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SHOCK WAVES (a.k.a. ALMOST HUMAN)
Poster country of origin: United Kingdom
30” x 40”
Bridging the gap between classic spookshows and modern (for
the time, anyway) exploitation, 1977’s SHOCK WAVES not only featured two aging
horror heroes (Peter Cushing and John Carradine), but also unwittingly created
its very own subgenre: the Nazi zombie movie.
In its wake followed such fare as ZOMBIE LAKE, OASIS OF THE
ZOMBIES, and NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES (all 1981)—the latter of which should not be
confused with Bruno Mattei’s film a.k.a HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980), which
took that title for its Stateside release but contained zero Nazis. Unlike
these brethren, SHOCK WAVES was an almost blood-free affair, opening with a PG
rating in North America (where its distributor, Joseph Brenner, would
coincidentally apply the ALMOST HUMAN moniker to a different film, an Umberto
Lenzi crime pic originally titled MILANO ODIA). Nazi zombies have enjoyed a
post-millennium revival in both cinema (OUTPOST, DEAD SNOW) and video games
(the WOLFENSTEIN and CALL OF DUTY series), but few of these experiences match
the class and creepiness of the originator of this unlikely subcategory.
This poster offers a fine example of why British quads (so
called because they are four times the size of the traditional 15” x 20”
“Crown” posters that were the industry standard at the time) are so
sought-after: they are printed in vivid color and with a matte finish, contain
minimal production credits, leaving more room for the images, and were sent to
theaters rolled and crease-free.
On a personal note, I have pretty early memories of seeing
the clamshell box for SHOCK WAVES, featuring the same key art, in most video
stores I loitered at. That image might lead a young mind to imagine enormous
undead soldiers swinging around yachts like they were bath toys…
See our Fango Flashback on SHOCK WAVES here.
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