Film Review: Shock Waves (1977)


Vacationing teenagers get stranded on a remote island where a reclusive Nazi (Peter Cushing) has been bringing soldiers back to life. Yes, that’s right — Nazi zombies. And not just Nazi zombies. Underwater Nazi zombies. Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

It’s actually kinda hard for me to review Shock Waves because my reasons for liking it so much aren’t at all rational. Part of it is an indescribable feeling the movie gives me – one of isolation and loneliness, and maybe a little bit of dread. And part of it has to do with seeing Nazi zombies rise out of the water in synchronicity. Yes, dear reader, there are some things so intrinsically cool, no director can screw them up. Director Ken Wiederhorn (who has since shown nothing but scorn for the horror genre; Boo, him!) isn’t particularly skilled at creating suspense, but he does conjure some decent atmosphere with his excellent choice of locations and an evocative, minimalist electronic score.

Maybe I’m a sucker for super low-budget flicks shot on 16mm. And maybe I’m a sucker for Peter Cushing. And it doesn’t hurt that you also get John Carradine as a crotchety old ship’s captain who unwittingly guides our protagonists to their watery graves. You also get a pre-Days of Heaven Brooke Adams.

If all this doesn’t make your mouth water on some primal level, Shock Waves probably isn’t for you. And that’s just fine. More for me.

Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★½☆ 



About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (

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