Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 ( 1979 )

AKA : Zombie Flesh Eaters

"Strangers looking for a woman's father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead." 

Promotional Stills
This is it.....one of the biggest Italian horror films of all time. The zombie head image above is just as iconic to horror fans as Leatherface running with the chainsaw in the original TCM or Pinhead holding the puzzle box on the cover to Hellraiser. Directed by the late Lucio Fulci " the Godfather of Gore " it remains to be his most popular film and is considered to be his masterpiece even after his death in 1996. Though this film was meant to cash in on the popularity of George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead", it proves that it can stand alone by any means.

Our film starts out as a unknown boat is mysteriously floating about the waters of New York city. The local police are called in to investigate, and while exploring one is attacked by one enormous fat and obviously hungry zombie. He gets shot by the remaining officer and thrown overboard. Moving onward, the boat is discovered to be owned by a doctor who months earlier went off to a distant island called "Matul" for research, he never returned. His daughter, Anne ( now all of a sudden concerned ) seeks to find out what happened to her father, she enlists the help of local reporter Peter West and together they hitch a ride with a vacationist couple to the island of Matul in search of answers.
The famous zombie vs shark scene

Once on the island they quickly discover the island is ridden with a terrifying disease that makes the dead return to life and devour the living, but not just any disease, this one has to do with voodoo. The group meets Dr. Menard and he informs them whats been happening with the islanders. Now the group and the last of the survivors must ban together and fight off the rising horde of flesh eaters as the gore gets spread on like a dripping jelly sandwich

I can see why this is such a cult film, its purely shocking. I remember the first time I seen this as a kid, I hated it. Not because it was terrible because thats not the case, but because I was shocked and terrified. Me being a young kid that was used to the USA's popular horror like Night of Living Dead, Friday the 13th and such had no idea about Italy's super gory and gloomy horror, it burned in my memory. Now today it remains as one of my top 10 favorite horror films of all time, go figure.
The cringing eye gouging scene.
But I think the title "Zombi 2" needs a little explanation, because I know you must be thinking "well how good is part one ?". Well this is part one in a sense actually, see when George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" was released in Italy, it was under the title "Zombi", so to cash in on the success, Fulci released his film under "Zombi 2". But in the United States Fulci's film is just called "Zombie" Get it ? It is kind of confusing. There was sequels to follow, keeping the "Zombie 2" thing going in italy, there was a "Zombi 3" that was partially directed by Lucio Fulci before he quit the film, it wasnt even close to being as good as its predecessor.
Zombie feast

The film starts quickly and moves at a decent pace, never losing track of its plot. The theme is interesting itself, its gloomy and fits very well, but its one of those themes that you'll never forget hearing, you should not be surprised if you have it stuck in your head all goddamn day. Another aspect I liked was that the cause of the epidemic was voodoo, which is a change of pace for once, and is loosely based on the original roots of the zombie legend. Fulci's direction is similar to all his genre films, heavy on mood, shocking, and of course cringing ( lots of gory close ups ), its a simple formula and it works well. The acting is decent, no ones going to get a academy award here, but its believable ( better than some hollywood actors ). All in all I can't say much more about this film that hasn't been said already, if you are a horror fan, this is a absolute must see ! Its a underground classic that deserves more recognition.

New York is doomed
Gore : 5/5 -This one packs a punch full of blood, guts, brains, and disembowelment, its no surprise it's a influence on many death metal bands as well. We get a nasty closeup splinter to the eye, neck tearing, bitten chunks of flesh, juicy head explosions and much more.

Gratuitous Nudity : 2/5 - We get a few shots of nudity. One complete with thong and one shower scene.

Death count : 10+

Special FX : 5/5 - The zombies are extremely well done with the whole rotten and decayed look. Not too much over the top but just right.

Alternate poster art
Best Scenes : Many to choose from, probably the most popular is the complete underwater scene where a zombie battles a live shark, im not sure how they did it, but its way fucking cool. I also liked the Spanish conquistadors graveyard scene where we first see the iconic zombie in the above image.

Things you will learn from this movie 

Zombies and sharks are mortal enemies.

When there's a giant splinter going toward your eye its best not to simply move out of the way.

When your woman calls you evil, cruel, and demented, just slap her.

Getting down to your birthday suit in front of strangers is perfectly normal, especially in front of your husband.

Making out with a stranger saves you from getting arrested.

Voodoo drums make women lose it.

Memorable Quotes : " The boat can leave now, tell the crew"


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