Oasis of the Zombies – original title: L’Abîme des morts-vivants – is a 1981 French horror feature film directed by Jesús Franco [as A. M. Frank] from a screenplay co-written with Ramón Llidó for producer Marius Lesoeur. The plot is almost a remake of Zombies’ Lake, another Eurociné production from 1980.
Robert, a student at an English university, receives word of his father’s unexpected death and returns home to Africa.
While reading his father’s diaries, Robert learns of the obsession that led to his death: $6,000,000 in Nazi gold that remains buried at an oasis in the Sahara desert, protected by the restless, rotting souls who died protecting it.
Using his inheritance, Robert bands together with three fellow students to wrest the unclaimed fortune from the dunes of the dead…
Franco filmed a “Spanish version” simultaneously with the French version (under the title La Tumba de los Muertos Vivientes), possibly to placate Lina Romay (since the French producer had chosen other actors to be in the “real version”). Only the director’s cut (the Spanish version) includes scenes with Lina Romay and Eduardo Fajardo, but that version has never been officially released beyond Spain.
“Oasis of the Zombies never quite makes it to so bad it’s good territory. There are a few unintentional laughs to be had and some of the zombies make up was decent but it had way too many dull moments and a complete lack of gore.” Goregirl’s Dungeon
“The zombies themselves are amateurish and somewhat inconsistent, but are more than redeemed by the incomparable desert landscape and by some creative camera work and shot composition.” Peter Dendle, The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia
“Lacking even gratuitous nudity to liven things up, the film is instantly forgettable, and certainly one of Franco’s worst.” David Flint, Zombie Holocaust: How the Living Dead Devoured Pop Culture
“Over-indulging his customary penchant for pointless zooms, nonsensical editing and crummy shock sequences, Franco rendered the finished product almost completely unwatchable.” Jamie Russell, Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema
British pre-cert Filmland VHS sleeve and tape with an erroneous Iver Film Services (IFS) sticker:
In the USA, footage from Oasis of the Zombies was used in Ken Dixon’s living dead compilation movie Zombiethon (1982). The film was also retitled Bloodsucking Nazi Zombies by Taurus Film for a 1988 US video re-release.
On 17 April 2017, Black House Films released the film in the UK on DVD as Oasis of the Living Dead.
Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk