Top positive review
27 people found this helpful
Blu Review 56 Zombie
on 6 March 2012
Distributor: Blue Underground (US)
It actually doesn't matter which title you know this movie by, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Zombie, Zombi 2, Island of the Living Dead, Woodoo, the list is probably endless. The film however is instantly recognisable as the greatest Italian zombie classic ever put to celluloid and is widely regarded by many fans as Lucio Fulci's finest hour.
So, what exactly is it that makes this film stand out from countless other releases which all flooded the market when Italian zombie movies were cool?
Filmed on location in the late seventies and starring then popular British actor Ian McCulloch of Terry Nation's post apocalyptic series Survivors, the film has a great deal to like. Scripting is tight and suspenseful providing a genuinely disturbing atmospheric setting which is further enhanced by the now classic soundtrack. What really sets this film apart however are the make up and special effects which have yet to be bettered in the zombie genre over 30 years later. Whether it's the army of decaying zombies slowly rising from the ancient cemetery, or the numerous sequences of outrageous violence and gore, the special effects have ultimately helped to keep this film at the top of most zombie collectors wants lists for over 3 decades.
Presented region free by Blue Underground, this new Blu-ray release is advertised as having undergone extensive remastering from the original negatives in a brand new 2K HD scan and the end result is certain be pleasing to fans of the film. Presented in a 1080p 2.35:1 transfer, detail is sharp with strong colour representation. Background images are especially enhanced particularly towards the final act of the movie and undoubtedly the more familiar you are with the film, the more detail you will suddenly notice popping up on-screen like never before. With a decent amount of depth also present in black levels, it goes without saying that this movie has never looked as good as it does in its current presentation.
Audio is presented with English DTS-HD 7.1 and Italian DTS-HD 7.1 options. Dialogue appears fresh and clear and the now famous score powers through your speakers providing an enriched atmosphere which will really draw you into the movie. Whether it is the sound of the ever nearing voodoo drums or the final shoot-out in the run down hospital, the audio track here provides a level of depth previously unheard.
Extras begin with a recycled DVD commentary with star Ian McCulloch who actually has some interesting things to say about his experience in making the film, however it is a shame that Blue Underground didn't invest in a new commentary track as McCulloch has attended a number of film conventions since the original was recorded and would probably have much new information and anecdotes to offer. Following the commentary there are a number of different interview segments all running at between ten and twenty two minutes which feature many members of both cast and crew.
Some of the interviews are inter-cut with convention footage of the actors signing posters and artwork for the many waiting fans whilst attending a Q&A session and there are also interviews with the composer who discusses his now legendary score and Lucio Fulci's daughter Antonella. Rounding off the extras package are the usual trailers and TV spots and an extensive picture gallery featuring some classic bloody artwork from around the globe and a handful of rare behind the scenes stills.
All things considered the film is a must own title for zombie collectors everywhere and the improvements in transfer and audio alone instantly justifies a purchase of this Blu-ray release. The film itself has quite simply never looked or sounded better and for a movie which oozes atmosphere, this new presentation will put you right back into the advancing zombie infestation like never before.
This really is one horror classic that richly deserves to be seen in all it's outrageous bloodthirsty crumbling zombie nastiness... oh and if you think you seen the film before...
You ain't seen nothing yet!
BLU REVIEW OBSCURA - reviewing the less mainstream Blu-ray releases - Find us on Facebook or at blureviewobscura.yolasite.com