Monday, May 28, 2012

Zombi 2 (1979)

Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Written by: Elisa Briganti and Dardano Sacchetti
Origin: Italy 
Genre: Zombie
Released: 1979

In 1968, George A. Romero gave the world “Night of the Living Dead”, an everlasting testament that proved cannibalism can sell on the big screen, and singlehandedly brought zombies back into the interest of the public, or at least into the smaller percentage of the public that was willingly to admit they get off to the sight of the Undead munching on the gooey flesh-sacks that are the living.

At first, the film reached only the midnight movie crowd and would take about ten more years before zombies began to become a mainstay in the mainstream horror market, and so “Dawn of the Dead” was released into the world. And it was good. Very fucking good, as a matter of fact. I understand that using an expletive is usually unprofessional, but I believe sacrificing a few offended readers (which, nowadays, if you are on the internet you are giving me and millions of others the free will to test your morals) to express how goddamn awesome a film is says a lot about how much I appreciated the film. But I digress.

Anyway, now zombie films were in popular demand, and it didn’t take long before the Italians wanted a piece of that damn fine zombie niche market ass.  And so, Lucio Fulci gave the world “Zombie”, otherwise known as “Zombi 2”, otherwise known as “Zombie Flesh Eaters”, otherwise known as…fucking…a shit ton of other names, dammit. The point is, it’s a zombie film from Italy, and , like the American counterpart that was released a few months before it, it was also very fucking good.

Zombie is considered one of the greatest zombie films of all time, and it isn’t hard to see why. This film has everything a zombie film fanatic like me could ask for: gore, guts, and girls. Hell, it even has things I didn’t ask for in a zombie film, only because I could never imagine a film attempting to set the bar that high. A zombie fighting a tiger shark? UUGUGGHHAAAAHHHGGGHHHH. Great, are you happy Fulci? Now I need to change my pants after some crazy Italian finally made me realize that the only two things a zombie film needs are sharks and zombies. The only thing that could have made it better would be if the shark itself turned into a zombie and the two became best friends, strolling the ocean floor turning all the other little fishies into zombies as well and they all collectively do the “Thriller”.

Onto the review part.

The acting was a bit cheesy, but you get that with most zombie movies, especially if it is an Italian production. Back then it was common practice to cast Italian actors, have them speak their lines in Italian, then have their lines dubbed over in English. This causes a few instances of hilarity in moments when I probably should have been feeling bad for the characters.

The plot of the film is very basic and it goes a little like this: random boat appears in New York harbor, random boat is actually carrying zombie. Zombie bites cop, other cop shoots zombie. Boat is brought in. Random girl realizes boat belonged to missing father. Random news reporter begins to investigate, the two cross paths. Yadda yadda yadda, ISLAND FULL OF THE FUCKING LIVING DEAD. BAM, BOOM. Zombie movie. To be honest, I didn’t really care for the plot, or rather, I don’t really care for the plot. After all, it is a zombie film and you certainly don’t go to those for a Shakespearean epic. Instead, you watch it for the…

Gore. Suffice to say, there is a lot of it. Of all kinds, too, and involving all kinds of things, like splinters, shovels, sharks, shanks, and hey, even a crucifix. Know that the ultimate form of irony is when Jesus himself provides a weapon that is effective, especially against (non)living things. But seriously, the special effects in this film are top notch, even in today’s standards. If anything, I actually believe that the-random-Italian-whose-name-escapes-me-at-this-moment’s make-up is greatly better than Tom Savini’s. Granted, both films had different styles of zombies, which would call for a different approach to make-up, but hey, let’s not get technical.

One of the things I loved the most about Zombi 2 is that it brought zombies back to their roots, or rather, to their graves. Instead of having the dead be brought back by a virus or nuclear fallout or any other manmade issue, Zombi 2 opted and strongly hinted at voodoo being the cause for the dead walking the earth. I loved it because it didn’t need to explain anything, not like most other zombie flicks where there is a scientist that tries to give reason to exactly what is going on. I felt this added more to the mystery and dread that lurked continually throughout the film.

Overall, I am not saying that I preferred Zombi 2 to Dawn of the Dead, but nor am I saying the opposite. Instead, I will say this. Zombi 2 is Mila Kunis, and Dawn of the Dead is Naomie Harris; sometimes I crave one more than the other, but sometimes I want to indulge in the latter.  And sometimes, I want both at the same time, but I feel that would give me a headache, both with the ladies and the films. Zing

Screencap of the film: 
Haha! You silly bastards, I bet you thought I was going to post either the shark fight or the splinter scene. Well, naw man. I chose this shot instead because I loved this zombie. This was my favorite one in the film and he appears in all but five seconds of it before eating a face-full of buckshot. He gave me the creeps, mainly because of his one bulging eyeball, and the way he just creeps in all, "Hey, you left your window open, so I'm just going to sneak on in here.."NO. *bang*

Trailer of the film

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