Shock Waves (1977) [REVIEW]

 

This film is another selection from the Fangoria book about underrated horror films. They kept talking about Nazis and zombies, a great combination, and the fact that Peter Cushing was in it. I knew that name, but just could not put a face to it. While watching the movie I kept thinking “Is that guy Peter Cushing? Maybe it’s that guy.” Eventually, when the commander of the SS Zombies made his appearance, I realized, “HOLY SHIT, THAT’S GRAND MOFF TARKIN!”. Ya know, from Star Wars. Other than the fact that ALL of my memories of Star Wars are awesome, Grand Moff Tarkin holds an even closer place to my heart than other Star Wars memories. The first is that when I used to play the Stars Wars Customizable Card Game (CCG, for short), I remember how awesome it was to play Grand Moff Tarkin. I also had no idea what his name was before I got that pack of cards. By the way, the Star Wars CCG was like Magic: The Gathering, but wasn’t dorky, since it was Star Wars. The other memory was sitting outside of a hardcore show in Easthampton, MA, waiting for the next band to go on, while a group of people were talking about Star Wars and I was merely listening in on them. At some point in the conversation, someone said, “Yeah and there was that old guy who looked like a skeleton…” and I loudly exclaimed out of anger, “EXCUSE ME, BUT THAT OLD GUY WAS GRAND MOFF TARKIN”, or something to that effect. Everyone looked at me and realized what a huge dork I was, and I think my friend Billy was the only one who actually laughed, while everyone else cowered in fear of nerd rage.

 

“Governor Tarkin…I should have expected you to be wearing an ascot something something Darth Vader” – Princess Leia

There are a bunch of people on a boat, doing things that people on boats do. They just boat around, wear swimsuits, and boat around some more. One night, the person steering the ship encounters some sort of “ghost ship” that causes him to veer off course and run aground. While investigating a nearby island, the boaters find different laboratories and buildings that looked like they were at some point inhabited. They eventually come across Grand Moff Tarkin and it turns out that he was an ex-Nazi scientist who was in charge of a project to create super Nazi soldiers. It kind of worked, kind of didn’t work, and there were Nazi zombies out to get everyone on the island. Well, actually, they weren’t “technically” zombies, but close enough. They also hated sunlight and wore really thick sunglasses. There is running around and chasing of people, and I got bored and kind of stopped paying attention. I think the zombies caught Grand Moff Tarkin though? Who knows.

 

I know they’re supposed to be zombies and everything, but do they have to be so yucky looking?! Put those sunglasses back on!

There are lots of positive reviews about this movie, but it just didn’t really do it for me. Obviously it was awesome to see Grand Moff Tarkin alive and well, when he was alive and well almost 35 years ago, but nothing really drew me in. It wasn’t quite supernatural, because technically these Nazis were science experiments, so it wasn’t really all that scary for me. I have a hard time giving it a bad score, because I feel like maybe I was missing something. It wasn’t that anything about this film was done poorly or anything like that, it was actually an interesting plot. I just don’t think this one was for me, sadly. I’m sure it’s for someone, like Peter Cushing’s relatives, who are hopefully getting residuals from this, but I am not related to him. Oh, and I used to always think his name in Star Wars was “Grandma Tarkin”, which didn’t make any sense. I was an idiot, way back then.

Wolfman Moon Scale



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