Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Movie Review: Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979)

Remember to brush your teeth!
Zombie vs. Tiger Shark! Possibly the best selling point for any Horror movie ever! Can you say in all seriousness that you wouldn't watch just to see that?

Well if you do decide to watch, you will get more than just a lumbering awkward looking Zombie grappling with an eight foot long Tiger Shark in beautiful tropical waters. You will be getting one of the all time classic zombie films. Hot on the heels of Dawn of the Dead or Zombi as it was known in Italy, this little number came along. Called Zombi 2 for the Italian market, maybe in an attempt to coat tail some of the success coming for George A. Romero's classic but nevertheless, Zombi 2 delivers it's own brand.

Directed by Italian supremo Lucio Fulci, he delivers an udead romp which was able to compete with the master himself (George A. Romero) Starting off in New York Harbor (possible another attempt to appeal to the wider audience of Dawn) but mainly set on a tropical island. In stark contrast to the beauty of the sand and palm trees, the undead begin to rise, looking like we'd never seen them before.

As with most zombie films, the storyline leaves a lot to be desired but when you're watching zombies munching on helpless humans, why would you want a storyline to distract you from the magic? Fulci injects the film with various other gems to keep you gripped.

Obviously the afore mentioned Zombie vs Shark scene is without question, one of the best and most widely remembered scenes in any horror film but the eye impaling scene, possibly infamous for being excluded from the cut version really gives it a super gory, intense feel.

All in all a very gory outing which more than rivals Dawn and its predecessor, Night of the Living Dead and sits Fulci right up there with Romero. The film spawned several sequels but none hit the same heady heights as the original. Atmospheric soundtrack and great make-up help to make Zombie Flesh Eaters one of the best Zombie films ever. If you liked any of the Dead series check this one out.

Released: 1979
Zombie (1979) on IMDb
My Rating: 8

1 comment:

  1. The Italians were not trying to coattail a Romero classic but an argento one. You are right to identify the movie as Dawn of the Dead but Dawn of the dead was italian financed (by Argento and co)thus the use of Goblin music and so on - after all, Goblin was pretty much Argento's house band.

    Romero would not have been an especially bankable director in Europe or Italy in particular, but Argento was huge.

    In interviews Fulci spoke of his rivalry with Argento and how he wrote to Dario an objection to his appropriation of the zombie myth with DOTD. It was to this that Zombi 2 responded.

    Fulci claimed he was doing something original in taking the zombue out of the shopping mall and returning it to the Caribbean. This is a bit dishonest on the part of Fulci and I say this despite my biases. Fulci simply borrowed the Romero genre rules completely (aim for the head and so on) and so what he has done is, rather than make something totally original, is make a semi prequel to zombi.

    Criticism aside some have pointed to the politics of dawn of the dead. Fulci's film is a far more political film and contains a none to subtle anti colonial message that responds directly to the questions of european imperialism in the context of central america, not just in the use of conquistadores but in a downbeat ended that pit the wretched of the earth against the capital of global finance.

    I am more inclined to agree with your rating- 8 than the imdb one. zombi 2 is possibly the high point of the genre and way above any of romero's films with the exception possibly of Day of the Dead.

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