Non-Union Films: Shock Waves


Midmost Coast podcast episode 008 | Non-Union Films: Shock Waves | Aquatic Mutant German Zombies

[May Contain Adult Language]

Once upon a time someone built a concrete ship in Wilmington, North Carolina. The ship was taken over by a rum runner, run aground by the hurricane of the century, then taken over again. But this time by zombies. Aquatic zombies. Aquatic Nazi Zombies.

In “Aquatic Mutant German Zombies” we brace for impact and review the 1977 cult horror classic movie Shock Waves, just in time for Halloween.

See It If You Dare

Need to follow along at home? You can pick up the Blu-ray of Shock Waves on

(Disclosure: Midmost Coast can make a small commission for product links.)

Show Summary


Setting up the Movie

  • Recap of the history of the concrete vessel SS Sapona
  • Aquatic Nazi Zombies!
  • Other nazi zombie movies
  • Dealing with the z-word

The plot makes perfect sense

  • The Third Reich just wanted to make waterproof soldiers. But something went wrong. DEAD wrong.
  • Peter Cushing marooned the zombies and an old victrola
  • This movie was a gritty Gilligan’s Island remake

Unanswered Questions

  • A scene was cut out explaining why everyone was worried
  • The film needed some exposition to cover up some holes
  • Sunlight entering their eyes killed the zombies I guess?
  • The original negatives vanished in a mysterious mystery, probably taking the lost scenes with it

The Brave Cast

  • Peter Cushing, Brooke Adams and John Carradine
  • Luke Halpin brings the Mustache Fever
  • Fred Buch, the result of James Khan merging with Richard Simmons
  • Don Stout plays Bender
  • The improbable tale of the undercover zombie reporter
  • All those zombies


  • South Florida shooting locations
  • The soundtrack of synth horror overload
  • They almost killed David Carradine
  • Rated PG? What?
  • The nixed topless scene
  • This film received the first MacArthur grant. Seriously.
  • Tying it back to Wilmington, NC
  • Sean dies of exhaustion

Map of The Wrecked Sapona


The Movie

The Blu-ray of Shock Waves has a lot of behind the scenes information in the special features.

The cinematic trailer for the movie is on Youtube.


There is some basic information about Shock Waves on IMDb and Wikipedia.

Picture of undercover reporter Jay Maeder of the Miami Herald on the set of Shock Waves.

Our previous episode The Shipbuilding Epoch ties into this episode from a historical perspective.

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