Firstly just to clarify a few things. My copy of this release goes under the name “Zombie Flesh Eaters” but I’ve more commonly heard it referred to as “Zombi 2”. George Romero’s second installment of his “Dead” series, Dawn of the Dead from 1978 was titled “Zombi” in some parts of Europe.
After that movie did as well as it did, the only sensible thing to do was now to cash in on the success of “Zombi”. Best release another flick while the iron was still hot. Thereby confusing fans and separating cash from wallets everywhere. Aiming to set it up as an unofficial sequel would surely ensure some level of box office success. Thus we have Lucio Fulci’s “Zombi 2”. I find this practice extremely annoying. I’d much rather refer to it as “Zombie Flesh Eaters” (just to make it worse it has a few more variations of those names as release titles too).
The movie itself is actually pretty good and quite enjoyable. It has that distinct Italian style about it. It’s very gritty and the gore is quite full-on for its time as well. The violence content earning it a spot in the “VIDEO NASTIES” list and getting banned in some places. Compared to some of the movies on that list, this is not the most extreme by any stretch. In fact, I’d say there’s only one scene (where a zombie drags a woman’s head into shattered glass and pierces her eye/eye socket) as the only really extremity in the film. The rest of it is fairly standard zombie, munching, maggot riddled goodness these Italian flicks are known for.
The film itself starts when a ship leaves the island and is discovered by coast guard when the occupants have been killed and zombie who is still on board bites and infects a coast guard and investigations lead back to the island. Upon further investigation, it turns out the owner of the boats’ father is a scientist researching the undead on a Caribbean island Matu. The investigation moves onto that Island and the fun starts. These undead nod a little to the older Haitian zombie legends rather than purely following the lead of the Romero type zombies but they’re basically the same.
It’s gritty, well shot, and has some levels of nudity in it. Nothing out of the ordinary. One scene in particular which I thought was really well done was where a zombie attacks a shark! I thought was rather unique! Especially for the vintage of this film.
Overall I quite liked it. Zombie flesh Eaters didn’t require too much thinking but it flowed well and was quite entertaining. I’d recommend any zombie fan to get a hold of this if they can find it.
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