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4.1 out of 5 stars159
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 6 March 2014
I don't think I'll ever forget the day my brother walked through the door (back in 1981) clasping a large cardboard box - on it read "Sony C5 Betamax VCR". This was it, Saturday nights were never going to be the same. Goodbye Cagney & Lacey, goodbye Ted Rogers & Dusty bin! Hello Enter the Dragon, hello The Exorcist and last but not least hello Vipco's Zombie Flesh Eaters (strong uncut version). I absolutely love this film and to top it all it's now in BluRay transferred from the original negatives and a wonderful transfer it is too; never did zombies look so good - worm infested eye sockets, purple congealed crusts cover the undead, the flies and stench of rotting flesh seem to almost seep from out of the speakers enhanced by the haunting music score of Fabio Frizzi. Who cares if there is some bad acting - bad acting never did Arnold any harm! This film has it all eye gouging, throat ripping shark wrestling, head smashing mayhem. Treat yourself to a Saturday night in as I did all those years ago - turn the lights down and the volume up and enjoy Lucio Fulci's classic "ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS"
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on 2 October 2000
Great film, this. Zombie bludgeoning, burning etc. etc. along with a completely eye-popping (literally) scene of, well, watch and find out. Despite loving this film because its Fulci, my only reason for giving it 3 rather than 4 stars (only 'The Beyond' gets 5) is the pathetic loss of around 15 seconds of footage despite this version being 'extreme'. Hardly justifiable on the grounds that it's TOO extreme - the rest of the film is pretty much in the same vein. Despite this pet hate, Zombie Flesh Eaters is a good zombie flick as long as you watch it for what it really is. A zombie flick. Nothing groundbreaking, nothing you ain't seen before, just good old gore, Fulci-style.
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on 5 December 2012
zombie flesh eaters is in my view lucio fulci best film ever.once on the banned list this version on the arrow label is now presented uncut.its has been remastered from original camera negatives and cleaned up digitally for excellent picture and sound.its starts off with 2 policeman getting on board an abandoned boat only to find a zombie who kills one policeman and then gets shot by the other.alomg comes ian maculloch who is a reporter and tisa farrow whos father is missing.this leads them to the island of matu?.where dr maynard played by the excellent richard johnson is investigating this strange virus which is turning people in to zombies.this film has everything you would expect from fulci.zombies/explicit gore scenes/and lets not forget the zombie/shark attack under water and the eyeball splinter scene.the screenplay by dardano sachetti under his wifes name elisa briganti(strange decision to say the least)who over the years has made many films with fulci including city of the living dead is top notch.but i feel the film wouldnt have been as good if it wasnt for gino de rossi brilliant special make up effects.this film is not for the faint hearted so be warned.overall a all time classic from the master of horror.
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on 4 March 2004
Zombie Flesh Eaters (ZFE) was the first of Lucio Fulci's assault on the walking dead splatter genre. It gained notoriety from its visions of extreme gore (most notably the shard of wood through the eyeball sequence), but is actually the weakest of Fulci's dead trilogy (the others being City of the Living Dead and The Beyond - the subsequent House by the Cemetary is something slightly different again).
The film was made to cash in on the success of the Romero film Dawn of the Dead, although apart from the flesh eating Zombies it is a considerably different film. Whilst Dawn of the Dead takes place in the heart of a civilisation already at the mercy of the undead, ZFE starts off with a much more isolationist approach but concludes with sequences which could be seen to actually set up Romero's tale. And, unlike Romero, Fulci is interested in his tale only and not on any commentary on society.
For many, ZFE became known due to its run-ins with the UK censors (although the full uncut edition of Dawn of the Dead has some fairly graphic moments, these are never as convincing or quite as well staged as those in ZFE). Fulci certainly never lets himself be drawn away from the main theme and it is only for brief moments that the film drags. One sequence which always irritates me for "getting in the way" of the narrative is an underwater fight between a zombie and a shark. It is an original scene in conception and raises an interesting point (i.e. the movement of zombies underwater - they don't need manmade craft afterall - given that they have no need of air this is a not unreasonable idea), but I just find the sequence to be too drawn out to be of any great use - I just want to get to the mayhem on Matoole!
Views on the acting vary (I don't have a problem with it), but look beyond this and you will see good fx, good cinematography (the frame is always filled with good visuals, and can even be quite creative - just check out the sequences preceding the famous eyeball scene)and the soundtrack itself features a good score (suitably unnerving electronica, along with trade make Fulci jungle sounds - I could pick out a few good examples, but certainly one of the most effective is the sequence where Ian McCullogh and his team come accross scenes of dissembowlment and zombie feasting at the Doctor's home, the full horror of the close ups is accompanied by a wild funky tune that captures the charged and ridiculous nature of the situation).
One other reviewer mentioned that Zombie Holocaust fans would like ZFE; I saw the films the other way around and thought Zombie Holocaust was a very cheap and lame effort. However, it is worth noting that Zombie Holocaust came about as the producers were so pleased with Fulci's ZFE - Fulci did not direct Holocaust, but that didn't stop the use of some of the same locations, cast and fx crew; but if the truth were known I don't think anyone's heart was in this effort.
Anyway, back to ZFE - it is a film out of one of my favourity sub-genres, I find the idea of the undead rather frightening - whether they be slow and menacing, or running around (as I gather they do in the Dawn of the Dead remake) - and a film I would most definately recommend to gorehounds. This film does stand out with gore aplenty but also with a quality of interest not found in many other exploitation/splatter films. Just try to make sure you see it in as close to its original form as possible (and as a letterboxed edition, not pan and scanned). And then get ready to sit down and watch the other Fulci films mentioned ...
Three stars is perhaps a little generous to this movie, but if nothing else I know how many times I have watched and enjoyed it over the years, so that must mean its pretty good!
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on 7 June 2001
I found it hard to rate this film. Is it worth a three or a four star? Whatever rating I give it, I have to justify that rating effectivley, so that my honest opinion is taken into account when this review is read.
So I'll give it a three star rating.
Zombie Flesh Eaters is a good film. I enjoyed it a lot when I watched it. I though the effects were good, I though the storyline was ok, and I thought that the zombie score was eerily spooky.
But I'd seen it all before. However good the film might be, I can't deny that it is a spin-off from Romero's zombie trilogy, a fact that, for me, takes a little of the enjoyment out of the film. Zombie Flesh Eaters is a good film, but it's not an original one. There's nothing new to be expected, which is a bit of a let-down.
Also, the DVD states that this is the EXTREME version - but it's not. I would describe the cut details, but I won't for fear of ruining the surprises for the viewers, but let me just say that the second half of the eye scene is still missing.
Good film, but only buy it if you're a diehard zombie fan.
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on 7 April 2015
Its fair to say that this movie ranks as the best zombie movie EVER, even better than Romero,s Dead Trilogy, and even if most people consider that sacrilegious, I stand by my statement. I have seen a lot of gory horror movies over the decades, but this beats them all due to the fact that it practically revels in the bloodshed by showing you much of it in glorious close up.

