Ah yes, “snow zombies”. We had swamp ones too, so why not, but we’re not talking about the Dead Snow movies, love ‘em but a bit too obvious, so let’s scratch another “undead itch” with the alpine variety offered by the…..not very discussed at all Attack of The Lederhosen Zombies.
Shame, because it’s a nice little horror comedy that has pretty much all the elements to make it a cult film, including gore, lots of gore with surprisingly good practical effects, and a premise that’s about as silly as the movie actually is.
Also, no, despite the italo-german setting, it’s not the beer that transforms people into the undead (the videogame Zombeer did that a few months before this film, btw), stop assuming and let me explain the very simple premise.
A young snowboarder and his group are stuck in a remote ski inn in the Alps after he fumbled a sponsorship deal big time, but it’s not the icy temperatures or the all-night party that they have to worry about, as the lager-loaded skiers turn into raving zombies hungry for viscera.
As to what causes the “zombification” in the first place, there’s a guy named Franz that has concocted an artificial snow compost and wants to sell it to a russian investor, but the very Goosebumps-esque green ooze chemical overflow in the faces of the investor, which they drag to the inn bar in hope of extorting his signature on the deal, before he dies or worse, as he clearly looks infected with something.
A couple of schnapps later and he awakes as a flesh eating monster, and one bite leads to a lot of zombies, forcing the group of friend to team up with the surving bar hostess and plan an escape, despite the obvious obstacles of it being very isolated from anything else, and also the wildlife having been zombified by drinking the spilled chemical, so have zombie deers.
Delightfully silly puppet zombie beers, which still look fairly good for a practical prop, but are arguably the only instance when the movie might have utilized a not big budget to its advantage, as the “puppet zombie deer” are pretty ridiculous and hence pretty fun to look at, still look fairly good for a comedy horror, but sure as hell they didn’t cheapen out in terms of the gore effects.
Despite also serving more for the purpose of being over the top instead of grossing out or being “scary”, they are surprisingly good AND goofy at the same time, very abundant and varied, from one guy getting double impaled in the eyes by ski poles, various types of snowboard-based mutilation, to the classic of zombies ganging up on a poor bastard in order to chew on him and see exactly how long a human digestive tract can be, when it’s not rolled up properly anymore.
Acting is decent (some odd accents, but nothing distracting), the characters are likeable, the tone is silly as it intended, you can tell they wanted to go full comedy to begin with and were ready to take the movie to fun cartoonish extremes (and again, the “zombie plague” caused by green ooze sets the tone perfectly), you can tell the crew had fun with it and it definitely rubs off on the viewer.
My only real gripe is that it would be funnier if it didn’t feel the need to do some tired meta jokes, like the “chill duderino” phoning his zombie film expert friend to get info in how to deal with these they have at the inn, and in some sequences the movie thinks it’s funnier than it actually is.
Still, most of the jokes land, the gore it’s a splatterfest funny in itself, there are memorable moments and characters (like the old timey Austrian inn hostess), and it definitely doesn’t overstay its welcome, as it’s surprisingly short. I usually don’t mind too much, and it’s not like it needed to go on 10 more minutes just cause, but honestly i wouldn’t have minded in this case.
If this is the trade-off for better effects and not stretched small premises… i gladly take it.
It’s no hilarious masterpiece, but Attack of The Lederhosen Zombies it’s definitely more than “just decent” and it’s worth a watch for fans of comedy horror, zombie movies and good practical gore, even more because it’s a quick sit regardless, so give it a chance!
It’s also on Blu-Ray, a red-cased one pretty much regardless of the region, and it’s fairly cheap.
Guess we’ll eventually talk about Mad Heidi (previously known and promoted as Heidiland), the self proclaimed “first Swissxploitation film” that it’s being funded via independed kickstarting and it’s due to release this summer, here’s the link if you wanna throw them some bones, why not?