Having been traumatised by “this sort of thing” as a kid, I probably went into this with a little too much caution and trepidation. Combine that with the “video nasty” rep, I was expecting a pretty low-brow gore-fest.
But, aside from some top-tier misogyny and flipping horrendous dubbing work, it was actually one of the best zombie movies I have seen.
The misogyny, though… there are several moments were the women in this film have zero agency. It’s actually painful to watch. They constantly defer to the men and the male gaze is not even remotely subtle. They’ve also chucked in some domestic abuse for good measure. I mean, it was the 70s, but still.
There is also some mistreatment of a reef and a shark, which hasn’t aged well, either.
Back to the good stuff: the sound (dubbing aside) and visual effects are all top tier. The music is also right on point for the period, the main theme is surely a genre classic(?)
The story builds nicely to a impressive set piece finale with some great stunt work and a surprisingly strong conclusion.
Thanks to the Evolution of Horror podcast, I will forever associate this film with Dr Charlie Allbright. I never met him but his enthusiasm for this movie was enough to make me want to watch it. Rest in peace, Charlie.