As for the infamous eyeball puncturing scene, you may want to look away if your squeamish, because it still makes me squirm even today, and that's coming from someone who thought he had seen it all and was pretty much desensitized to horror. The picture quality is excellent, hardly surprising since they have refurbished it for this edition, and as a result it looks as if it was made only recently, rather than 36 years ago, hard to believe really.

If you love horror, or zombie movies in general, this is an instant classic that you should add to your collection straight away, you won't be disappointed.
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on 29 March 2013
I recently purchased this film I was initially put off from getting it when I heard that six seconds of film was missing from reviews listed on this page.

I thought I would give it a go and see if that was true I already had the Zombie [Blu-ray] [1979] [US Import] from Blue Underground, to my surprise the copy I got from Amazon, was one of the correct additions from Arrow Video seems the problem maybe from their steel book/direct from Arrow Video copies?

Sadly my only complaint if really there is one it does not come with a double sided poster/slipcase.
Just a really a good booklet telling the history of the film.
(double sided poster was only included with the Zombie Flesh Eaters [Blu-ray Steelbook] and the version sold by Arrow Video exclusively from there website

I can't really complain for £11.00 for a great movie.
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on 17 August 2007
Most zombies movies have very little plot, extremely poor atmosphere and terrible looking zombies. Surprisingly this is not the case here.

Fulci, who even in his poor films at least manages atmosphere, directs possibly the best non-Romero zombie film. Starting with a short zombie attack in New York harbour the film then slows to set the scene...

One woman must sail to an island to find her father. The island is apparantly 'cursed' and we know what that means... Zombies. There is a slow long build up including a short Zombie vs Shark fight, until it all kicks off for the last 40 mins of Zombie infestation.

The zombies look great, the music is actually very good and it's extremely well shot. As always some acting is poor and the story is a little, well, thin. But if you're going to 'zombie flesh eaters' you should expect that.

This is an absolulte must have for any zombie fan.
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on 7 December 2012
Zombie Flesh Eaters: Steelbook

Distributor: Arrow Video (UK)

So, how do you improve on perfection?

Well almost nine months ago we reviewed the most impressive release to date of Lucio Fulci's epic zombie masterpiece courtesy of US distributor Blue Underground.

The undisputed title of "best release ever" of the classic Italian gore fest looked set to remain unbroken with the disc boasting a fully remastered 2K transfer delighting long time fans of the film and making it highly doubtful whether the release could ever be bettered.

Things however move pretty quickly in the home video market as of late and with a little hindsight the US Blu-ray does come with some minor issues which have since risen to the surface. A number of collectors had been slightly put out by the use of DNR during a handful of sequences and there were also concerns over the amount of actual re-watchable content within the extra features, however all things considered the release itself still continues to hold up to its well deserved praise.

So taking into account the overall high quality presentation of the former release, UK distributor Arrow Video would certainly have a real task on their hands if they wished to challenge the Blue Underground disc to the title of best presentation to date.

So in the high definition battle of Zombie vs Zombie Flesh Eaters which is better?

Well to borrow a rather obvious catchphrase it seems there is only one way to find out...... FIGHT!!!

