Sexy Nights of the Living Dead (1980) from Tuna

Sexy Nights of the Living Dead (1980), according to the DVD box, is called Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, which is a direct translation of the original Italian title, Le Notti erotiche dei morti viventi. IMDb lists several AKAs for this film, none of them including the word Sexy. However, both the title screen, and the original English language trailer for the film call it Sexy Nights of the Living Dead. The DVD cover also claims that it stars Laura Gemser. Dirce Funari is the female lead, however, and Gemser has limited screen time.

This is a strange animal from Joe D'Amato. I can't tell if it is a hard core film with enough zombie footage to escape some censorship laws somewhere, or a zombie film with hard core footage added to increase sales in an era where people were demanding more than just topless nudity.

The film opens in a mental institution, where we see an inmate sneak off and have sex with a nurse (unknown actress who shows buns and one breast). The rest of the film explains how he was driven insane.


He's the captain of a charter sailboat in some unnamed tropical island country. An American has secured a 99 year lease on another island to build a resort, and hires the captain to take him there for a survey. The island is supposed to be uninhabited, but the local stink is that it is an evil place.

Before the actual trip comes the hard core phase of the movie. We see the businessman having sex with two hookers (unknown actresses who show everything in typical hardcore footage, including oral, penetration and a money shot). When he invites them to go to the island with him, the girls get spooked and leave without even collecting their money. The woman in the room next door (unknown actress who shows all) sees the businessman naked and erect in the hallway, and does him. Meanwhile, the captain is on his boat, doing the wife (Lucia Ramirez, who shows all) of his previous customer, who is losing his ass in a casino. (Talk about getting fucked over ...) The captain then visits a friend (unknown actress, who shows everything) who owns an erotic club and sees a private show (more about that later), while the American does yet another woman, Dirce Funari, who decides to join them on the cruise. Dirce is always topless, and frequently completely naked, for most of the rest of the film. Both the captain and the businessmen demonstrate their erect manhoods on camera.

Turns out the island is not exactly uninhabited. An old man lives there with his granddaughter (Laura Gemser, who shows everything including a rear-view gyno shot) who spends a lot of the time shape-shifting into a black cat. Of course, the island is full of zombies. During the sail and the first few days at the island, we enter a soft core phase of the film, where Dirce does the American, the captain, and the granddaughter.

This ushers in the zombie phase, when Gemser decides the businessman is an asshole, and does him in (more about that later) turning him into a zombie.


See the main commentary

Lets start with the good things:

1) The transfer is outstanding
2) The DVD has nearly 30 minutes of deleted footage
3) There is a lot of sex and nudity
4) They actually mention the fact that their only advantage over an infinite number of zombies in that zombies move at a snail's pace.
5) The stage act is truly unique. The woman squats over a magnum of champagne, inserts it, and rides it until the cork pops. NOTE: Don't try this at home. The escaping air would likely cause a fatal air embolism, and at best, the cork would be very painful.

DVD info from Amazon

  • no features, no widescreen

Now for the negatives:

1) The editing is really rough.
2) The sex scenes really have nothing to do with the zombie plot.
3) The story is weak.
4) The dubbing is typically poor.
5) It is overly long at 104 minutes, with three very different kinds of content.
6) We don't have nearly enough of Gemser.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online. IMDb links to a couple of genre reviewers.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it a surprisingly high 4.6/10.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a D+.  Hard core fans will hate all but the first half hour, zombie fans have to wait for the last 20 minutes, and most soft core fans won't think the soft core section is good enough to put up with graphic hard core and slow motion zombies. This is easily the raunchiest Eurotrash zombie film I have seen. From my viewpoint, it is mainly of interest to those who, like me, are fascinated by the 50s through 80s history of erotica, but sure to disappoint others. It doesn't matter if you call the genre horror, hard core adult, or softcore, it is a D+, as most of the film will not please any of the three audiences.

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