Monday, October 7, 2019

Repugnant Review: Zombie/Zombi 2 (1979) - Lucio Fulci

If I had to choose my favorite zombie film of all time, it would be Lucio Fulci's Zombie (Zombi 2, Zombie Flesh Eaters). Lucio Fulci has always been a good go-to when it came to super gory horror films, but for me, it all really started with this movie. Having seen all the Romero movies, I thought I was in for the same zombie flick I've seen a thousand times, but Fulci's Zombie is almost a throwback to classic zombie films such as White Zombie (1932), King of the Zombies (1941), and The Plague of the Zombies (1966)... with more gore. Zombie stars Tisa Farrow (Anthrophophagus), Ian McCulloch (Doctor Butcher M.D.), Richard Johnson (The Haunting 1963), Al Cliver (The Black Cat, The Beyond), and Olga Karlatos (Once Upon a Time in America, Purple Rain), and of course, a killer soundtrack by the great Fabio Frizzi.

Zombie has all the elements for a great zombie film. It has a great cast, creepy atmosphere, disgusting special effects, and an all around solid story. The movie is about a woman by the name of Anne Bowles (Farrow) who teams up with a journalist (McCulloch) to help find her missing father after his boat is found off the coast of a New York harbor. They gather some info from her fathers boat, and track down his last whereabouts to the Caribbean island of Matul. In order to get there, they find the help of a couple who are sailing around the world, and agree to take them to the island. The island of Matul has a history of being cursed by voodoo, and most people tend to stay away out of fear of being cursed themselves. In between the scenes of the group making their way to the island, we are introduced to Dr. David Menard (Johnson) and his wife Paola (Karlatos). He resides on the island studying voodoo curses, trying to figure out why the locals are dying, then immediately coming back to life as flesh eating monsters. Back on the boat, one of the woman take a quick dive underwater, but then she finds herself caught between a shark, and a zombie, giving us one the craziest sequences ever seen in a horror movie. The zombie tries to fight the shark, getting it's arm ripped off, and then the shark rams the boat, damaging it. They eventually arrive to the island, meeting Dr. Menard there. Anne finds out her father has died due to the mysterious illness on the island, and this is ultimately when shit really goes down. I honestly don't want to spoil much about the plot, but I'm sure most of you are aware of the gory bits. Let's get in to why I enjoy this movie so goddamn much.

This movie oozes with gothic atmosphere reminiscent of classic Hammer films. It's utterly creepy the entire time on that island, and the zombies are scary as all hell. The makeup on them were incredible, most notably the main zombie with the worms falling out of its eye. The kills are as gruesome as you'd expect from the Italian Godfather of Gore, and I'm sure you're all aware with the legendary eye gouge scene. Even to this day, that scene makes me squirm. I really love the fact that, for the most part, the origin of the curse, or how the zombies have even come to be, is all a complete mystery and never gets explained. People are coming back from the dead to eat other people, and everyone is left helpless trying to find a way off the island. Other than the cast, and gore, it's the overall creepiness of the location that keeps me watching this movie. By this time, slashers were on the rise, and horror movies started to get more obnoxious, losing the atmosphere of their predecessors. Sure, I love mindless gore-fests as much as the next guy, but I also love a movie with great atmosphere that gets you going before any killing happens.

Yeah, this is my favorite zombie film over all time. It has everything that I want out of a good horror film, and Fulci knows how to not only creep the shit out of you, but to deliver you a solid horror film with buckets of gore. If you've never seen this, go out and it get it. I know you won't be disappointed.

My Other Fulci Reviews!

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