It is too a real movie!
Yes, I know that The Erotic Nights of the Living Dead sounds like something that someone made up but the movie totally exists and you probably won’t be surprised to know that it really doesn’t live up to the brilliance of the name. There is a lot sex but most of it involves a really unattractive guy with a mustache and a perm that makes him look like he should be a part of Anchorman‘s Channel 5 Action News Team so it’s debatable how erotic it is. The living dead do show up and, let’s give credit where credit is due, the zombie effects are undeniably well done. They really do look like the dead come back to life. However, none of the zombies are particularly sexual. There is a ghost who, in close-up, castrates a man while giving him a blow job but, since she’s a ghost, it’s debatable whether or not she can truly be considered one of the living dead. Finally, the title promises us “nights of the living dead” but it’s really more of an evening of the living dead.
Released in 1980, The Erotic Nights of the Living Dead was directed by Aristide Massaccesi, a filmmaker who was better known by the name Joe D’Amato. D’Amato had a deserved reputation for directing some of the sleaziest Italian exploitation flicks of all time, though he also directed one of my personal favorites, Beyond the Darkness. (For the record, Joe D’Amato was not the only alias used by Massaccesi. Over the course of his long career, he was credited under at least 43 different names. Also, for the record, I’ve read several interviews from people who worked with Massaccesi and, without fail, all of them have reported that he was one of the nicest and most generous people that one could hope to work with during the Italian horror boom of the 1980s.)
The Erotic Nights of the Living Dead is really two bad films in one. The first film features a land developer named John Wilson (Mark Shannon). Wilson has purchased an island and wants to build a luxury hotel on the island. However, he’s having some trouble convincing anyone with a boat to give him a ride out to his property. It seems that the location has a bad reputation. John finally convinces local boat captain and adventurer, Larry O’Hara (George Eastman), to take him to the island. Accompanying them is Fiona (Dirce Funari) who is either John’s girlfriend or just didn’t have anything better to do. (To be honest, it was kind of hard to follow.) Before heading out for the island, John takes a long shower with two prostitutes and Larry languidly watches as a stripper does a dance that involves popping a champagne cork without using her hands.
The second movie involves the trip to the island. It turns out that the island isn’t as deserted as Mark assumed. There’s an old man with a massive bump on his head. There’s also the man’s mysterious daughter, played by Laura Gemser who also starred in D’Amato’s Black Emanuelle films. The old man and his daughter warn everyone that they should leave the island but, of course, people are stupid.
Anyway, there are two good things about The Erotic Nights of the Living Dead. First off, the great George Eastman gets a lengthy scene in which he giggles like a madman and it’s fun to watch because Eastman truly throw himself into the performance. Secondly, the arrival of the zombies is heralded by a mysterious black cat. The cat has the most Hellish meow that you’ll ever hear but he’s a black cat so he’s cute.
In the end, though, the best thing about The Erotic Nights of the Living Dead is the title.