“Zombie,” also known in the UK as “Zombie Flesh Eaters” or in Italy as “Zombi 2,” is a legendary film directed by Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci, aka the “The Godfather of Gore.” Horror fans might not consider this a Hidden Horror, however I feel that outside of the horror community the movie does not get the credit it deserves. I have seen several polls on the greatest horror movies of all time and many of them do not mention this film. That makes no sense as it is one of the best fucking zombie movies ever made and deserves just as much respect as “Night of the Living Dead” or “Dawn of the Dead.”
The movie opens with a ship floating in the New York harbor. Some policemen go aboard to investigate and a bloated and rotten zombie attacks and kills one of them. A woman named Anne Bowles is questioned by the police as the boat belongs to her father. Anne tells the police that her father left for a tropical island to do some research. She meets a news reporter named Peter West, who is assigned to report on the mysterious boat, and the two go to the island to find Anne’s father. However when they arrive they find the island is infested with zombies and they are hungry for flesh.
Here is an interesting tidbit of information: When released in Italy the film was titled “Zombi 2” because the studio wanted viewers to think it was a sequel to “Dawn of the Dead,” which was re-titled as “Zombi.” This might be controversial statement but I stand by this, in my opinion “Zombie” is a better film than “Dawn of the Dead.” In fact I have not seen a zombie movie that measures up to the standards of Fulci’s film, with the exception of Romero’s original “Night of the Living Dead.”
The special effects were ahead of their time and very cutting edge. To this day the effects still look great. The zombies look really rotten and nasty, you can see maggots in their faces. There is also lots and lots of gore. Truly this film represents the essence of Lucio Fulci’s style. There are several iconic and memorable scenes such as the shark vs. the zombie, the eye gouging scene, and who can forget the conquistador zombie rising from the grave? Another interesting aspect of this movie is that it has zombies in a jungle/island environment, which you don’t see too often.
If you have not seen this film then watch it as fast as you can and add it to your movie collection. Myself and other horror fans will tell you this one is a mandatory watch. If you are new to the horror movie genre and want a zombie film that is as good as “Night of the Living Dead” or “Dawn of the Dead”, or you just want a great horror film to watch, then this is the movie for you. This film also serves as a great introduction to the world of Italian horror. A classic film that truly does live up to its reputation. Just reviewing this movie makes me want to watch it again.