Zombi 2 (aka Zombie) Review
Written by: azathoth
This is probably Lucia Fulci's crowning achievement. This is considered one of the best zombie movies ever made, and contains two of the most memorable and infamous scenes. Just figuring out what to call the film is a story unto itself. I won't go into that, as many, many pages were written about how weird the Italian horror scene was back in that time period.
The film starts off with a bang, literally, as a revolver head-shots a wrapped up person. After some titles screens, we shift to a sailboat drifting into New York City's harbor. The attention it gets is pretty impressive, including a helicopter. The Water Cops investigate, finding a corpse-looking guy who gets shot in the chest a bunch of times after attacking the shooter's partner. Corpse dude falls overboard. It turns out that this is the boat of a scientist doing work on some island about 14 dimensions away from our own. That night the daughter, Anne, and some jackass reporter, Peter, both show up on the boat to investigate. They decide to go to the island of Matul together to find out what happened to dad when they can't get a hold of him by phone.
Since Matul is so far removed from our universe, the couple have to land on real land and rent a boat to get to crazy land. They meet up with Americans (how convenient) Brian and Susan, who are happy as clams to take them to their doom, err, destination. Brain has heard rumors that the island is supposedly cursed.
We cut over to the island to meet Doctor Menard and his wife Paola. She basically flips out at him for being a mad scientist guy while he defends his "research". Care to place a bet on who is correct?
The first famous scene previously mentioned occurs on the boat trip to the island. Susan strips to a g-string and straps on scuba gear. As far as I know, this is the only recorded images of topless scuba. I could be wrong, for I have not even snorkeled in my life, much less know someone who knows how to scuba. For the outcome of this particular adventure, skip down to the SPOILER section.
Back to the island for a shower scene with Paola, and the next great scene. Again, skip down to SPOILERS.
The boat finally crashes on rocks at the island, the boat crew meet up with islanders, and we get to see Doc Menard's "hospital". The visitors reach their guest house, where zombies are chowing down rather nicely. Finally, the zombies come out in full force. The film is a basic zombie movie from here on out, until the end, which has a really great twist that explains zombie plagues in general.
Great music, audio, and background sound. The acting is nothing to write home about, and the actors are not going to win any Oscars for their appearances in this film. The video quality is fairly good, though the sound quality is just about average. Editing is not great, but the cinematography is great when it counts. Much violence and gore, and excellent practical FX. The FX will have most viewers cringing and/or impressed at times.
Lost points for the standard dumb decisions characters make and some other quibbles, but gained points for just being plain awesome. A must see, and any self-respecting horror fan should have this in their collection.
*** SPOILERS *** (scroll over to see the spoilers)
During Susan's naked aqua festivities, she is menaced by a shark, apparently a tiger shark, which are known to be rather nasty. Then the shark is attacked by an underwater zombie! The zombie takes a bite out of the shark, wrestles with it for a bit and the shark chomps off one of the zombies arms! Shark swims away. (The shark was sedated out of its mind and not really hurt, which was actually somewhat of a rarity back then.)
The next great scene is when Paola's eye is slooowly impaled on a wood splinter after a zombie shatter part of a door. This part still makes me squeamish, and I laugh at "Dead Alive". The scene is a good 20 seconds of "no, no, no!".
Remember the guy shot in New York's harbor at the beginning of the movie? Remember how he was only shot in the chest and fell overboard? You now know how zombies cross oceans.