Zombie (1979)

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Overall Rating 74%
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Ranked #2,683
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Connections: Zombie

A zombie is found aboard a boat off the New York coast which belongs to a famous scientist. A journalist travels to the Antilles with the daughter of the scientist. They discover a terrifying disease which is turning the islanders into horrifying zombies, who devour human flesh and seem indestructible.... --TMDb
Review by Chad
Added: February 10, 2008
10/10 - a genuine classic in the world of both zombie flicks and horror films in general. I could leave it at that and I'm sure that every last one of you zombie fans would wholeheartedly agree with me, but unfortunately, we've got certain standards to adhere to on this little site of ours. So, with that in mind, let's all take a stroll down memory lane and check out the film that - aside from Romero's original trilogy - is the definitive film in the zombie genre and stands above all of the other imitators.

Our storyline begins in a New York harbor, where an abandoned boat has been spotted floating about and narrowly missing the other watercraft using this spot of the ocean. This prompts a couple of New York's finest to investigate, and what they discover is that, yes, the boat is indeed abandoned... and it appears to have been abandoned in a hurry as there is rotting food and trash strewn about everywhere. That's the least of their worries, however, after they discover that a decaying zombie is also holed up on this boat, and only after he's mauled one of the officers do they manage to take him down with a couple of well-placed bullets.

This leads us to Anne (Tisa Farrow), the daughter of the man who owned this boat, and Peter (Ian McCulloch), a newspaper journalist who has been assigned to cover this breaking news. What they eventually discover is that Anne's father has caught some sort of disease on a remote island and that he refuses to leave his new home, but since this doesn't exactly explain the abandoned boat and the decaying man who managed to bite out a cop's jugular, our two new friends decide to make a trip to this island and find out what's going on.

This leads us to Brian (Al Cliver) and Susan (Auretta Gay), a lovely young couple who just so happen to be about to take off on a sightseeing tour with their boat. Anne and Peter convince them to let them tag along in order to get to this cursed island, and when they arrive, they discover that there is some weird shit going on on this island: namely, the dead are returning to life and consuming the living. Dr. David Menard (Richard Johnson), the island's sole doctor, refuses to believe the common theory that voodoo could be responsible for this madness and insists that it can all be explained with science, but a logical explanation is useless when they find themselves severely outnumbered by the walking dead.

To cut right to the chase, Zombi 2 (aka Zombie, aka Zombie Flesh-Eaters, aka half a dozen other titles) is one of the very few perfect zombie movies in existence. Sure, it may have been made as a cash-in on Romero's Dawn of the Dead, but our good pal Fulci really knocked one out of the park with his take on the zombie genre and set the stage for countless Italian (and quite a few American) imitators in the process. So, why was it such a successful film in a genre where failure is extremely easy to "accomplish"? Simple: amazing special effects, buckets of gore, and all of this wrapped up in a film that is as terrifying as a zombie flick could ever hope to be.

For starters, let's take a look at the aforementioned special effects, shall we? Here we have a film that was shot in 1979 and, obviously, it didn't incorporate any CGI wizardry or post-production computer graphics; no, this featured nothing but makeup, dummies, and man-in-a-suit special effects. For a film that was shot before the eighties had even arrived, the effects in this film are mind-blowing: there are some shots in here that had never been done before, and it genuinely looked ahead of its time. Now, this is not one of those films that looks like shit today even though it was amazing in its time - you all know the types of films I'm talking about, and this isn't one of them. The effects on display here measure up to and far surpass a lot of the movies getting theatrical runs today, and it just goes to show that creativity in the makeup department will always trump computerized special effects.

Aside from the zombies that look disgustingly awesome and the nasty things that they do to the humans, what really sets this film apart from the pack is the building sense of dread, the horrifying storyline, and of course, the score that really wraps everything together in one hell of a package. Now, Zombi 2 may not measure up to Romero's trilogy in terms of political statements and character development, but there's damned sure enough of a plot to keep things interesting from the time you push play until the moment when the credits begin to roll. What we get here is a plot that may not be the most intricate thing ever committed to film, but it's certainly interesting enough to keep us thinking and guessing throughout the running time as well as providing ample opportunity for scares along the way. Could it have been better? Sure, but it didn't have to be - what we got was perfect, and it was actually better than most zombie films deliver.