It's no secret that Blue Underground produced a brand new 2K scan from the original negatives for their US transfer which even on reflection looks highly impressive. Arrow Video however have come back with their very own 2K scan overseen by James White who instantly comes with a decent reputation for delivering the goods as far as restoration is concerned. Arrow's print has undergone much repair and removal of dirt and scratches however where the US release had some very minor issues with the dreaded DNR, the Arrow release thankfully forgoes this treatment entirely, presenting a rich and exceptionally detailed image with far superior colour representation than the US print. The new 1080p transfer really has to be seen to be believed and will no doubt leave fans of the film revelling in the pristine 2.35:1 presentation, although on first viewing you are equally as likely to spend most of the films running time picking up on background imagery which until now has passed by unseen.

ROUND 1 Arrow!

Audio is presented on the Blue Underground release with a 5.1 mix which can easily be considered faultless, especially considering the low budget origins of the film. Atmosphere is absorbing with the classic score powering through your home cinema system like never before. The new Arrow disc takes a slightly different approach however, presenting the film in Dolby Digital English and Italian 2.0. Whilst the audio tracks are completely free from distortion with both dialogue and sound effects appearing clear and well defined, for complete atmospheric immersion into the proceedings the US 5.1 mix will probably draw you in closer to the action.

ROUND 2 Blue Underground!

The final round comes down to extra features which are pretty decent on both releases although the Blue Underground disc mainly comprises of a recycled commentary track and various interview snippets which although appear somewhat engrossing do not really warrant a second viewing. In comparison Arrows new Blu-ray release begins with a short introduction to the film by leading actor Ian McCulloch then offers two brand new exclusive commentaries, the first being with Fulci biographer Stephen Thrower and horror critic Alan Jones and the second being with original screenwriter Elisa Brigante. Following the informative yak tracks is a 42 minute interview again with Ian McCulloch who now talks in depth about all three of his Italian horror outings. "The Rise and Fall of the Italian Zombie Film" which follows the interview footage comprises of reflections on the genre by a host of writers, directors critics etc.. which are far too numerous to list here and clocks in at around 60 minutes. Further extra features include interviews with Gino De Rossi who discusses his most famous special effects from the classic horror genre plus composer Fabio Frizzi and Dardano Sachetti who discusses his original screenplay for the film. Rounding off the already impressive extras package is a collectors booklet featuring a further interview with star Olga Karlatos, a comprehensive essay on the film by Stephen Thrower and a written history of "Zombie Flesh Eaters and the BBFC" which will no doubt prove essential reading for long time video nasty collectors. A final recent addition to the package comes in the form of an option to view the film with a choice of the original US, Italian and UK opening titles which again make a nice tweak for purists. Certainly one of the most extensive extras packages to date from the distributor and you really get the feeling that they threw everything including the kitchen sink at this release.

FINAL ROUND Arrow Video!

So it may seem almost impossible but Arrow Video really have outdone themselves with this stellar release and with a 2 to 1 round victory over the US competitor it really goes without saying that the new Arrow Blu-ray really is the ultimate edition of the movie. Although double dipping on titles certainly appears to be moving slightly out of fashion these days, this is one instance where you really should succumb to temptation as the improvements in the transfer and extras alone easily justifies a further purchase.

To add one final incentive to buyers who may perhaps remain undecided on whether or not to make a purchase, the Arrow release also comes with a variety of alternative packaging options which are mainly accompanied with a double sided poster of the original US and UK cinema artwork. The options presented here include a steelbook edition featuring some exclusive artwork, a limited edition four panel slipcase release and a regular Blu-ray edition albeit minus the poster.

All things considered this really is a no brainer for zombie fans everywhere. Arrow Video have made their Blu-ray the must own edition of the film and it is hopeful that this trend will continue with their future releases allowing them to move from the company people seem to love to hate to a well respected distributor which really has something to offer genre fans.

One final note worth mentioning is that the Arrow release is unfortunately locked to region B so US buyers will require multi region capability to be able to appreciate this release.

So If you should find yourself in the mood to revisit an all time classic in its undisputed best ever presentation, kick back, relax and prepare to experience some true Fulci nastiness at it's very best, after all as far as Italian zombie movies are concerned, this really is where it all started.

BLU REVIEW OBSCURA - for Blu-ray reviews of lesser mainstream movies find us at blureviewobscura.yolasite.com and join the
discussion at our exclusive Facebook group.

UPDATE

It has since come to light that due to having the option of 3 opening titles, approx 6 seconds of footage has been lost from the opening shot of the film where the boat sails into frame. This has come as a huge disappointment to collectors and it is currently unknown whether Arrow will set up a replacement program.
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on 27 June 2004
I will make this short! This is a great zombie flick, Fulci's best if You ask me, but I have one HUGE problem whit this edition, the cuts! One of the things that made this movie famous is the eye scene, it's gone! so are other scenes from the original movie. If you are a zombie or horror fan, don't miss out on this one, it's a piece of horrorfilm history, a must-have for all film fans, but get the original movie instead, the title is ZOMBIE (ZOMBI in Italy) re-released by Blue Underground.
[...]
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