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Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Toxic Lullaby'

Dennis King Published: June 25, 2012

This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:

“Toxic Lullaby”

If you think every possible twist and turn in the burgeoning zombie-movie genre has been tried, German writer-director Ralf Kemper now throws in a bad LSD trip to propel his low-budget flesh-eaters saga “Toxic Lullaby” (due out on DVD Tuesday).

Kemper’s movie, originally made for German television, tells the tale of a free-spirited hippie chick named Eloise (Samantha Richter) and her boozy, ragtag friends who are on a casual trip through the lush German countryside. Along the way they stop for a picnic in a lovely pasture and drop some acid.

But awakening from a bad trip, Eloise and her pals find themselves in a hellish zombie apocalypse, where they are relentlessly pursued by the ravenous undead and where even the uninfected survivors prove to be devious and dangerous.

The rest is a pretty formulaic flight-and-pursuit narrative, told at a breakneck pace and featuring encounters with incestuous rapists, desperate cannibals and macho military types. As a European production, it shows little restraint in depicting blood, goo, gore and horrifically graphic killings and dismemberments.

The modest twist here is that is the question – left hanging in the air – of whether Eloise’s grisly nightmare is indeed really happening or if it’s just a vivid and troubling hallucination brought on by a bad dose of LSD. But that’s only mild diversion from a by-the-book zombie flick with fairly stylish production values little new to say in terms of story.

“Toxic Lullaby” is not rated and runs 92 minutes. It’s being released by Vanguard Cinema.

- Dennis King