The question was always there but few have dared to ask it: what if Nazis could breathe underwater? This is the nightmare realised by 1977's Shock Waves
. It's elevated from simple, entertaining schlock by cool locations and very good performances, particularly from John Carradine and Peter Cushing.
Carradine plays the captain of a small boat taking tourists sight seeing in the Caribbean. I love his character--the way he scoffs at the beliefs of the ship's cook (Don Stout) in paranormal phenomena at sea is so strident that you get the impression he knows all the stories are true but he's wise enough to know people are better off not believing. Carradine is just the right actor for this part, his aged face reflecting his depth of experience along with the tone of flawed authority that made him perfect as Aaron in The Ten Commandments
and as preachers in John Ford movies.
Among the tourists, Brooke Adams as Rose is presented as the protagonist but mainly she's relegated to following along as the men make all the decisions or running in terror. A natural enough reaction when encountering water breathing Nazi zombies--as they do when they shipwreck on an island. Also in residence is Peter Cushing, sole occupant of a great abandoned luxury hotel.
He has top billing but not a lot of screen time. Playing a former Nazi commander about whom we learn little he's around long enough to make a monologue on genetically engineered, aquatic Nazi super soldiers sound gravely serious.
They're pretty menacing though the tourists' worst enemy, as is often the case movies like this, is their own foolishness, particular a couple of them who do really stupid things when they panic. But the best death in the film comes courtesy of sea urchins. This movie was a real pleasure to watch.Twitter Sonnet #1092A poacher's plate advanced along the Rhein.
Announcements fell beneath the azure cloud.
A pair of pumpkin eyes betrayed the mine.
It's thought the written note was something loud.
Entire bottles face a plot returned.
Away to office lunch a cable's sent.
A lesson stacked in woods was swiftly learned.
Occasion told antennae too were bent.
The alternating green accepts.
A face ingests the proffered wine alone.
Detect the taste of brain on clean forceps?
The vinegar and lemon *can* atone.
A citrus shoe delivers feet to C.
An hour shaved delivers time to sea.