Shock Waves (1977)


‘Shock Waves’ is a low budget horror movie with few special effects… actually not very special effects at all. We’re talking a half a dozen “zombies” which are basically people in Nazi uniforms holding their breath underwater. The cast apart from Brooke Adams (‘Invasion Of The Body Snatchers’, ‘The Dead Zone’) are unknowns, with guest appearances from horror legends John Carradine and Peter Cushing. One would think this would be a real turkey only good for a few laughs, but not so, it’s a surprisingly effective thriller with atmosphere to spare. One of the reasons I enjoy horror movies is that creative directors are capable of making something special out of virtually nothing. ‘Carnival Of Souls’ and ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ are obvious examples. El cheapo budgets, unknown actors, minimal effects, but two of the greatest horror movies ever made. I’m not saying ‘Shock Waves’ is anywhere near THAT good, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected from the cheesy packaging on the video box. The concept of underwater Nazi zombies is an intriguing one, and was subsequently used by Jean Rollin and Jess Franco in ‘Zombie Lake’ and ‘Oasis Of The Zombies’. I always enjoy seeing John Carradine, but his role is, let’s be honest, little more than a cameo. I have a major crush on Brooke Adams, she’s goofy but beautiful, and admirers won’t want to miss this one as she spends most of her time in a bikini. One minor complaint – I wished Peter Cushing had more screen time. He’s my favourite horror actor after Vincent Price and I always enjoy his performances. All in all ‘Shock Waves’ is an underrated and creepy movie that all horror buffs should try and see. It’s just one of many overlooked 1970s horror gems that deserve more attention than they get (see also ‘Count Yorga, Vampire’, ‘The Brotherhood Of Satan’, ‘The Crazies’, ‘The Legend Of Hell House’, ‘Deranged’, ‘Alice, Sweet Alice’, ‘Thirst’,etc.etc.)