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This was my first ever video nasty, originally viewed in the mid 80's, and for that reason it shall always have a special place in my heart. The first thing that struck me was that the budget must have been relatively high. Fulci was never a great one for narrative coherence (this is probably his most conventional film) and typically for the Italian films of the time this must have been pitched as a sequence of set-pieces (the shark battle, the fiery finale, and of course, the infamous eyeball scene). Unfortunately for the most part these are fairly flatly directed and fall short of their potential for tension. The earlier expository scenes are especially protracted, and throughout Fulci has a tendency to leave shots hanging well past their sell-by date. That said, the film is not completely artless, and whereas it lacks suspense, it does have a degree of atmosphere about it. After the political correctness of the 80's and the 'post-Modernist' knowingness of the 90's, Zombie Flesheaters, with its excessive gore and its leering nudity, its risible dubbed dialog and its a complete lack of humour, with its simplistic plotting and comic-book characterisation, is probably most interesting if viewed from the perspective that firstly, that there was ever a market for this sort of thing and secondly, that people thought that films like this needed suppressing. Yes it's true, they don't make them like this anymore!
Now this is how a zombie film should be made! Whilst Lucio Fuci never had the creative genius of Dario Argento in Profondo Rosso, Tenebrae and Suspiria, he certainly knew how to make a good old fashioned zombie/gore movie. In Zombi 2 or Zombie Flesh Eaters (what a title!) as it was known in the UK, a ship drifts into New York with a very large, hungry zombie on board. This leads to two investigative journalists, including gore stalwart Ian McCulloch, with two holiday makers going to the Island of Matul. After meeting a shark wrestling zombie en route, they arrive at Matul where things are not going well. The hospital run by Dr. Menard has turned into a morgue where daily zombie killing has become the routine. Things go from bad to worse as the zombies grow in number and various dismemberment, eye gouging, jugular bites etc ensue. What makes this film so good are various factors. Apart from being one of the first gore films I ever saw, it has no social commentary or hidden meaning and does not try to be a comedy (although some may argue with this). It is a good, honest gore film. The special effects are nice and gruesome, with fantastic zombie make up, great zombie attacks and loads of maggots and worms. The crazy underwater battle between zombie and shark is totally original and not surprisingly has never been tried since. The infamous eye scene whilst a bit creaky still makes the viewer cringe. The acting and dubbing are dodgy but don't detract from the zombie mayhem, the music is great with calypso music to greet the heroes and throbbing effects to welcome the zombies. I cannot recommend this highly enough for good old fashioned zombie related thrills. Also look out for The Beyond and City of the Living Dead in a similar vein.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
#1 - Getting reception for New York City radio stations is easier than
you'd think on the island of Matool. #2 - Molotov cocktails are easy to
ignite, but the flames they produce rarely stay lit if you're throwing
more than one at a time. #3 - Dr. Menard likes his booze and laying,
fully clothed, in the sun (in that order.) #4 - If a shark with no
teeth decides to get into a ridiculous scuffle with an underwater
zombie, chances are it's going to end in a draw. #5 - NYC harbor patrol
boats often fly French flags. #6 - The perfect remedy for having a
busted ankle while being chased by legions of undead assailants is a
good 'ole fashioned jungle makeout session. #7 - A dozen zombies
shuffling into a door will (eventually and without any explanation)
smash any barricade. #8 - Apparently, there are many different ways to
scuba dive I've yet to try. #9 - Hospitals that look like churches are
often well stocked in the ammo department (why not?) #10 - Splinters
make eyeballs go "ouch!" #11 - The simple act of bribing a cabbie
equals instant zombie adventure.
You can't account for personal taste, because it's all subjective, so I'm going to steer clear of any and all "this movie is great and you suck if you don't like it and I'll kick you twice in the rear if you do and, um... your momma and your dog and here's 15 reasons why I love being a film student" silliness that seems to be an IMDb staple.
What I will say is that this film is amazing. The zombies are great looking, the plot is ridiculous and full of holes, the music is stunning in its' elevator-esqueness, and Ian McCullough's combover is the stuff that dreams are made of. I read somewhere on IMDb that this film "wouldn't gain any converts to the genre," but I strongly disagree. This film firmly cemented my lifelong love of all things horror and is, in my humble and worthless opinion, most likely the greatest film ever made - so take that "Mom and Dad Save the World!"
Surely the best film Fulci has ever directed, involving several zombies on a Caribbean island. As with all Fulci films, the movie suffers from rather bad dubbing, but all Fulci films seem to have this problem, so it`s almost a hallmark for the director. The gore is graphic & over-the-top, but when you`ve seen a zombie deep in the ocean fighting with a shark, nothing is over the top. A few memorable scenes, (the eye scene has to be the highlight) but this is movie is all about escapism. If you can handle the explicit gore (and if you`re watching Fulci, you better had!) this is a definite `lads night in movie`. Just don`t try to find too many subtexts in it`s, ahem, plot. (7 out of 10)
Lucio Fulci's "Zombi 2" is by far his most famous contribution to the genre.The make-up effects by Gianetto de Rossi are amazing and the direction by maestro Fulci creates unremitting vile monsters and a real sense of decay,horror and hopelessness.The gore in some parts is extreme(I love especially the scene when Auretta Gay has her throat torn out),but this is not the goriest Italian zombie flick ever made.Andrea Bianchi's "Burial Ground" is much more gorier.However I must agree with Trooper8-2 that mainstream American zombie flicks like "Return of the Living Dead" or similar politically correct garbage are nowhere near as explicit as Italian gorefests.The plot is simple:Tisa Farrow and Ian MacCulloch travel to the island of Matool in search of her missing father.Unfortunately for them and their two companions(Al Cliver and Auretta Gay)they are thrown into a nightmare of undead.Many people say that "Zombi 2" is a "Dawn of the Dead" rip-off,I absolutely disagree because other than the presence of the zombies there is nothing in common between the two.Check it out if you're an Euro-horror fan,but if you like American trendy "horror flicks" like "Scream" then stay away.Highly recommended.
Zombie is right up there with Romero's films in terms of quality. You
don't have to be a zombie fan to like this film. Directed by Lucio
Fulci, this movie is one of the best Italian horror films ever made.
It's a shame it's not as famous as Romero's series.
The visuals are creepy and outstanding. The way the light and shadows reflect add so much to the movie. The gore is outstanding and will make any normal person want to turn away. Make sure you see this on DVD as I saw it on an old VHS and the dialog did not sync very will with the picture.
The style is absolutely amazing from the visuals to the synthesized soundtrack. I normally hate 70's sounding electronic music but this soundtrack really emphasizes the feeling of dread in this movie.
The final shots are hypnotizing and (as with all other zombie movies) even though the acting could have been better, the suspense of the finale makes this a movie I would recommend to any horror fan.
Zombi 2 (Zombie, Zombie Flesh Eaters) is a classic gore filled zombie
film, in Italy it's classed as a sequel to George A Romero's Dawn of
The Dead since in Italy it's called Zombi. But in other parts of the
world they classed it as a separate film and named it something else
like Zombie and Zombie Flesh Eaters.
But sequel or not this film has some of the most realistic gore effects going for a zombie film, the infamous eye in the wood scene is one example. The zombie VS shark is another interesting scene.
The music is good and sets the tone, the dubbing is kind of bad but that isn't a problem.
A Classic Zombie film that zombie fans or gore fans would love to see but make sure it's the Un Rated version. 10/10
'Zombie Flesh-Eaters' is the movie that put Lucio Fulci on the map, after a
career of over twenty years. Initially presented as a sequel to Romero's
(superior) 'Dawn Of The Dead' there is actually no connection between the
two, and is best regarded as a stand alone horror movie. Unfortunately I
watched the Australian cut from several years back which is missing a lot of
the most explicit violence and gore, but even so I recommend this for lovers
of Zombie movies.
The plot here is pretty simplistic, the acting variable but usually above average (including a few familiar horror veterans and Tisa Farrow of 'Fingers'), but after a fairly dull first half hour it picks up the pace. Fulci and his special effects crew must be congratulated for creating such realistic and repulsive looking zombies on such a low budget. They really are something to see, and arguably better than Romero's. And 'Zombie Flesh-Eaters' features an extraordinary sequence involving an underwater zombie/shark fight, which must be one of the highlights of any zombie movie, Romero or otherwise. Fulci went on to more spectacular and original movies ('The Beyond' is highly recommended), but this is still a very credible effort, and essential viewing for horror fans.
A sail boat arrives in New York without a living soul but a zombie that
attacks two guards from the Coast Guard. The daughter of the owner of
the ship, Anne Bowles (Tisa Farrow), requests information about her
missing father that was in the Antilles to the detectives that are
investigating the crime without success. She meets the journalist Peter
West (Ian McCulloch) and they decide to investigate what might have
happened to her father. They travel to Matul Island with Brian Hull (Al
Cliver) and Susan Barrett (Auretta Gay) in their boat. Once in the
tropical island, they meet Dr. David Menard (Richard Johnson), who is
trying to find a cure to a disease that brings dead back to life,
turning them into zombies that eat human flesh.
"Zombie 2" is a horror classic of Lucio Fulci with a simple, but interesting screenplay. The unforgettable story begins like Nosferatu, with an empty boat arriving in a harbor with a zombie instead of a vampire; shows the naked body of two beautiful actresses, Auretta Gay and Olga Karlatos; is very gore, with a death that slightly recalls the famous scene of Buñuel in "Un Chien Andalou", when the zombie perforates the eye of Paola Menard; and has a very scary and impressive make-up, with zombies eating human flesh and biting and killing people. The sister of Mia Farrow, Tisa Farrow, has a good performance in this cult-movie. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Zombie O Retorno dos Mortos" ("Zombie The Return of the Dead")
Not many people know about this gem by Lucio Fulci. It's known by many
titles: Zombie, Zombi 2, Zombi Flesh Eaters, and so on. The story is
simple, a boat arrives in New York harbor with no one on-board except
for an extremely obese zombie. The boat is own by a scientist doing
research on the faraway island of Matool but he is not on the boat. So
his daughter and a reporter head out to Matool to find out what
happened to him. Well, little do they know that the island is cursed
and inhabited by a large number of zombies. After arriving on the
island with another couple who gave them a boat ride the action really
starts to heat up until the fiery finale.
The style of this movie is really what makes it and that is in turn enhanced by Fabio Frizzi's haunting score. Most of the zombies in this movie look as if they've been dead and rotting for a long time, the way they SHOULD look and not with some blue makeup BS that occurs in many other zombie flicks. There are scenes in this movie that have to be seen to be believed like the shark vs. zombie underwater battle and when Dr. Menard's wife gets turned into a smörgåsbord for the undead.
Check it out zombie lovers and you won't be disappointed!
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