42nd Street Cinema

Zombi 2 (1979)

Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2, also known in the UK as Zombie Flesh Eaters and in the US as just Zombie. It's undoubtedly a title that will ring loudly in the ear of horror aficionados, Fulci fans and nasty lovers to-date.
Starring genre stalwarts: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver, Olga Karlatos and Dakar.

The native title of Zombi 2 was a marketing ploy to cash in on the success of Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978), as that in Italy was billed as Zombi. Suggesting that this would be a sequel, though in fact serves as something more of a prequel.

A mysterious yacht drifts into New York Harbor, the Harbor Control are sent to investigate the vessel. On board, it appears to be like the 'Mary Celeste' that is until, a huge rotting man attacks and kills one of the patrolmen. The other patrolman manages to knock the fiend overboard by firing a few rounds of his pistol into it.
At this point we're introduced to our main protagonist, a young woman named Anne Bowles (Tisa Farrow). It seems that the boat belonged to her father, during a questioning from the police she explains that she doesn't know anything other than her father leaving for a tropical island to continue research. Here appears our second protagonist, Peter West (Ian McCulloch) a Reporter. Peter has been assigned to cover the story of the mysterious boat. The pair meet on the boat and after finding a note that details how her father has contracted a strange disease on the island of Matool (or Matul? I'm not sure of the correct spelling).



The duo set off on an exploration to the aforementioned island, on the journey the meet a couple named Brian Hull (Al Cliver) and Susan Barrett (Auretta Gay). When the foursome arrive at the island they soon meet Dr. David Menard (Richard Johnson), his wife Paola (Olga Karlatos). Dr. Menard is studying the island in an attempting to understand why the dead inhabitants return to life and feast upon the flesh of the living.
Surrounded by the living dead, it soon turns into a fight for survival against a horde of hungry flesh eaters.



Fulci took the zombie back to its Caribbean origin, operating outside of Romero's radiation contagion with voodoo and mad scientist themes. Worth mentioning is Giannetto De Rossi's make up effects which are much more distinct than Savini's blue faced ghouls. Unlike his fellow Italian contemporaries efforts, Zombi 2 is a well structured picture. Something that predominantly helps with its pacing and the end result is a brilliantly executed 'high-end' Italian zombie romp, boasting stunning Caribbean backdrops, unforgettable set pieces, political subtexts and a farcical zombie vs. shark sequence.
Love it.

4 comments:

Morgan said...

Amazing movie, one of my favorites! Fulci rules!

ajrisz said...

the eye scene is one of the coolest things ever! it's mine and quentin tarantino's favourite ; ).

richwilson said...

Check out my blog entry for another perspective on Fulci's classic:

http://richwilsononline.blogspot.com/2010/04/spaggetti-dead.html

Great blog, James.

tentas said...

great film
the coolest zombiew ever!

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