Zombie Brigade DVD Review
Written by Peter West
DVD released by Eclectic DVD
Written and directed by Carmelo Musca & Barrie Pattison
1986, Region 1 (NTSC), 92 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on December 2nd, 2003
John Moore as Jimmy
Khym Lam as Yoshie
Geoffrey Gibbs as Mayor Ransom
Adam A. Wong as Kinoshita
Leslie Wright as Constable Bill Jackson
A small rural Australian town is ready to hit the big time! A Japanese developer is interested in building a theme park for the comic book hero Robotman on the outskirts of town. The only problem is smack dab in the middle of the proposed site is a cemetery that has a monument for local Vietnam War veterans. Since nobody has visited the site in nearly a decade, the mayor suggests they blow up the monument and move the bodies. Time is running out since a representative of the Japanese corporation is coming the next day to see the site.
The monument to the fallen soldiers is dynamited. The Mayor welcomes Mr. Kinoshita and his translator Yoshie to town, setting them up in the only hotel, prior to attending a party in their honor. As the party carries on, the "dead" soldiers come out of their graves as zombie vampires to live on the blood of the townsfolk. Kinoshita hooks up with a local floozy, most of the respectable city elders do the same. The zombie vampires arrive in town bringing carnage as the party ends. Yoshie is almost raped by the Mayor. She's saved by a local aboriginal man named Jimmy.
Jimmy and Yoshi are almost killed by the zombies but they are saved by Jimmy's Uncle Charlie, an aboriginal elder. Charlie, calling upon his dead ancestors, summons aboriginal ghosts who dispatch one of the zombie vampires with a spear, scaring away the rest. Upon reaching town after sunrise, they find a good portion of the town has been killed. Some of the residents decide to escape the town only to find it surrounded by soldiers and the perimeter is mined. Uncle Charlie is asked to assist in summoning the spirits of dead soldiers from previous wars. The result is a confrontation of zombies versus zombie vampires! Who will win? Will the Robotman theme park ever be built? Find out as the dead battle the dead!
Zombie Brigade is a amusing movie at times. There is some blood, some gore and a side shot of a breast. The story is really clever in parts. The movie while not directly indicating this fact, is a loosely based sequel to Cannibal Apocalypse. Soldiers infected in Vietnam with the thirst for blood, spreading the virus to others. The special effects are primitive, mostly makeup and fake blood. There is a good scene where Yoshi (Khym Lam) sings with the local band to spice up what is otherwise a very dull party. You may get a kick out of the part where two vampire zombies get stoned before attacking. Japanese characters are played by a Chinese man and a Vietnamese woman, guess there was a shortage of Japanese actors in Australia at the time! If you liked Franco's Oasis of the Zombies or Rollin's Zombie Lake, you may want to pick this one up. With a list price of $14.95, discounted at most online sites, it won't break the bank. If not you may just want to pick it up as a rental just to add it to your viewing resume.
Video and Audio:
Zombie Brigade is presented in a 1.33:1 full frame, I researched IMDB and there is not much there as far as the technical specifications of how it was originally filmed. I do feel it was full frame from watching it. The print is in pretty good condition as far as scratches and major damage is concerned. It is a bit washed out and not really sharp in some scenes. A film of this budget and age may not have the proper elements for a pristine presentation.
The sound of the film is pretty intact and clear. Definitely a mono soundtrack, there is no indication on the packaging of whether or not Dolby noise reduction was used. It does say the sound was enhanced. Not the best, but I have heard worse!
Scene access and English and German choice of languages. That's it!