Most helpful critical review
74 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Somebody call David Hasselhoff!
on October 20, 2002
First, let me say that I like the 1975 horror flick "Shock Waves." Secondly, it must be the only film in history that has Peter Cushing, John Carradine, Brooke Adams AND scuba Nazis. After years of struggling to find this little known creepfest on video, I am pleased to see it has finally been released on DVD.
What I noticed after watching this film again recently (...), was how reliant "Shock Waves" was on mood and atmosphere to create its horror. Director Ken Wiederhorn has draped his film with creepy images of gothic mansions and decaying laboratories and, of course, hungover android Nazis standing on the ocean horizon, ready to destroy every living thing within sight.
Unlucky travelers, among them Brooke Adams and Fred Buch (?!), are in the wrong place at the wrong time when they are stranded on an island whose only inhabitant seems to be Peter Cushing in an old dark house. Van Helsing he's not. In fact, Ol' Pete's a former SS scientist who created a race of underwater-breathing Nazi androids for use as WW II submarine commanders. Naturally, these Aryan zombies are accidently released into what is already is very weird environment. Complete with tattered SS uniforms, black jack boots and dark sunglasses, these...scuba soldiers proceed to crush every thing in their path, including one especially artificial-looking shark.
But the mood is the key, and this flick thrives on a foreboding, ominous tone. In "Shock Waves," the trees are covered with hanging moss (this film must take place off the coast of the southern United States), walls are streaked with mold and cobwebs, the wind is constantly blowing, odd noises can be heard in the darkness, and then you have a manic John Carradine spouting gibberish as if he were still acting out the opening scene in "The Grapes of Wrath."
When watching "Shock Waves" today, I am reminded of many of those terrible Italian zombie films from the same period, in which unlucky travelers are stranded on an island and soon become the appetizers of the hungry undead. This film, thankfully, is not as graphically violent as those repulsive extravaganzas. In fact, "Shock Waves" relies far more on suspense and mood than violence.
If ever a film was deserving of cult status, the unique and utterly bizarre "Shock Waves" certainly is. For those not yet acquainted with its eerie allure, this Nazi-zombie-shocker will be a pleasant surprise.