Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FULCI'S FINEST!, 11 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Zombie Flesh Eaters [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
"Zombie flesheaters" was one of several films by Italian director Lucio Fulci to be banned as a "video nasty" during the 1980s.

The film stars Ian McCulloch (from the mid-70s cult TV series "Survivors") and Tisa Farrow (Mia's less talented sister) and begins as an apparently deserted boat is spotted drifting through Hudson Bay. A harbour patrol boat draws up alongside and two cops climb aboard to investigate. One makes the mistake of going down into the cabin to look around, and very soon the score is already Zombies 1 Humans 0....

The boat belongs to a famous scientist who set sail for the Antilles three months earlier but has since disappeared. His daughter Ann (Farrow) and journalist Peter West (McCulloch) decide to go and look for him, after reading a letter he sent from the island of Matul, in which he talks about contracting a mysterious disease.

They fly to the Caribbean, hire a boat and are soon on their way to Matul, where they meet Dr David Menard who has been carrying out experiments on the disease, not believing local superstitions that it's caused by voodoo. Although the visitors are sceptical when he claims that it turns its victims into the "undead", before long we see compelling evidence that he might be correct....

Most classic gore movies have a particular moment that everybody remembers and in this case it's the notorious "eye-gouging" scene, but there's plenty more excellent gore on offer, as well as an amusing interlude involving a shark (possibly included because the movie was being made while the whole world was still in the grip of "Jaws" fever) and a very corny ending. The acting and dialogue aren't great by normal standards but well above average for a film of this type, and although the pace of the film is initially a little too slow, once our main protagonists arrive on the island it picks up very quickly. And considering the low budget Fulci had at his disposal the special effects are pretty good too.

A lot of people find the soundtrack music annoying and it's certainly a little too loud at times. Featuring extensive use of the noise-generating capabilities of some primitive analog synth, the film's more dramatic moments tend to be accompanied by a crescendo of electronic belching noises, and there's also a rather tedious refrain which you have to endure over and over again. On the plus side, there's plenty of "voodoo" drumming which, when used in combination with the aforementioned synth sometimes manages to sound like primordial techno....

"Zombie flesheaters" is as good as it gets from Fulci, and IMHO is the only serious rival to George Romero's "Dawn of the dead" for the title of best zombie flick of all time. If you enjoy this film I'd also recommend Fulci's "The beyond" and "House by the cemetery".

CENSORSHIP WARNING: most versions available in the UK still contain cuts.

Uncut version: ZOMBIE FLESHEATERS..Strong Uncut Version..Lucio Fulci..
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