Revenge Of The Living Dead Girls (1987)

Originally published in Bleeding Skull! A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey.

Mes joues sont rouges!

Translation: Boy, are my cheeks red!

When I think French trash-horror, I think Jean Rollin. Then, I think Jess Franco. But beyond their work, a small group of notable films exist. American in content, but clearly inhuman in all other aspects, these movies run the gamut of trash entertainment. Ogroff was revelatory. Devil Story was hilarious. Seven Women For Satan reacquainted me with the beauty of sleep. Regardless, the French are always dependable for showing us things that we’ve never seen before. For instance, take porn director Pierre Reinhard’s Revenge Of The Living Dead Girls. Have you ever witnessed an orgy between a prostitute and three female zombies? Zombies who, in fact, drive cars, ring doorbells, go swimming, and push swords into exposed vaginas?

Revenge Of The Living Dead Girls is driven by perversion. There’s not really a story arc. Gross-out is the intent. That goal is met. Like Devil Story, Revenge establishes a half-assed, illogical plot, then promptly explodes in a grimy rhapsody of deviance. We tag along with three dime-store female zombies for 73 minutes while a series of semi-related vignettes unfold. There are several love affairs. Some Hershey-squirt gore, combined with frequent full frontal nudity. A nasty pregnancy flub. Religious zingers. And yes, the vag-stab.

In no-budget trash, there’s a fine line between overt callousness (God’s Bloody Acre) and friendly sleaze (Don’t Go Near The Park). Revenge is not jaded or angry. It pushes buttons, but does so within the context of an absurd, one-track-mind fairy tale. The congenial shock-for-shock’s sake is what makes the film so harmless, and therefore enjoyable. Especially when a zombie-woman bites off a penis.

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