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Zombie (Zombi 2) - horror/sci-fi DVD review
ZOMBIE (ZOMBI 2) Unrated by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 1/2 stars
Actors: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker, Tania Saulnier
Director: James Gunn   Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD release: 24 Oct. 2006   Runtime: 96 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Subtitles (English, Spanish, French), Audio tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish, Dolby Digital 5.1), Deleted & extended scenes, Gag reel, Bringing Zombie (Zombi 2)'s Creatures to Life, Set tour, "Making of" featurette, commentary w/ James Gunn & Nathan Fillion

With the recent resurgence in zombie flicks, it seems fitting to pull one of the classics out of the archives. Lucio Fulci's Zombie is one of the Italian horror maestro's best films, one that stands the test of time.

The movie opens up with a yacht found drifting in New York Harbor. A team from harbor patrol goes to the yacht and boards it to investigate. One of the cops descends belowdecks and gets bitten in the neck by a zombie. Once the zombie makes its way on deck, the other cop empties his gun into it forcing it into the water. Anne Bowles (Tisa Farrow) gets questioned once the police figure out that the yacht belonged to her father. Later that night, Bowles sneaks on to her father's boat to look for more information and runs into a reporter named Peter West (Ian McCulloch) who found a letter stating that her father contracted some strange disease and is on the island of Matool. Together, Bowles and West set out to Matool to find her father (the uncredited Ugo Bologna).

Like any other zombie flick, it eventually becomes a fight for survival as the heroes fend off the undead in hopes of escaping and getting help. What sets this apart from George Romero's flick is twofold:
  1. For such a low budget (and the times), Fulci made incredibly detailed zombies. Some of them really have that rotting, menacing look about them. They always have their heads bowed as they shuffle about, giving them a really creepy feel. It's not like Romero had a ton of money, but since he was using such a large cast of zombies, some of them just got a smear of green makeup.
  2. The infamous gore factor. This movie is most famous for the highly imaginative underwater zombie shark scene and, of course, the eye-gouge scene; that splinter will get you every time you watch it. That isn't to say Romero's Dawn of the Dead didn't have gore, but Fulci is known for making splatter flicks; the use of slow motion as zombies tear flesh from throats is highly effective - we see every spurt of blood.
A little history on the connection between Fulci's Zombie and Romero's Dawn of the Dead: This movie had started filming in 1978 right when Romero's film had been released theatrically. In Italy Romero's film was titled Zombi, so in an effort to capitalize on the success of Romero's Dawn of the Deadthis film was entitled Zombi 2 but is in no way a direct sequel to that film. It is also known as Island Of the Flesh Eaters, but make no mistake about it, they are all the same film.

There is a 25th anniversary 2-disc DVD set that comes with an uncut, unedited version of the film, commentary by Ian McCulloch, trailers, making-of featurette, and trailers. Though most of it takes place on a Caribbean island, the atmosphere and intensity gives this movie its strength.
reviewed by Bobby Blades
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