Celebrating B Movies, Cult Films, and Indie Classics.

Shock Waves (1977)

by  |  April 28th, 2011  |  Horror  |  2 Comments

I have been a horror fan for many years, as a matter of fact I have been a fan of horror films for most of my life!  I have followed many of the sub-genre’s of horror, from the Vampire Sub-genre to the Slasher sub genre…

It wasn’t till about a decade or so ago though that I began to follow the Zombie movie sub-genre of horror movies with any degree… Since then though I have found a whole fascinating history in the Zombie films that I have seen, from Bela Lugosi’s White Zombie (1932) through George A. Romero’s legendary ‘Dead’ series, to the John A. Russo Return Of The Living Dead series as well as many more!

With that said, also being a huge fan of history (and more directly Military history) it came with great joy when I recently discovered a rare little gem in a movie called Shock Waves

Written by: John Kent Harrison (Change Of Plans), Ken Pare, and directed by: Ken Wiederhorn (Return Of The Living Dead 2) and starring Brooke Adams (Invasion Of The Body Snatchers), Luke Halpin (Flipper) and Peter Cushings (Horror Of Dracula)

If your a Military history buff, and or you know a bit about World War 2, then you may have read or seen a special on TV about the occult interests that the Nazi’s had during World War 2.  Also we all read in the history books in school about the Nazi’s atrocious medical experiments, and their desires to create the master race! As a matter of fact, Hollywood in some ways utilized these philosophies in their films to make their bad guys seem a little bit worse…

In this movie though, as World War 2 was heading for its final conclusion, the Nazi’s started up a program to create whole units of Soldiers that could fight on any battle field, in any terrain, or even the ocean… Basically the creation of a Nazi Zombie program, known in English as the Death Corp…

The problem was though is that like all Nazi atrocities, they used captured prisoners (in this case most directly murderers, criminals, etc…), and because of this fact, these monsters were unable to be controlled, and thus with the program being shut down, and the war ending, all of these weirdo super soldiers being destroyed one by one (all except for one SS Officer’s(Cushing) unit of Water Bound Death Unit Soldiers)

After drifting in the ocean though for a while, and trying to atone for his sins, this SS Soldier sinks the freighter that he had been sailing in, thus trapping the Death Unit Soldiers to a supposed Watery grave…

Cut to 1977…

The war has been over for 32 years, The Death Unit being a long forgotten unit of the worst nation to ever exist.  A large pleasure yacht, that is ferrying passengers around the ocean on their vacation is now sailing these seas…

The Captain (John Carradine) and Keith (Luke Halpin) had the helm of the Yacht.

Things begin to get a little weird when the crew and passengers during one of these days discover something in the ocean (although it is never expressly said that it is the freighter that SS Officer had been on, it is pretty safe to assume that is probably the case.)

That evening everyone is talking about it with much debate going on as to what it really was to the actual existence of Phantom ships themselves!  This debate is solved though when late that evening Rose (who can’t sleep) decides to go up on deck, and finds Keith (Halpin) sitting at the helm looking at some maps. During this time they start talking about some of the problems that the ship has been encountering, that is of course until they get hit by a passing freighter that is running with out lights…

The next day, after all of the commotion of getting hit by the passing freighter, it turns out that the craft has ran aground on a reef, and that there is a leak in the hull and that everyone is going to have to head for an island that is nearby before the ship sinks (Boy what a mistake that was…)

The Dingy from the Yacht.

Anyway during the time that they are off loading supplies and passengers, they come to discover that the Captain (Played by: John Carradine) was missing and no where to be found, and that the only clue to his disappearance is that for some reason it seems that he had left his clothing on board.  So the remaining crew on board decide to head to the island anyway, and hope that the Captain was waiting for everyone on the Island.

It turns out that the Captain is waiting for them on the Island, just not in the way that everyone thinks…  You see, it turns out that the Captain is dead, having been drowned by some mysterious force.

After this one of the Passengers comes to discover that their is an old Hotel on the Island.  So with a strong fervor, and hope that the building is still inhabited, the Passengers and Crew take off to the Hotel to see who is there and possibly to get rescued!

Keith (Halpin) and Chuck (Buch) as they are investigating the Hotel.

Now when they get their, all they find is a crotchety crazy looking old man (In the form of the SS Officer).  After being introduced the former SS Officer takes off and disappears.

Peter Cushing as the crazy former SS Officer

Now not knowing what to do, the Crew and Passengers decide to make camp in the old hotel, with the only inhabitant being a crazy old man, and not knowing that, that night would be the last night of most of their lives as the next day, the last known secret of the Nazi’s, in the form of literal Nazi Zombie’s are waking up from their eternal slumber under the ocean and are heading to the Island looking for blood!

What I like about this movie, and what I do truly believe makes this a truly Awesome B Movie is as follows:

1. Well the first one that I would like to take note of is the literal Zombie Nazis!  I mean how awesome is that?  It is the ultimate in campy, cheesy cliches! I love it!

2. The next thing that I thought that I would mention is the fact that this movie has legendary B Sci Fi Movie Actress Brooke Adams, Hammer Horror legend Peter Cushing and let’s be honest here, all around legend John Carradine in it!  That alone, with being a fan of both Brooke Adams and Peter Cushing is a truly epic score for me!

3. I also thought that I would mention the rest of the cast, because honestly from Fred Buch (Cocoon: The Return) to Don Stout and everyone in between really made this a fun, enjoyable piece!

4. I also thought that the scene locations in this movie were truly beautiful, in their mostly tropical, and some times swamp like locales.

5. Lastly I am certain that this movie was what inspired the makers of Universal Soldier to make that movie.

Also as a side note that you guys might find interesting is the fact that Alan Ormsby, A truly prolific filmmaker that we here at ABM have met a few times, and who has done such truly classic movies, such as Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1973)  Deranged: Confessions Of A Necrophile (1974) and Dead Of Night (1974) also worked on this film as the special makeup designer!

If your looking for a fun completely campy great time, and wish to see Zombies running around in uniforms, then I highly recommend checking this movie out, believe it or not it is actually quite a fun one!

Nathan Strack


Nathan Strack is a Writer/Director/Filmmaker & Owner/Founder of: Hell In Space, Strack Web Design Service & Strack Store.


  1. David

    September 13th, 2011at 8:57 PM(#)

    Shock Waves is one of my favorites, seen it many times and still enjoy it. Good post, glad to know I’m not the only fan!

  2. Nathan Strack Nathan Strack

    September 14th, 2011at 12:03 PM(#)

    That’s cool, glad you like it! It is a great concept! I mean you really can’t go wrong with a movie about Nazi Zombies!

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