B Movie Corner:
First Posted: 9/7/2014
While the zombie theme has spread into popular culture thanks to show like The Walking Dead and large Hollywood blockbusters such as World War Z, the true heart of these films lies in those which established the genre a number of years ago.
Films such as George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead and of course the sequel Dawn of the Dead laid much of the groundwork and rules for what many regard as the modern zombie movie. There was certainly a great deal of other directors around at that time who were making equally important films for the genre.
One such director was the Italian Lucio Fulci, who many having lovingly nicknamed the “Godfather of Gore” due to his over the top use of blood and gore in his films. While some of his films have been panned over the years, Fulici’s classic film Zombie certainly deserves its rightful place among the pantheons of highly regarded zombie classics.
The film was released in 1979 in Italy as Zombi 2 to try and capitalize on the success of Dawn of the Dead which was released as Zombi in Italy. However, upon viewing this film in its own right it did not need to ride the coattails of any other film or director and was released in America as Zombie.
The plot of the film is not too complicated; a ship floats into the New York Harbor with no one aboard, officers board the ship only to find two zombies who quickly dispatch one of the officers before they are shot overboard by the other and disappear. Anne Bowles is brought to the police station for questioning as the ship belongs to her father. However, she has not seen her father in quite some time due to his ongoing research on the island of Matool (Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands).
Anne decides to investigate the boat for herself. While on the boat, Anne discovers a note from her father explaining that he is on the island suffering from a strange disease. So she and a small group of others depart immediately to the area to investigate further. Upon arrival they are told that Matool is a cursed place where the dead have risen only to attack and consume the living. Dr. David Menard is a resident on the island and physician at the local mission who is investigating these attacks.
That is pretty much the plot. We follow the group as it tries to investigate what happened to Anne’s father and also try to understand what is causing these strange happenings on the island. However, along the way it becomes evident that the film is certainly not one for the squeamish.
There are some rather infamous scenes in the film including shark vs. zombie, an eye gouging scene that you will never forget, and innumerable graphic zombie killings and attacks.
The plot of the film is not the strong point, but how many zombie films can claim to have a strong plot anyway? The atmosphere, soundtrack, and overall brooding feeling you get as a viewer make this a must watch film for zombie lovers and horror enthusiasts.
Final Verdict: Zombie is regarded as a classic film in the zombie cannon and with good reason, it hits all the right points that fans of horror and zombie films love. If you have not watched this yet do yourself a favor and hunt it down, but be warned you cannot un-see it!