10/10 - a genuine classic in the world of both zombie flicks and horror films in general. It also contains some of the most infamous scenes in horror history, as both the "eyeball" scene and the "zombie versus shark" scene are things that any decent horror fan's wet dreams are made of, and let's not forget that the zombies found in this film are some of the best I've ever seen - and that includes Romero's classics. Could you want anything more from a film? I think not.
Bluesummers #1: Bluesummers - added 12/26/2004, 07:16 AM
And...nobody's noticed this movie. Why is this. Tell me! The opposite of everything Romero did (at least plot-wise or whatever). Is it better than the "Dead" trilogy? No. Is it positively sickening in its portrayal of zombies? Si! And that is so a compliment! Why?! Flying in the face of sense, the corpses that have been rotting in this Caribbean jungle hellhole are fairly well intact...but my my aren't they just the most disgusting thing ever? Best. Makeup. Ever. As a sidenote, this has one of the creepiest themes of all time. Now where else do you get to see a zombie fight a shark? Or what is, in my humble opinion, the best gore scene ever made, in both intensity and effects (And you damn well better know the scene when you see it!)? Right here, baby. Let's give Fulci a big round of applause and a hearty "rest in peace."
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 09/09/2005, 06:01 PM
Better then all 4 "Dead" movies... And for those of you who don't know, this was one of the 2 dawn of the Dead sequals.
Crispy #3: Crispy - added 01/25/2007, 10:25 AM
The eye scene just might have to bemy favorite movie kill ever.
grain of sand #4: grain of sand - added 02/08/2007, 04:28 PM
I wouldn't say this movie is better or worse than the 'dead' series, they both have their own qualities.. but I will say that the splinter eye scene was better than any kill in either series, and zombie vs. shark? wow. love it.
Nirrad #5: Nirrad - added 12/07/2007, 11:36 AM
I personally have mixed feelings on this movie, so I'm not exactly sure what to put. So I guess I'll start off with that I really wasn't a big fan of Dawn of the Dead, I thought it was cheesy, and it kinda ignored me. I would also like to add in that basically every Italian movie I have seen, in my opinion, has been garbage or a cheap sequel made to cash in the success of earlier films. Cruel Jaws anyone? So after I heard that this was kind of a sequel to Dawn, I was thinking "oh here we go again, another crap fest". I was wrong. The opening was just awesome, the shark fighting sequence wasn't nearly ass dumb as it sounded, it was great. The eye ball scene alone makes this movie awesome, and ALL of the last 30 minutes of the film its just great. My only problems with the movie is that after the first sequence, I found it pretty boring until the last 30-45 minutes. or so. That, and the part, as Tristan will agree on, when they toss the molotov cocktails, its clear that they used the same shot over and over and over again, but sometimes on different zooms. But then again, it was so hilarious that it would make that scene better. Hmmm, actual I'm glad they did that. But in the end, I thought it was a great film. The Zombies looked AWESOME. I think they looked the best so far in any zombie movies I've seen.

If this movie was just 2 minutes long, and only had the eyeball scene, it would already have a 6 or a 7. Then add in everything else and I give it a strong 8/10.
So finally, an Italian movie that was really enjoyed. Next up are they other Zombi movies, and from what I hear, they're not like this one, which is a shame.
Nirrad #6: Nirrad - added 12/07/2007, 11:43 AM
lol, instead of "ignored" me, its annoyed me.
Tristan #7: Tristan - added 02/10/2008, 01:46 PM
Why I have not commented on this is beyond me. The best zombie movie I've ever seen, tied with Day of the Dead. Probably my most watched zombie film, and Fulci's best piece of work. I also like how Chad screen capped one of the images I had tattooed. Looks like I'm not the only one who knows a good zombie when I see it.
Nirrad #8: Nirrad - added 02/10/2008, 11:42 PM
Bout time you commented.....n00b.
Mr. Mistoffelees #9: Mr. Mistoffelees - added 02/14/2008, 02:40 PM
I really want to see this now. Those zombies look hella awesome.
Optimus Prime #10: Optimus Prime - added 07/29/2008, 03:41 AM
Great job.
Zombieboy #11: Zombieboy - added 12/30/2008, 10:55 AM
I have often made folks watch the eyeball scene at parties.
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