The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hell of the Living Dead (1980)

  • Margit Evelyn Newton
  • Franco Garofalo
  • Selan Karay
I don't know much about Papua New Guinea (except that it's apparently crawling with zombies and cannibals), but I don't think that the racial makeup of the populace is quite as black as HOTLD implies. Here, it looks more like Africa or the Caribbean than the South Pacific. Italian schlock master Bruno Mattei cuts corners by splicing stock footage of annonymous tribesmen eating maggots and grainy Mutual of Omaha-style animal footage into his yarn about, well, the living dead and the inevitable Hell that accompanies them. It's standard early '80s Italian zombie fare with enough action and gore to keep your attention and enough cheesy dialogue and bad makeup to have a drunken good time -- particularly the scene where the white heroine "blends in" with the natives by taking off her shirt and painting her face and torso. There's actually some message about supporting third-world countries buried in HOTLD somewhere, although it spends most of the time exploiting them.