Director – Lucio Fulci (City of the Living Dead, House by the Cemetery)
Starring – Tisa Farrow (The Last Hunter, Antropophagus), Ian McCulloch (Contamination, Zombie Holocaust), and Richard Johnson (The Raven, The Monster Club)
Release Date – 1979
Rating – 4.5/5
4K Release – 4.5/5
Tagline – “The dead are among us”
Early last year I reviewed one of my favorite films for Blue Underground. That was Lucio Fulci’s 1979 follow up to George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. The film, Zombie, received a blu release from them several years earlier but they had remastered the movie in 4K and re-released the blu. Know the market for blu and 4K I knew it was a matter of time before this 4K remaster would get a 4K release. I’m one of the few movie collectors that struggles with upgrading a film. Once I have it on DVD or blu I don’t feel the need to double dip. However, there is a select few films that I would feel obligated to upgrade with Zombie being one of those. I want to thank Blue Underground for sending me this 4K release of this classic Fulci film.
**Spoiler Alert**The film begins when a boat is found floating in a New York harbor and onboard a member of the undead. The boat owner is missing and her daughter partners up with a journalist and another scientist where they visit a secluded tropical island in search of her father. However, once on the island they discover that hell is now walking the Earth with the undead now rising from their graves and eating the living. **Spoiler Alert**
Zombi 2 is one of the most beloved horror films of our time. I honestly don’t know anyone that dislikes the film. Every horror fan that I have crossed paths with absolutely loves the film but there is some that is more passionate about it than others. I had seen the film countless times before now but I was very excited to see how Blue Underground has restored this amazing zombie masterpiece. It’s far from my favorite Fulci movie but that doesn’t make it a bad film at all. In fact, I would say that it is one of his best and most influential films that he directed.
The acting in this one is great even when the cast hams it up. In fact, the scenes where the cast is overreacting and the dubbing is off is some of my favorite scenes. It doesn’t mean they are bad actors just went overboard with their reactions. I also love the fact that most Italian horror films are filmed mostly in English with others speaking some Italian but then dubbed in Italian and then redubbed in English. This adds some charm to the film when you see them speaking English but the audio is just a fraction of a second off. A little light hearted humor comes from this and makes for a fun viewing experience.
The story for this one is so much fun. It really doesn’t feel like a sequel to Dawn of the Dead which is fine because it is an amazing standalone film. Hell, if you didn’t know it was released in Italy as Zombi 2 you wouldn’t know it was a sequel. The story is interesting and very eventful but is played out in the years to follow not only by Fulci but by several other Italian directors. Before I reviewed this one for Blue Underground I had reviewed three other films following the same storyline just last year and two more before that. This one did start the trend though and it offers up a very interesting story with lots of action.
Finally, there is several on screen deaths that use some amazing practical effects. They do lose their effectiveness with the bright red 3M blood but they are still fascinating to look at. They are kills you would associate with zombies so they fit the film very well and considering that its 1979 they are rather gruesome. In fact, some of these death scenes are so iconic that you can often find them in highlight reels on YouTube, on shirts and other memorabilia, and even mentioned in classic horror mags like HorrorHound and Fangoria. Overall, Zombie is required viewing for any horror fan regardless of what style of horror you enjoy. The movie is almost perfect and the new release from Blue Underground is phenomenal. I don’t see a major difference from the 4K and blu release but I would still recommend it for someone that doesn’t own this gem or is looking to upgrade their old DVD. Blue Underground outdone themselves with this release.
Ultra HD Blu-ray (2160p) Widescreen 2.40:1 Feature Presentation and Bonus Extras Blu-ray
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos; English: 5.1 DTS-HD; English: 1.0 DTS-HD; Italian: 7.1 DTS-HD; Italian: 1.0 DTS-HD; French: Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, English for Italian Audio
Audio Commentary #1 with Troy Howarth, Author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films
Audio Commentary #2 with Star Ian McCulloch and Diabolik Magazine Editor Jason J. Slater
When The Earth Spits Out The Dead – Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
Zombie Wasteland Interviews with Stars Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson&Al Cliver, and Actor/Stuntman OttavianoDell’Acqua
Flesh Eaters on Film Interview with Co-Producer Fabrizio De Angelis
Deadtime Stories Interviews with Co-Writers Elisa Briganti and (Uncredited) DardanoSacchetti
World of the Dead Interviews with Cinematographer Sergio Salvati and Production & Costume Designer Walter Patriarca
ZombiItaliano Interviews with Special Make-Up Effects Artists Gianetto De Rossi&Maurizio Trani and Special Effects Artist Gino De Rossi
Notes on a Headstone Interview with Composer Fabio Frizzi
All in the Family Interview with Antonella Fulci
Zombie Lover Award-Winning Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro talks about one of his favorite films
Poster & Still Gallery
Guillermo del Toro Intro
BONUS! Embossed Slipcover (First Pressing Only)