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Zeder
Revenge of the Dead / Zeder: Voci dal Buio / Zeder: Voices from Darkness / Zeder: Voices from Beyond

Italy 1983
produced by
Antonio Avati, Gianni Minervini for A.M.A.Film, RAI
directed by Pupi Avati
starring Gabriele Lavia, Anne Canovas, Paolo Tanziani, Cesare Barbetti, Bob Tonelli, Ferdinando Orlandi, Enea Ferrario, John Stacy, Marcello Tusco, Alessandro Partexano, Aldo Sassi, Maria Teresa Tofano, Adolfo Balletti, Veronica Moriconi, Enrico Ardizzone, Paolo Bacchi, Andrea Montuschi, Carlo Schincaglia, Imelde Marani
story by Pupi Avati, screenplay by Pupi Avati, Antonio Avati, Maurizio Costanzo, music by Riz Ortolani

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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It all starts with an old typewriter his girlfriend Alessandra (Anne Canovas) has given writer Stefano (Gabriele Lavia) as a gift, and one night when he is looking for inspiration, he just unrolls the typewriter's tape to see what the previous owner has written ... and finds out the previous owner, a certain Don Luigi Costa (Aldo Sassi), a priest, has been dabbling in the resurrection of the dead.

Stefano decides this would make a good story and tries to track Don Costa down, but in his parrish he learns Don Costa has quit his service to the church ten years ago, and eventually he even finds Don Costa has died ... only when he investigates further, he finds Costa's grave empty.

Now Stefano knows he really has to find out the truth behind it all, but thing is, people around him who help him start disappearing and/or turn up dead, as if a warning to Stefano, but he goes on undeterred and follows dead Don Costa's trail to a former holiday camp for children that is said to be haunted but that is now home to a group of scientists - who are obviously doing research into the resurrection of the dead - apparently the ground around the camp is able to bring them back to life ... only what the scientists didn't think of was that the dead, once revived, might not be in the best of moods, and they might attack those humans who are still living. So soon, the scientists are taken out one by one, and Stefano, when he enters the camp, escapes a zombie attack only narrowly.

Thing is though, when he returns to his hotel room in a nearby villyge, he finds Alessandra dead, as a final warning to him. Overcome with grief, Stefano sees only one solution, to bury Alessandra in the ground surrounding the camp - and it works, she comes back to life as well - but like all the others, she's rather grumpy and ultimately attacks Stefano ...

 

Even though Zeder is essentially about the dead attacking the living, a plotline very popular in Italy in the early 1980's, it is not your average zombie shocker by a long shot. Rather Zeder is a mystery that starts out fairly ordinary but gets weirder and weirder all the time, until it eventually enters zombie-territory. Don't expect a gore film though, Zeder is carried more by its unnerving atmosphere than actual shocks, and actually it features a rather intelligent plot - always considering it's still a film about the living dead.

True, the film might not be for everybody, it takes a bit of patience and your average gorehound might be in for a disappointment, but if you take your time and follow the plot, its quite fascinating.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD