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After "ZOMBIE 3", did we really think that the "ZOMBIE" series could get any
worse? Upon watching the laugh-riot that is "ZOMBIE 4", I can happily answer
that question with a "Yes".
The opening credits are probably the best thing about this movie that screams "straight-to-video", red block credits against a black background that slide off-screen to the soundtrack of some 80's "Survivor"-wannabes singing about something to do with the 'nightlife'.
Anyway, the opening scenes of "ZOMBIE 4" will set the laugh meter right off. We have some high-school production set that is supposed to resemble a 'cave' with some black guy chanting incantations from "The Book Of The Dead" (how do we know this? It says it right there on the front cover in black permanent marker!). In the background, we have some black woman with long frizzy hair running around doing jazz-ballet moves from "CATS" in some weird "new wave"-type dance. She pauses every few minutes to shriek, which is supposed to infer that she's gone bonkers.
Suddenly, an 'animated' light (the bulk of the special effects budget went into this one scene) appears and floats into her open mouth as she screams and the next thing you know, she's floating down some hole that opens up in the floor, "slow-motion"-style (LOL). A group of white people appear brandishing guns who start accusing the black priest of bringing death and destruction to the people of the island. The priest blames the white people (who are apparently Doctors) of killing his wife and daughter and that they will now face their wrath when they come back from the dead as 'flesh eating' demons.
One gun happy white man shoots the priest, and before you know it, the black girl who just went down the hole is back, as a demon! With huge white plastic fangs (they look like Halloween props) and green juice that she dribbles freely from her ridiculously over-stuffed mouth, she chases the white folk around the caves where she kills them one by one in hilarious fashions. She throws one guy, face-first into the wall, another guy, she slowly rips his face off. Two guys, she corners in front of a locked gate where the camera pans away so we can hear screams and see red paint being splashed onto the wall.
In another unrelated scene, we see a couple and their daughter running around in the forest, pausing to look back every few seconds while the camera dogs them from behind. The fog machine has been set on "MAX" as they scurry under palm fronds and jump logs. When they pause for a breather, the father tells them to wait there (that's right, it's the perfect moment to split up!) while he checks out the surroundings. A zombie in a habit shows up and takes a bite out of the father's neck. The mother gives some amulet to the daughter and makes her run off while she grabs a yardstick to 'take care of business'. (Check out the serious look on her face as she turns around to seek revenge! - LOL)
Needless to say, her 'helping the situation' is pretty useless and she too is pulled down and eaten alive by several more zombies.
Flash-forward twenty years, and the little girl (who somehow escaped the island!) is back with a boatload of "Soldiers of Fortune" and her girlfriend. Their boat is 'sucked' towards the island (the motor goes out and they lose control of the steering) where they are grounded on zombie island. Also on the island are three backpackers (where did they come from again?) who wander right into the cave where the original slaughter took place. Gay porn star Jeff Stryker tries his hand at 'serious acting' where he walks around the entire time in an open shirt that reveals his sweaty pecs and a clueless look on his face. After Stryker gets the brilliant idea to read from "The Book Of The Dead", zombies appear and his two friends are butchered by zombies inside the cave while he manages to escape.
He teams up with the other people who are taking refuge inside some hospital shack (I guess it's the original settlement where the Doctors from the opening scene of the movie are from). One of their group have already been munched on by a zombie. He slowly deteriorates and before you know it, has become a zombie himself. Outside of the building stand another group of zombies who don't move because there is some sort of candle arrangement inside that prevents them from attacking. Of course, one of the guys gets the brilliant idea to blow them out, and the zombies start their bloodshed!
The guy that got bitten bites the girlfriend who turns into a zombie. She then bites another guy who runs outside and hides behind a tree. He too becomes a zombie. He attacks another man inside a church by biting his arm. (Do these zombies not even eat people? All they do is take one bite and then walk off!) That guy too turns into a zombie. Before you know it, there are only three people left, Jeff Stryker, the girl from the beginning of the movie and some black guy who you just know is going to die. He in turn sacrifices himself by blowing up the hospital shack with a hand grenade, along with all of their zombie friends.
Stryker and the girl run back to the cave where they try to turn around the chain of events by 'closing the door to Hell'. The cave has now become some sort of a prop set with green spotlights and a red smoke-filled hole. The girl looks into a mirror where she starts peeling chunks of flesh off her face, followed by the plucking out of her eyeball. Stryker meanwhile gets a zombie hand driven through his torso from behind that thrusts in and out (for no apparent reason). As Stryker sinks to the ground with a dramatic look of horror on his face, the camera pans on the girl whose face has fully been removed (complete with a new hairstyle) and now resembles that of a zombie.
Closing credits appear and you're glad that the hurting has stopped. The zombies in this movie were quick-moving like those in "ZOMBIE 3". Except instead of wearing Asian martial-arts garb, these ones wear habits, usually with a strip of material hanging over their face to skimp on the make-up budget. The definition of "zombies" in this movie isn't the fact that they are "flesh eating creatures re-animated from the dead", they are just people who run around trying to kill people. While most run after their targets, there is also the occasional 'slow-rising' zombie (check out the one near the end that comes out of the floor boards).
As some of the zombies rise from their shallow graves (why are all of the 'dead people' buried in one-inch dirt graves?), the sound of 'crumpling paper' can be heard as they make their way out of the dirt. I think the funniest scene was when "Tommy" turns into a zombie and suddenly grows 'black claws' when he grabs one of the girls' faces from behind a wall.
How are movies like this trash even considered for a DVD release? They were best when they were only available as 'hard-to-find' videos that were left-over in the dusty Horror section from the 1980's at the local video store. Regardless, "ZOMBIE 4" is a miss. It's not even worth it just for the opening scene, which is in fact one of the funniest things I've ever seen in a long time.
My Rating - 1 out of 10
A boatload of people run into `technical difficulties' and are forced to
dock on a strange island where the dead are heard screaming. They join up
with some survivors running from the zombie hordes infesting the island. It
seems that some odd years ago the island was a research center where the
world's top scientists gathered to defeat man's worst enemy
during the experiments it seems that the scientists tried to cure a young
girls' disease and end up killing her instead. Unfortunately for them her
big bad voodoo daddy takes it personally and opens the third doorway to
hell. One girl survived the zombie onslaught and now as a woman must unlock
the secret that will close the gate to hell.
The script in the end is way too disjointed. It seems that whenever the scriptwriter came up with something he would just half hazardly throw it in and hope for the best. The action/ adventure element was a nice touch and kept the pace flowing nicely. As what seems to be a common factor in Italian zombie movies we get a soft-focus look that to me is quite annoying at times. Add to the mix a rather lush jungle, at times a choking (and blinding) fog and a synth score that owes a great deal to John Carpenter and you get a above-average but rather plain (and sometimes funny) zombie flick. The makeup effects aren't anything to write home about but the zombies are relatively intelligent (they even shoot and talk) and chew the scenery with mucho gusto.
This movie is called After Death but in the USA it's Zombie 4: After
Death and in the UK it's Zombie Flesh Eaters 3, this film is one of my
favourite zombie movies. It's got some really great gore scenes and the
music is cool, the zombies in this movie are different to the other
zombie films since they can run and some of them can talk (The Return
of the Living Dead and the Dawn of the Dead remake had similar
zombies), After Death was shot in the Philippines just like Strike
Commando 2 and an interesting thing is that Claudio Fraggaso was
shearing the camera with Bruno Mattie who was filming Strike Commando 2
which Claudio also filmed, so when Strike Commando 2 was being filmed
Claudio would have to wait and then when they had finished filming he
would use the camera to film After Death.
After Death (Zombie 4: After Death, Zombie Flesh Eaters 3) is a great zombie flick that should be seen, gore fans and zombies fans will love this film. Check it out. 10/10
A group of scientists researching cancer treatments unintentionally
kills the daughter of a voodoo priest. The priest hopes to get his
daughter back by opening the third gate of Hell. Fast paced, fun action
ensues as demonic zombies are unleashed. A group of mercenaries arrive
to add to the fun, which leads to a downbeat ending. Why? Because there
is a Zombie 5! Hmmm, an Italian zombie flick directed by a white guy
with a white cast. How are the results you ask? Pretty good, but let's
clear some things up. The director is listed as Clyde Anderson, which
is a pseudonym for Claudio Fragasso. He uses the English name for his B
& Z movies, so he still has the respect of Italians. He also worked on
Zombi 3, which is famous for Lucio Fulci walking off production and the
rest being shot uncredited by Bruno Mattei and Fragasso himself. This
is the third in the Italian Zombi series.
And so goes another take of Nature vs Science vs Military. This is pure 80s flick right down to the "Eye of the Tiger"-type inspirational music, the guys with open shirts, girls with puffy hair, and a token black guy with a boom box. Story wise, this doesn't break new ground. The plot is similar to other stuck-on-an-island-with-zombies flicks, but this features voodoo elements, running zombies, and zombie friends that taunt the would-be victims. Hell, these zombies karate chop their way to the next meal.
There are of course plot holes. The chick says that she is cursed and the zombies want her after she escaped the fate of her family's death 20 years ago, so Why did she return to the island? She mentioned something about just now realizing she watched her parents get eaten when she was little. Yeah, like that would be difficult to forget. And if the magical circle of candles stops the zombies, Why don't they relight them when they go out and they get hit with another wave of zombies? The movie starts to slow down right about when the chick starts explaining why things are happening. I am pretty sure this part was improvised and she completely made up the weird story on the spot. The other characters die pretty quickly and we are stuck with the two bumbleheads. The acting is pretty laughable, as it always seems to be in this sort of flick. Chuck Peyton and Candice Daly seem pretty enough to look at, but do not sound very bright. Daly did the movie to be near her boyfriend in the Philippines and Peyton is really porn star Jeff Stryker. Really important side note: he has a 10 inch penis. For reals.
The camera shots are very clever and engaging with the director's predilection for extreme close ups whether to bulging eyes, chanting mouths, military boots stomping. The lighting was quite effective with flashlights in dark tunnels or candles lighting a room. The cinematography was well done with much attention lavished upon the lush forests to paint them falsely as inviting, instead of as an indicator of impending doom. The SFX kicked some ass and includes exploding heads, scissor stabbings, ripped off faces, a hand through a chest, and a pulsating eyeball. I have read some negative reviews, but I thought the film was pretty entertaining. I honestly believe the negativity stems from the ballyhoo surrounding the Zombie series.
For some reason, the Shriek Show version I watched was listed at only 85mins long. The Shriek Show (subdivision of Media Blasters) US DVD release in 2002 has a running time of 90mins. I also read one description stating there was gratuitous nudity, but there was no sex at all in this. Not sure where the differences come into play, but I know After Death was the original title, but when Shriek Show picked it up, they changed it to Zombie 4 to tie in with the series. Possibly a simple misprint on some sites are to blame.
DVD Extras: Fragasso's Bio, Interviews with Daly, Guy, & Fragasso, and Trailers for Eaten Alive, House on the Edge of the Park, Zombie 3, and Zombi (Hidden).
Favorite Quote: Machismo man, "Those are the times when it really counts in a mans life. When you discover if you've got any balls. When a man is afraid he's going to die, there's nothing he wants more than a woman by his side. And I want you." (She turns him down) Bottom Line: One of the better cheesy 80s zombie flicks with some fast paced action and good gore shots.
by Molly Celaschi www.HorrorYearbook.com
While working in a research for the cure of brain damage, a group of
scientists are attacked and killed by a horde of zombies unleashed by a
voodoo priest, and only a little girl saves. Twenty years later, she
returns to the island with a group of mercenaries, while three
researchers find a Book of the Dead and release the flesh-eater zombies
The lame and cheesy "After Death" has an awful screenplay with a terrible development of characters and their motives; the acting is laughable with histrionic movement of lips of the ham actors and actresses; the dubbing in English is unpleasant; the cinematography and locations are very poor and the soundtrack is annoying. The gore special effects are reasonable considering the extremely low-budget of this flick. My vote is three.
