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3.4 out of 5 stars
Zombie Holocaust [1979] [DVD]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2001
Although the BBFC website states that no cuts were made to the print it was given, it's worth bearing in mind that 81 minutes is a tad short for a full print of this film, so don't get your hopes up. Fortunately, it's still worth a few laughs, even if it is butchered beyond belief.
Producer Fabrizio DeAngelis (never one to miss an opportunity), took a couple of outakes from Fulci's 'Zombi 2', inserted them into fresh footage shot by Girolami (using the same sets) and cobbled them all together to form 'La regina dei cannibali', which was subsequently released as 'Zombi holocaust' when everyone realised that zombies were in and cannibals were out. And this is what makes this film so truly funny; as it has both flesh eating cannibals and lobotimized zombies.
Nico Fidenco's soundtrack is one of his (and the genre's) best, McCulloch (again) tries in vain to keep a straight face, the delectable delli Colli runs around for a bit in the buff, and everybody has a great time in general. Classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not sure when this film was made, late 70's or early 80's. A cannibal tribe is stealing body parts from cadavers at a New York Hospital. The hospital owners discover this and their investigations lead them on an expedition to a remote tropical island. They are accompanied by some journalists. The two lead actresses are highly attractive, one is exquisitely beautiful. One by one the members of the expedition are picked off by the cannibals, in fairly graphic style, though by today's standards not too gory. The island is also populated by a mad surgeon and the zombie beings which he creates, by transplanting the brains of the living into corpses. The zombies then do as the surgeon bids, which is perhaps even more risible than the notion the surgeon can bring back the dead. The scenes of killing and dismemberment are mildly stomach churning, but by comparison with more modern horrors such as Audition and Martyrs, not bad enough to make you cover your eyes. The prosthetics and latex special effects are of course now seriously dated, but not so awful as to ruin the film. The soundtrack is a burbly analogue bass synth, something Giorgio Moroder could have composed in his sleep. What spoils the film most is the inclusion of the zombies, because the first half of the film is about the cannibal tribe, and the zombies seem to have been thrown in as an afterthought. They walk at a snail's pace, which means they don't carry much menace, and their makeup is a let down. On the reverse side of the coin, the lead actress, who plays one of the doctors at the New York Hospital and is a member of the ill-fated expedition, is a seriously stunning beauty, who spends the last 10 minutes of the movie stripped naked by the cannibals, her body very sexily painted with beautiful flowers, awaiting her fate. This movie was good enough to hold my interest for the short running time of 80 minutes, and if you're familiar with this genre of flick, you can kind of figure from the outset that the lead actress will be spending some of her time denuded for the benefit of the lustful cannibals and the viewer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2009
Doctor Butcher MD was the US title for Marino Girolami's Zombie Holocaust, a shameless cash-in on Lucio Fulci's classic gorefest Zombi 2 (aka Zombie Flesh-Eaters).It also stars one of the lead actors from Fulci's flick, Ian McCulloch, and uses by the looks of it some footage from ZFE too.If you enjoy daft Italian horror flicks like Burial Ground and Hell of the Living Dead, you should get a kick out of Zombie Holocaust.There's plenty of ludicrous gore on display including dismemberment, cannibalism, eye gougings, scalpings and brain surgery.Also,lots of hilarious dialogue to keep you chuckling throughout.Don't buy ZH expecting a serious horror movie, if you do, you're in for a big disappointment. It's basically a laugh-a-minute splatter flick for trash film fanatics.Incidentally, back in the 90s I tried to import the US version, Doctor Butcher MD, from the States, only to have it seized and confiscated by UK customs for being obscene.So, there's another recommendation for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 11 January 2012
I only got round to watching Zombie Holocaust in the last few years. Unlike Zombie Flesh Eaters which I had watched many years before. I'm mentioning this because there anyone who has seen both will know about the obvious similarities in the stories. Both are excellent films and if you are going to watch one, you may as well watch both of them.

