll in the hay with a town girl after he saved her life, later birthing the young Helena (Anouchka) and her mother dying afterward. Lots of flashbacks reveal that the soldiers are the cursed zombies and Helena just may be their only hope.
Oasis of the Zombies follows a similar pattern as we are introduced to two nubile daisy duke clad teens wandering the desert. When they stop to check out a convoy, the music and girls are blaring as they are attacked by off-camera monsters. During a huge flashback sequence, we learn that a soldier named Blabert (Javier Maiza) was rescued from a desert attack, losing $6 million in gold, and brought to see a Sheik (Antonio Mayans) where he impregnates his daughter out in the desert. Now Blabert’s hilariously named son, Robert Blabert (Manuel Gélin) comes to town searching for the lost gold along with some of his friends, including a tagalong named Sylvie (the clearly hired for her legs - and that’s okay - Caroline Audret). Now, everyone is in search for the gold but must first come face to face with some rather nicely made up zombies, while Robert finally learns the truth about dear old dad.