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Film / The Grapes of Death

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The Grapes of Death (French: Les Raisins de la Mort) is a 1978 French horror film directed by Jean Rollin and starring Marie-Georges Pascal. The plot centers around a young woman named Élizabeth (Pascal) who becomes trapped in a village where a dangerous pesticide has turned the residents into aggressive zombie-like creatures.

The Tropes of Death:

  • Body Horror: The first sign of the zombie infection occurs when a vineyard worker feels a sharp pain in his neck, which gradually turns into a huge ulcer that eventually starts oozing blood.
  • Gorn: It's not as bad as some of the contemporary Italian zombie flicks in this regard, but it's still understandably a pretty nasty affair.
  • Never Trust a Title: While it is an awesome title, the grapes themselves don't kill anybody. Farm chemicals applied to the grapes cause people to go berserk.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: An inadvertent artificial example with elements of the plague-bearing variety. However, these ones aren't infectious, have lucid periods, and can recover completely.
  • Pun-Based Title: In two languages. The English title is a pun on The Grapes of Wrath, referring to the film's vineyard setting, while the French title sounds similar to "raison de la mort" ("cause of death").
  • Technically Living Zombie: The vineyard workers are turned into feral pseudo-zombies by farm chemicals, in a similar fashion to those infected by the airborne virus in George A. Romero's The Crazies.