Mixing in Zombies, cannibals and a Mad Doctor Zombie Holocaust is great fun and while not as good as Zombie Flesh Eaters it's still a great movie in its own right. Ian McCulloch is also very good and always puts up great performances in the Italian horror genre.

The Blu Ray itself provides a better picture than previous DVD releases; however it still only rises to what I would expect on a good DVD transfer.

A few extras, but really let down by a lack of a commentary option. I always enjoy them on lower budget films.

4 stars seems about right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Zombie holocaust aka Dr Butcher M.D was rushed into production off the back of Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 aka zombie flesh eaters. It even uses some of the same cast in ian mc culloch and used some of the same sets too ! To call this a zombie film though is misleading. Dr Butcher is a much better title and more reprsentitive of the films story. There are only 2 zombies in the whole film and even then they don't do much except moan and groan and scare away the cannibals ! This if anything id more of a cannibal movie which includes a mad doctor. The gore fx are well done and the whole thing zips by at a lightning pace so it never outstays it's welcome. Its not as good as some of the italian horrors but its much better than some of the later ones that peppered the 80's. The best edition is the region 1 edition as the transfer is better and there are some features as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a cheesy 80's film. In a badly dubbed NYC body parts are going missing and it appears to be the work of people from Kito, a South East Asian island. A small group goes to the island because....if makes a film. The island is filled with cannibals who prefer to eat raw innards or a nice stew. Oh yeah, there is a handful of zombies too. Yes they ransacked Laurie's apartment to steal a knife she had hanging on the wall. Bad rubber parts.

Of course when a pretty blonde is capture by a group of "savages" they must be stripped naked like Bo Derek or Ursala Andress. Don't blame me, I don't make the rules. Alexandra Delli Colli is a natural blonde.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
First off let me point out the Zombie Holocaust is one of the cousins of the Cannibal Zombie films which came out in the early 80's from Italy. It follows a group who set off for a small island after cannibalistic occurances turn up at the hospital in new york. I see the film as being closely related to Zombie Flesh Eaters..To the point that ti could have been a prequal to Fulci.Mad scientist on remote island makes people into zombies. The DVD sounds like it's gonna be great but sadly the BBFC will try to get a few scenes purged of the final print. It should be noted the old pre-cert is also cut.
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on 7 July 2015
2 doctors travel to remote island to try and discover the reasons behind a series of strange deaths, however upon their arrival they are even more shocking events occur including a local cannibalistic tribe and zombies.

Watchable but certainly not the most fun of Italian splatter movies. The most surprising thing about this film is the violence and gore, it's actually quite strong, it was included on the Section 3 nasty list but given what was on the official Video Nasty list this could've easily made it. The make-up effects themselves aren't bad there are some very well done sequences, the throat slashing and the first tribe attack are both great, acting wise good old Brit Ian McCulloch is his usual reliable self and in fact the rest of the cast do a reasonable job. Pacing is a major problem, events take far too long to unravel and when they do (along with a lot of the film) make little sense, the cannibal theme was good but the inclusion of the zombies adds nothing to the story and in the end is pointless, and the less said about some of the props and sets the better.

Don't go looking for another Zombie Flesh Eaters here because it just isn't, the "fun" element just is not with this film, this isn't a bad film its very watchable and if your in the right mood can be very enjoyable, its not up there with the best but far from the worst.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Obviously made as a direct response to the phenomenaly successful Zombie Flesh Eaters directed by the infamous Lucio Fulci, Zombie Holocaust shares many things with Fulci's movie including cast members Ian McCulloch and Dakar plus not to mention plagiarized footage to make the viewer believe that this was indeed shot in a far flung tropical paradise when it fact because of budget was phototgraphed in the films native country of Italy. Ok so these are only establishing shots of the jeep driving around the island and binoculars looking over the ocean at distant islands but if you watch these movies back to back you may get a strange sence of deja vu. Like its far more famous predecessor the opening of the movie was shot on location in New York. There was obviously no getting around that one. Compared to Zombie Flesh Eaters(or just plain Zombi depending on your geographical location) this comes across as rush job, shot without any skill or style with far weaker special effects and a rather plodding meandering narrative. The music score is not as memorable with Nico Fidenco's electronic warbling sounding like a verbatim rehash of his previous work on Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals and the film is prone to the Jess Franco style of jungle set movie making(see The Devil Hunter and The Cannibals) with characters just standing around talking despite the fact they have just found one of their guides torn apart by the cannibals.
What makes Zombie Holocaust unique though is that it mixes elements from two of Italys greatest horror exports of the time namely zombies and cannibals which had never been done before. Ok this is far from an original idea and mixing genres was something Italians had been doing for years with numerous slants on the spaghetti western craze and not to mention Joe D'Amato's horror and hardcore movies such as Emanuelle in America. Indeed despite its title there are only a handful of zombies but a whole tribe of cannibals so maybe this should have been called Cannibal Holocaust.......oh sorry somebody had already beaten them to that one. In the US the movie was marketed as more of a mad scientist flick and was re-titled Dr.Butcher MD.
Ok so i may have sounded quite negative about Zombie Holocaust and at times is does deserve it but despite this i still find this strangely entertaining. The unconvincing gore is plentiful and often repugnant the few zombies we see definatly have an eerie quality and Alexandra Deli Colli(who was later to star in Fulci's savage urban giallo The New York Ripper) certainly looks the part especially in the Ursula Andress in Mountain of the Cannibal God style sacrificial scene in the finalé of the film. McCulloch basicly plays the same disgruntled character again only this time in a snazzy safari suit and Italian movie veteran Donald O'Brian(Run Man Run) fills the shoes of the mad doctor responsible for the zombie invasion well enough if obviously not as flamboyant and theatrical as Richard Johnson in Zombi.
Now this is a film i would never have expected to see on a shiny Blu ray disk but it does seem that Shriek Show are slowly releasing their back catalogue in HD with Joe D'Amato's Buio Omega and fellow Italian zombie flick Burial Ground also getting the 1080p treatment. These may not have classy packaging or upgraded audio and visuals of Blue Underground or Severin but are certainly of interest to fans of Italian exploitation films.
Shriek Show have made it easy to compare this Blu ray to SD DVD by putting this out as a double play release with both formats in the same box. I wasent expecting Zombie Holocausts transition to 1080p to be a good one so i was suprised to find that this was well worth the upgrade. The image looked far more solid compared to the DVD. Detail was mostly ok with the higher resolution bringing out close ups of faces, clothes and the all important grue to greater effect even highlighting how bad the effects are in certain scenes such as the autopsy with a scalpel cutting through what looks like a sheet of carpet underlay. The outdoor scenes in New York look appropriately dirty and grimey but do show a little depth with background details, neon lights, vehicals and distant pedestrians all far more visible than on the DVD. The scenes in Del Colli's apartment look improved also with the various ethnic nicknacks and 70s decor not to mention the shocking matching wallpaper and duvet combo. The same applies to the island scenes with the trees and foliage looking far more realistic and defined. Colours are better on the Blu ray especially for the bright reds of the gore. Often though the colour pallette leans towards yellow especially skys that should come across as grays or blue. Compared to the DVD contrast looks alot darker especially during the the opening hand amputating scene making it difficult at times to make out details but in complete contrast(no pun intended) the campfire island set segments look wonderful with deep if slightly crushed blacks and good shadow detail which also extend to the films finalé around the old hospital with accurate rendering of the wood it is constructed from. As to be expected grain is present. Occasionally this looks frozen but is mostly ok and gives the look of the movie a fairly filmic feel and the print appears to be in good enough shape with nothing in the way of distracting print damage. There is some softness in the image which fluctuates from scene to scene but of which was probably inherent in the original photography. Ok so this is never going to look amazing in HD mainly due to low budget, probably poor film stock used and the fact that unlike its much better known predecessor will never get a mega buck remastering and clean up job. But it does have an amazingly high bitrate(30mbps+) and most likely looks as good as it ever will for home consumption making it a worthy upgrade for fans.
