Flesh Eater (1988)
Alternate titles include: “Zombie Nosh,” “Flesh Eater: Revenge of the Living Dead,” and “Revenge of the Living Zombies.”
Starring: Bill Hinzman (Flesh Eater), John Mowod (Bob), Leslie Ann Wick (Sally), Kevin Kindlin (Ralph).
Directed by Bill Hinzman
This low-budget zombie slasher flick is the handiwork of Hinzman (who wrote and directed the picture), who played the “Cemetery Zombie” in the classic “Night of the Living Dead.” For this film he becomes “Woods Zombie,” the unnamed product of some kind of satanic rituals on a rural Pennsylvania farm.
When a yokel pulling a tree stump on his farmland stumbles on his shallow grave, marked with a pentagram and warnings that death lies beneath, the man of course digs up the zombie and quickly becomes Woods Zombie’s (note this is not his official character name) first meal.
Most of the film’s action centers around a group teenagers camping in the woods (where they’re predictably smoking pot, drinking beer and touching each other in inappropriate ways), coincidentally near where the zombie has reemerged. They provide early fodder for the beast, but the action soon spills into neighborhoods surrounding the farmland.
The film follows basic 80s slasher conventions with the minor twist that falling victim to the monster does not signal the end of their appearance in the film. On the contrary most of the victims soon stand up and join in the fun, attacking their former comrades in the same fashion.
The violence is amateurish but graphic, with throats, arms, faces and other parts being torn from the body and eaten, but the cuts and the fight scenes are awkwardly filmed, and the actors hold their position for the camera at several points (highlights: a zombie kills a hapless young lady by plunging his hand into her midsection; heads explode from close-range shotgun blasts).
There’s plenty of nudity about, with at least three naked women (one flashes her boyfriend while dancing with the other kids around, another is fooling around with her boyfriend in a barn, and we’re introduced to the third as she’s preparing to shower. She is killed and turned before dressing and spends the remainder of the film nude).
Continuity errors abound as well, highlighted by one of the nude scenes, where the teenage girl is not wearing a bra as she makes out with her boyfriend (her breasts are exposed when he opens her shirt). Moments later, the “Woods Zombie” attacks them, and when he gets to the girl her shirt is still open, but she is wearing a bra.
It can also be said that established zombie behavior protocols are not followed either. Rather than ambling about, zombies stalk their victims, and each one emits a distinct growl as they approach. They also use weapons (the “Woods Zombie” dispatches one victim with a pitchfork).
Best line honors are shared in two sequences: the first sees two characters making out against a tree. Another girl looks at her boyfriend and says “Why don’t you ever kiss me like that?”, to which the boy replies “Maybe if you had tits like her I would.”
The other is from a cop being attacked by a horde of zombies, who shouts into his CB: “Hurry! These people are turning into maniacs! They’re trying to kill my ass!”
On the tasteless front, two young children are killed in the film, though their deaths are seen partially off camera (the offending zombie lifts a young girl out of the frame and we see blood squirt down into the frame). The kids become zombies and later are killed by rednecks charged with hunting the undead minions down.
Overall it’s a middling entry, with not particularly well-acted 0r clever in its kills or its execution. The film comes packaged in a “Zombie 3-Pack” with “Burial Ground” and “Zombie Holocaust,” and may be the weakest of those three films.