Title (Brazil): Not Available
ZOMBIE 4 is sooooooo bad that after watching it, I thought my DVD
player was defective and it accidentally skipped a couple of chapters
because the whole "story" just didn't make any sense at all and only a
technical glitch with the DVD player would explain the massive plot
holes in this cheap flick.
I thought OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES was wretched but ZOMBIE 4 actually surpassed it. Everything about ZOMBIE 4 is crap. At least there were some sex scenes in OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES. In ZOMBIE 4, there's nothing. Just a couple of interesting gore scenes and is better filmed than super murky OASIS.
There's a hilarious scene when one of the men wants to make out with a woman and the woman is reluctant. Well, that's understandable when they just escaped from an attack of a dozen zombies, who are still lurking right outside the house. Buddy, talk about bad timing. Arf!
Anyway, it's only worth seeing if you're a horror completist, enjoy Euro horror or are a zombie freak. No one else should see this abomination.
This movie (?) doesn't really have zombies...they are more like Talking Ninja Ghouls and doesn't really have actors...they are more like people off the street. Almost has a 'porno-like' quality and feel to it. Also, has way too much back-story and way, way too much over explanation. In a nut shell, it goes something like this...some scientists on an island are trying to create the cure for cancer but they create some kind of reanimation formula and to top it off...they let this voodoo guy's daughter die...so, the voodoo guy sends his wife to hell and she comes back as a demon-like thing and everybody tries to run away, but the Ninja Ghouls get them...oh except for this little girl who wobbles away then starts to stop wobbling...but she continues and somehow finds a travel agent and gets off the island (I'm guessing because they don't show this). Anyway, I guess, we flash forward to when this little girl is all growed up, but I don't know because nobody says so and they don't even have the little '20 Years Later' graphic appear on the screen...where was I? Oh yeah, so, this growed up little girl comes back to the island...I'm not sure why...to find her parents bodies or something? But she came prepared...she has a bunch of angry army guys with her and one guy is so tough that he actually chases a zombie down and starts to beat him up for no good reason. Also, these two tough guys and a girl stroll into town...I don't know where they came from either, nor what town they're walking through...oh and one is wearing glasses which makes him smart. I think they must have used the little girls travel agent. Then people start getting torn apart...basically introduced then torn apart, to the point where it appears quite random. After people are torn apart...they come back and taunt their old friends...these are very mean spirited zombies. Where was I? I don't know...watch it and I don't think you'll know either!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This Italian flesh munching zombie flick gets no marks for coherency.
It does have something resembling a story, but mostly focuses on
mayhem. It's so bad that what it looks like is somebody's home movies,
thrown together with enthusiastic, if not that talented, friends, and
full to the brim with hilariously tacky gore. Those horror fans who
love the weird and the enjoyably bad are sure to be amused to some
degree while watching.
Basically, researchers have come to an island paradise to work on curing diseases such as cancer and anger the local voodoo practitioner. The result is an onslaught of the living dead; cut to 20 years later, and two different parties - another bunch of researchers and a team of mercenaries - come to the place. Guess what happens. Yup, those pesky living dead are still around to snack on the steady supply of stupid people.
The dialogue is hilarious, made even more so by the horrible dubbing and cruddy performances. That doesn't mean, however, that the actors don't entertain in their own way, including Jeff Stryker as tenacious hero Chuck and beautiful Candice Daly as useless heroine Jenny, a gal who's going to need saving on a regular basis.
The fumbling direction is by "Troll 2" screenwriter / director Claudio Fragasso, who at least is able to milk the Philippines location for as much atmosphere as possible. The almost non- stop electronic music score by Al Festa is consistently amusing and is the final touch on this ridiculous, but irresistible hunk of cheese.