On the audio front Shriek Show have kept things simple by leaving the soundtrack in plain original mono which they have presented surprisingly in lossless DTS-HD Master 2.0. This is a nice inclusion but even this cant help this extremely rough sounding dubbed soundtrack. Dialogue sounds clear enough if abit clipped and certain character voices are accompanied by an audiable hiss. Effects from the smashing of glass through to the Spaghetti Western style cracks of guns lack power and precision and the whole thing sounds flat and uninvolving. Fidenco's score also lacks any puch and low end is pretty much non existent. As to be expected from an Italian expolitation movie the lip sync issues remain but fans who have seen countless movies like this know what to expect so this will only be a problem for newcomers. Overall this DTS Mono track gets the job done and i doubt with how some of the elements sound a remixed 5.1 track could have been justified or needed.
Extras are the same as on the SD DVD. Of course an audio commentary with Ian McCulloch like on the Flesh Eaters disks would have been worthy but i doubt he would want to remember this one. What you do get are scenes from the US theatrical version as Dr.Butcher M.D, a stills and poster gallery, trailers and a completely worthless interview with the FX artist Maurizio Trani who confesses that he has never seen the movie and can hardly recall a thing about its production.
To conclude this is definaly worth a look for fans who may own one of the various DVD releases and yes visually this Blu ray is an improvement especially if you own the dreadful UK DVD.
Please note that despite the packaging saying region A this is infact region free and playable on all machines worldwide. The DVD also housed in the same packaging remains region 1.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2006
Zombie Holocaust is definetly one of my favorite zombie films (no where near my favorite but still very good) if you class it as zombie flic. Zombie Holocaust if a cannibal film in every way eccept from the fact that there are a couple of zombies that seem to stand around for a couple of seconds moaning, scaring off the cannibals, getting killed or taking orders from the guy who makes them! And they only do these things in a couple of short scenes! The zombies are pretty pathetic in this film too. They look quiet good (the mascs seem to have a strange '"coincidence" to the mascs of The Zombie Dead) but dont kill or eat a single person! They seem to have the ability to make sudden movements or even run at times but for reasons unknown always stumble around when it comes to walking in a straight line!
The cannibals on the other hand are quiet good as they have a taste for intestines and eye-balls, they just seem to leave the rest of the body! But thats okay as its adds some of the vital gore scenes that make this film so special!
One of the main things youll notice about this film is the ecceptionally low budjet it had! The dubbing and sound effects have to be the worsed ive seen in a film! (close to bieng as bad as the quality of The Zombie Dead, if youve seen that film youll know what i mean) The dubbing is sometimes even going when the actors have stopped talking and started walking away from whoever their talking to! A great scene which leaves me with stiches every time is the part where a nurse finds a mutilated body in the hospital and does the most redicilousely dubbed scream ive ever seen and probably ever will see! Another hilariouse scene is where the cannibal jumps out of a hospital window, it would probably look more realistic if you pushed a load of pillows into some clothes and threw it off your roof! (I also think one of his arms fall off in the fall too!) But these badly made scenes are one of the main reasons why i like this film so much!
Another thing, and probably the only other, reason why i like this film so much is the surprisingly gory scenes! Although some of the death scenes are amazingly badly done (especially the one where a zombie gets a boat propellor in the face) most of them are very good considering the very, very low budjet! I love the part where a man runs off into the forest and gets caught in a trap, Cannibals soon arrive to cut his throat (a very good throat cut, nice spurting blood) and drink his blood as well as knife out his intestines and continue to pull out and eat many variouse organs of the poor fellow!
The acting in this film is very, very, VERY bad but if you do like this type of film then you probably wont mind this small let down. You will also be familiar with the terrible quality of the "digitaly re-masterd" DVD too but for this type of movie there are actually a surprisingly large amount of extras, better that ay films in the Vipco's Scream Time collection anyway!
Overall this is a great film and has everything a zombie or especially a cannibal film fan could want!!!!
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