Director – Claudio Fragasso (Hell of the Living Dead, Troll 2)
Starring – Jeff Stryker (Powertool, Stryker Force), Candice Daly (Hell Hunters, Heart of Darkness), and Massimo Vanni (Shocking Dark, 1990: Bronx Warriors)
Release Date – 1989
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
When Dawn of the Dead was released in Italy under the name Zombi it was a hit. Soon the Italian Godfather of Gore Lucio Fulci was tasked with making a sequel. Zombi 2, aka Zombie in the U.S. was released and became a global hit as well. Fans of the genre loved it for its use of gore and tropical settings. Ten years later Fulci tackled a follow up with Zombi 3 which had several other hands involved resulting in a film that did not live up to the hype but was still a damn fine Italian horror flick.
The following year director Claudio Fragasso, who was one of the other hands involved in Zombi 3, was tasked with bringing another sequel to life. In Italy the film was released as After Dead but in other countries it was released under the title Zombie 4: After Death. Several months back Severin Films released the film on blu and I was lucky enough to get a copy. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a young woman who returns to an island her family was murdered on when she was a young girl. Her parents were scientists working on a cure for cancer when they accidentally killed the child of a voodoo priest. She visits the island with some mercenaries looking for an answer to her parents death when they accidentally summon the dead with an ancient book.**Spoiler Alert**
When I went into this one I wasn’t expecting a film that would stick with me for the rest of my days but I do have to admit that I absolutely loved it. The movie is another entry in the series that is only a sequel in title alone with no real connection to previous installments other than the fact that it does have zombies in the film on some sort of tropical island.
The acting in this one isn’t bad but some of the cast just doesn’t seem to care about their performances while others are just hamming it up. What we get are some very inconsistent acting resulting in several scenes that should be weighted with horror becoming unintentionally funny. It seems the cast has no form of direction and was just told to go through their lines. This does change as the film progresses but they never truly find their footing until the final battle at the end but by this point it is too late to take seriously.
The story for this one reminded me a lot of one of my favorite horror gems Demon Wind mixed with several Italian zombie flicks. I love how it incorporated voodoo into the story which was not a huge part of the story but just enough to make it interesting. The pacing for this one is a little slow but once it picks up it really is fun.
Finally, this one has plenty of gore just like previous installments. The effects we do get are solid but not as fun or memorable as the previous films. Overall, Zombie 4: After Death is a surprisingly fun and gruesome installment to a series created by horror legends George A. Romero and Lucio Fulci. The gore may not be as memorable but the story is fun. Check it out on blu from Severin Films.
Behind the Scenes Footage