in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 19

Zombi 2 (1979)

Dir: Lucio Fulci
Cast: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCullough, Richard Johnson

“Zombi 2? Were doing a sequel now? What about Zombi 1? Is there a Zombi 1?” It’s sort of complicated but I’ll try and explain. Zombi 2, also known as; Zombie, Island of the Living Dead, Zombie Island, Zombie Flesh Eaters and Woodoo is an Italian film from the “Godfather of Gore” Lucio Fulci. To my understanding it’s a foreign sequel to the American Dawn of the Dead which in Italy is called “Zombi”.

With all that out of the way let met regale you with the touching story of a zombie that fought a shark. Yes that’s an actual scene from the movie and yes, it’s awesome. What really makes it and many other scenes a blast is that despite this film’s low budget, the violence looks real. I mean that’s why they called Lucio Fulci “The Godfather of Gore” not only were his films bloody but the violence looked real. That’s quite an accomplishment when you’re working with nothing and although this film is a bit of a muddled mess, it’s grisly fun.

Mia Farrow’s sister Tisa Farrow stars as Anne, a young woman interrogated by the police after her missing father’s yacht (with a zombie passenger) drifts into the New York Harbor. Along with a reporter named Peter (Ian McCulloch), Anne discovers a note from her father saying he’s on the island of Matool suffering from an unknown disease. So they go and what do they find? An island of bloodthirsty zombies. They meet up with a doctor (Richard Johnson) studying the epidemic but it doesn’t take long for the situation to get a little out of hand.

Unfortunately the English release has some horrid dubbing and at times the film can become so grainy it looks about as good as a rotted corpse. It’s a great idea but it tends to ramble and feel disjointed. But this if anything, is a great effects movie. Probably one of the most memorable scenes (aside from the Tiger Shark thing) is a where we watch a human eyeball slowly pushed into a shard of wood. It’s slow, it’s disturbing, and it’s morbidly satisfying. This isn’t a film for the squeamish but what squeamish person would rent a movie called “Zombi 2” anyway? It’s no where near the same quality of the Romero pictures but it just goes to show that there are a few other good zombie flicks wandering around out there.