Worth a look just to see zombies that talk quite a bit and are just as happy firing guns as they are using their teeth.
Five out of 10.
What do you get if you mix an island of scientists, a voodoo witch
doctor, zombies... and then open the third door to Hell (apparently
neglecting the fact that Fulci had already opened all seven doors)?
Well, you get "After Death".
The first thing you'll notice about this film is the 80s metal soundtrack thrown together by Alberto Festa (including his song, repeated throughout the film, "Living After Death"). Not unlike other 80s Italian horror films, this seems to make sense even though it really doesn't.
The second thing you'll notice is that this film features gay porn star Jeff Stryker. (Unless, of course, you don't know gay porn stars... then you won't notice at all.)
This film is greatly under-appreciated by audiences, I fear. I loved it, and it seems that the hardcore fans of Italian horror do, too, despite the general agreement that this film fails. Jim Harper says the film features "fast-paced, sharply edited action scenes that rely heavily on excessive gore", and despite the fact "the story is patently absurd" the film is "gruesome enough to please gorehounds." Likewise, Jay Slater praises the film when he says the picture is "a blast of energy, rippling with violent action and awash with gore", an "energetic splatter picture in the spirit of Herschell Gordon Lewis" This is absolutely right. While trying to pass itself off as a sequel to "Dawn of the Dead", it has much more in common with Lamberto Bava's "Demons". The splatter effects and rock music make it perfect for this series.
Director Claudio Fragasso laments that the most intense gore had been stripped by the censors. He also insists that the "special effects were all made laboriously by hand", which I think pays off -- most of the zombies are remarkable. What gore was cut is unknown to me... it's already a fairly gory picture as is... to increase it would make this one for the record books.
If you only know Fragasso from the "best worst movie" "Troll 2" or don't know his work at all, this is a fine introduction. Taking the zombie jungle island formula many others have used and mixing it with the gore and colorful blood of Lamberto Bava, "After Death" is a film worth catching, and at least for me, owning.
I bought this on re-release from a video shop being a lover of zombie flicks and all. I was expecting maybe a boring low-budget but gory flick. I was absolutely shocked to find this being one of most outstanding zombie flicks that I'd seen in a long time! The start involves a man sacrificing his wife so she will live again on earth. (um...Makes sense) A group of scientists with Uzis confront him and kill him in a mad rage. The mans wife then returns as a horrifying demon who rips the faces off the scientists and goes in search of the rest. A woman scientist tells her daughter to run and leave the island while she goes back to fight an army of Phillipino ninja zombies! Yes, its true! We cut very quickly to about 15 years later and get involved with some likeable characters and the girl who are going back to the island to investigate. We have the young Tommy, a handsome former soldier. Dan, your everyday best friend. Mad, a great white hunter and soldier of fortune and Rod who is also a soldier of fortune. Along with the main girl and a chick who fancies Rod. We also have a trio of explorers on the island who are searching for the lost scientists and find a cave with dead reviving powers. In the trio we have Chuck, the other handsome but daft city boy, A girl who's name I forget and David, the smart leader played by Massimo Vanni who appeared in 'Rats:Night of terror' and 'The last Hunter'. After they revive the dead from reading a book they are attacked. David, however, looks like a nerd and the obvious first victim. Instead, he takes on about 10 zombies at the same time using a torch and various martial arts skills. He kills all of them and even snaps ones neck! David is definitely on my list of top zombie ass kickers. Uncle Les from 'Braindead(Dead Alive)' and Roger from 'Dawn of the dead' are among them. In the meantime, Chuck escapes and joins forces with the other group. They find a stash of Assault Rifles and begin to kick ass! There is a lot of gore! The movie really scores though on being an unrecognised gem. It has fog for a spooky atmosphere, Cool characters, gore, a great soundtrack, suspense, action and above average acting. It moves at a fast pace and tells the story well. There isn't any comedy though which is a downer but you won't care with as much spectacular stuff as this! A fearsome 9 out of 10!
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