Zombie (1979)


Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Written by: Elisa Briganti/Dardano Sacchetti (uncredited)

“We are going to eat you!” explained the posters for this gut-muncher. Simple. Silly. But, ultimately effective. (So was the “barf bag” promo.) This is Lucio Fulci’s answer to Dawn Of The Dead. In fact, in Italy where DOTD was called Zombi, this was its sequel, hence Zombi 2. He was asked to cash in on the success even though he was kind of a pariah at the time.

There’s a story here, but like all Fulci films, it’s secondary to the gore. A reporter and the daughter of a doctor (Tisa Farrow–Mia’s sister!) go to a small Caribbean island to try to find the good doctor. His boat was found floating in the East River and a zombie killed a cop. She just had to find out what the fuck was going on.

Lots of zombie action ensues. In fact, lots of extremely gory zombie action ensues. Possibly more gory than Dawn Of The Dead. The zombies are certainly dirtier and more disgusting than Romero’s. These are a LOT more decayed.

There are lots of famous scenes here: the shark/zombie fight, the woman getting her eye slowly pierced by a spike of wood, a zombie being brained by a cross (my personal favorite)…but they all add up to one thing: Fulci’s best film. Not only is the gore amazing (as it always is in his films), but the acting isn’t thoroughly terrible and it doesn’t move like molasses. It’s still not a GOOD film, but it’s a decent one that is a whole helluva lot of fun. I mean, who doesn’t like zombies in New York? (LOVE the last shot!)

LOW POINT: Gotta be the splinter to the eye. It’s the one that gets me every time. A buddy of mine used to play it and rewind it over and over again at parties. Fun stuff!

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