Friday, June 25, 2010

Certified Video Nasty: Zombie

As y'all who have followed my blog know, I've kinda had a hard time getting into Lucio Fulci's work.  While I thought he had some decent stuff, the majority of his work came across as super-cheap gorefests with lots of cheap gore.  I do still think he made some stinkers (Manhattan Baby), and some frustrating movies (I know I'm gonna dodge some projectiles for this one, but House by the Cemetery falls into this category for me).

I started to turn the corner when I decided to check out The New York Ripper.  Yes, the subject matter isn't exactly uplifting or something you'd want to revisit on a constant basis (unless you hate women and their lady which case, go to therapy).  But it was actually a well done little thriller.

Now comes Zombie.  This is one of those movies where the video cover has beckoned me for as long as I remember.  It had one of those big-ass cardboard boxes with that zombie with worms all over his right eye.  One of those covers that made my sister cringe every time she swung by the horror section to see if I had (finally) made a decision.

I'm pretty sure I even had this one in my hand once or twice before switching to something else at the last minute.  Wonder what I chose instead.  Whatever.

Anyhow, onto today.

I had a free rental that was gonna expire if I didn't use it soon.  So I swung by Blockbuster and picked up this bad boy.  And a 1 liter of Coke.  And a box of Starburst Sour Gummies...that I only had three of.  Those things are nasty.  Blech.

So.  How'd it go?

I actually kinda liked it.

Zombie was an obvious attempt to cash in on Dawn of the Dead's success (Dawn was titled Zombi in Italy, so Lucio titled this one Zombi 2.  Try doing that in America.  I'd make millions with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 2.  But the tweens would freak out when instead of sparkling, they'd explode in gushes of blood when in contact with the sun--and the female lead would actually be able to breathe with her damn mouth shut).

That said, it actually manages to hold its own.  Sure, there are some dull spots here and there, but when Zombie hits, it hits HARD.  Flesh-munching, gut chomping, splinter-in-the-eye, zombie vs. shark (Interrobang)...damn.  And the climax is actually quite engaging, taking place in a medical cabin overrun by zombies.

One element I enjoyed was the score.  The composers mixed African drums with a synth beat and managed to make it entrancing yet menacing all at the same time.  Well done.

All in all, I actually liked the movie.  Dunno how often I'll visit it, though.  Next time probably won't be until it gets its eventual Blu Ray release.

Should be getting a couple more Nasties in my mailbox before long...I love renting by mail.  Just wish they had The Beyond.

Yes, I actually want to see another Fulci movie...

Fulci Lives (?)!



  1. Lucio has a distinct style- the use of hard focus, the spag western style eye close ups and ocular trauma motif, natural lighting and so on- but unfortunately the guy gets judged too much on this early 80s films which have a fanbase- then so the narrative goes his work declined- while that point is true these are fans, with due respect, of horror films and not fans of fulci- because fulci fans would recognise the best work of the director as the period from the late 60s to mid 70s after the franco and ciccio comedies, some of which were pretty good- and this period also saw a greater variety of styles and genres, including giallo, historic drama and westerns- beatrice cenci was probably fulci's most accomplished film.

    it is against this stuff that it would be fairer to judge the man, and not the more patchy work in the 80s as his health declined.
    white fang
    lizard in a woman skin
    beatrice cenci
    dont torture the duckling
    and the eroticist and othere titles stand head and shoulders above what came later- fulci was also able to attract some big name actors and actresses at this point too- by the 80s it seems he was left with Brett Halsey and Al Cliver- no offence to either but he used to work with stars such as Toto, Edward G Robinson and Franco Nero, Marisa Mell and so on, so what he got stuck with by the mid 80s was just sad really.

  2. I want to see Beatrice Cenci.

    I did judge him based on his 80's output. And 90's, too. The trailers alone for Sweet House of Horrors and House of Clocks...brr...

    I loved Don't Torture a Duckling, though. My personal favorite of his films that I've seen.

    Anyhow, I'm starting to see the appeal, and hope to see more of his work soon.

  3. Sweet House of Horrors and House of Clocks are actually better than I thought they would be. After the wretched Aenigma, my standards were rock bottom. That and I'm biased towards the guy. I still hate Demonia and Door to Silence but I dug Voices From Beyond and Murder-Rock which also kind of suck.