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(aka "Le lac des morts vivants" or "Le lac des zombies" or "Zombies' Lake")

 

directed by Jean Rollin
France/Spain 1981

 

When a local girl goes swimming in a French village's "Lake of Ghosts" and turns up with her throat torn open, the mayor (Howard Vernon, THE SADISTIC BARON VON KLAUS) and the locals fear the worst, and they are right. A nosy reporter (Marcia Sharif) discovers that during the war the locals murdered a troop of occupying German soldiers and tossed their bodies into the lake. Now, the undead soldiers have risen from the lake to prey on nubile skinny-dippers and the only hope may lie with ten year old Helena (Anouchka, granddaughter of Eurocine producer Marius Lasoeur and daughter of Daniel Lasoeur), the product of an affair between a local village girl (Lynn Monteil, EXORCISM) and one of the soldiers (Pierre-Marie Escourrou). One of a duo of SHOCK WAVES-inspired Eurocine attempts to cash-in on the post-DAWN OF THE DEAD zombie craze along with Jess Franco's OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES (as well as Franco's 1973 film A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD for which director Jean Rollin shot new sequences in which a double for the film's lead is stalked by literal zombies rather than the damned ghosts of the original), ZOMBIE LAKE is impoverished in terms of acting (apart from the always professional Vernon who dubs himself on both English and French dubs), special effects, production value and plotting. Although one would expect the product of a forbidden WWII affair to be middle-aged in a 1981 film, that is the fault of the production design and the English dubbing as the French track suggests that the contemporary part of the story is actually only ten years after the war even though no effort was made to evoke the fifties in wardrobe or set decoration. The film was intended to be a Jess Franco production but he pulled out as the shrinking budget required him to scale back his original concept and Jean Rollin quickly replaced him (in his only collaboration with Eurocine).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 13 May 1981 (France)

Reviews                                                                              More Reviews                                                                            DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Black House/Screenbound - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Black House/Screenbound - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

Distribution

Image Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Black House/Screenbound
Region 2 - PAL
Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:23:09 (4% PAL speedup) 1:23:12 (4% PAL speedup) 1:26:59.881
Video

1.63:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.63:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.31 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,558,643,041 bytes

Feature: 19,492,451,712 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Image Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Black House /Screenbound

 

Bitrate:

 

Redemption Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono; French Dolby Digital 1.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono; French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles None English, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.63:1

Edition Details:
Alternate scenes from the 'clothed' version of the film (5:45; silent)
Alternate (English) title sequence (2:21)
Trailer (2:49)
Insert with Liner Notes

DVD Release Date: 27 March 2001
Amaray

Chapters 12
 

Release Information:
Studio: Black House/Screenbound

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.63:1

Edition Details:
Alternate Clothed Scenes (16:9; 3:48)
Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:53)
Previews

 

DVD Release Date: March 20th, 2017
Amaray

Chapters 8

Release Information:
Studio: Kino / Redemption
 

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,558,643,041 bytes

Feature: 19,492,451,712 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• English Credit Sequence (2:32)

Alternate Scenes (2:02 + 3:58)
• Trailers for Zombie Lake - French (2:56), Zombie Lake - English (2:56) Oasis of the Zombies (2:58), The Rape of the Vampire (4:30), and The Demoniacs (3:05)

Blu-ray
Release Date: February 26th, 2013
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters:8

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray March 17': There's no denying 1080P resolution. The 2013 Redemption Blu-ray has the best image - detail tightens, contrast is more layered - colors support the R2 DVD scheme and the single-layered BD disc with mid 20's bitrate (over 4X that of the SD) looks solid in-motion - exporting the film in the proper 1.66:1 AR and theatrical running time (no PAL speedup.)

Audio gets a liner PCM transfer for both English and French tracks. Less effects-based than the obtuse score by veteran Daniel White (The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus, The Man with the Severed Head) has some artistically bizarre riffs but suits a Rollin's film. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray.

Redemption include the English Credit Sequence, about 6-minutes of two Alternate Scenes ('Opening' and a 'volleyball game' with the gals) and trailers for Zombie Lake - French and English versions, Oasis of the Zombies, The Rape of the Vampire, and The Demoniacs. A Tim Lucas commentary would have done wonders for the package.

I was apprehensive about this being aware of Rollin's penchant for heavy-ish art-based sequences - but this is a straight-forward, decent, zombie flic with some definite positives in the make-up and general story. I thought it was pretty good, actually despite the production deficiencies, and poor acting, mentioned by Eric. I'm still in a zombie-mood (and love this Blu-ray cover) so I will probably view it again one day - stays on the shelf! Recommended to fans of the genre!

***

DVDS: Screenbound's PAL DVD benefits from a newer HD master - which debuted stateside on Redemption's Blu-ray and DVD - while the Image DVD was sourced from an older PAL-converted SD master, as well as English subtitles for the superior French audio. The extras, however, are missing the English title sequence (shown on black leader on the Image DVD and overlayed on the scene on the Redemption releases) and the covered take of the opening sequence while both editions feature the covered take of the volleyball massacre as an extra.

ED, NOTE: We will be comparing to the Redemption Blu-ray HERE soon...

 - Eric Cotenas


DVD Menus
(
Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Black House/Screenbound - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Black House/Screenbound - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Black House/Screenbound - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Black House/Screenbound - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Black House/Screenbound - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Black House/Screenbound - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Black House/Screenbound - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Black House/Screenbound - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Sound:

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Extras: Image Entertainment

 
 Box Covers

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

Distribution

Image Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Black House/Screenbound
Region 2 - PAL
Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 



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