Film Review: Zombi 2 (1979)

Also known as: Zombie (USA)
Release Date: August 25th, 1979 (Italy)
Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Written by: Dardano Sacchetti
Music by: Fabio Frizzi
Cast: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver, Auretta Gay, Olga Karlatos

Variety Film, 91 Minutes

zombi2Review:

Zombi 2, known in America as just Zombie, is a 1979 Italian horror film directed by Lucio Fulci. It was made to be a sequel of sorts to George A. Romero’s 1978 Dawn of the Dead, which was known internationally as Zombi.

Yes, that’s confusing, especially since Zombi 2 produced its own new mythos and franchise and because Romero made his own sequel in 1985 called Day of the Dead.

I look at this as its own film and not part of Romero’s still expanding universe. The main difference between the two worlds is that this film’s zombies are created through Voodoo where Romero’s were not.

The film is one of the best Italian horror films of its time. It doesn’t have the visual insanity of a Dario Argento picture but it is chock-full of dread and very unsettling. There are scenes in this film that are still effective and terrifying.

There are also scenes that are so bizarre, that you can’t not love this movie. For instance, there is a zombie just hanging out underwater at one point and then it gets into a fight with a shark. And they used a real shark while filming. Some guy, in full zombie makeup, with his vision obscured, wrestled a living shark underwater!

Zombi 2 is also a beautiful film to look at. It was mostly shot in Latina, Italy and took place in the Caribbean. Watching the film, it truly does look like a Caribbean setting. The landscape is marvelous, the water is blue and pristine – it is hard to imagine a place so mesmerizing to be the center of such horror.

I love this movie, I always have. I first saw it as a young kid who shouldn’t have been allowed to rent most of the movies I did but back then, video store clerks weren’t censorship Nazis.

If you are a fan of Italian horror or zombie films, this one is worth your time. Unless you want fast moving zombies, constant gore and non-stop action. This film has its share of gore and action but the majority of the film is there to build suspense before the big final fiery crescendo.

Rating: 8/10

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