Long before Dead Snow thawed out a battalion of Nazi zombies, this low-budget creeper, written and directed by Ken Wiederhorn (Eyes of a Stranger, Meatballs II), spent a few decades bouncing around the Late Night Spook Show circuit.
Shock Waves stars horror vets Peter Cushing and John Carradine, as well as Luke Halpin from Flipper, all grown up into a blonde, mustachioed male lead, who must rally a crew of castaways marooned on an island awash in goggled zombies in SS uniforms.
Cushing brings a convincing accent, dandy scar makeup, and complete authority to his role as an exiled Nazi commander forced to live in an abandoned luxury resort on a nameless island somewhere in the ocean.
Guess he couldn’t make it all the way to Brazil.
Cushing patiently awaits the arrival of the soggy soldiers formerly under his command, who should be returning from Davey Jones’ Locker any day now.
Editor’s Note: Cushing plays Admiral Tarkin in Star Wars—the very same year!
John Carradine doesn’t get to do much as Ben, the cranky charter boat captain, but we do get to see him in a bathing suit. (Rrrrowr!)
Comely Brooke Adams stands out as Rose, a tourist who also looks smashing in swimwear.
The underwater photography, particularly when the Nazi zombies snap into formation and smartly march toward the surface, is eerie and strangely captivating, jarringly punctuated by Richard Einhorn’s dissonant electronic score.
No, they don’t eat flesh, but these genetically altered stormtroopers are consumed by a desire to kill, and they have thoroughly adapted to the life aquatic.
So what if they look like a techno band? Good stuff!