Home Video

Zombie (1979) - Blu-ray Review

{2jtab: Movie Review}

Zombie - Blu-ray Review

<div style="float:left">
<script type="text/javascript"><!--
google_ad_client = "pub-9764823118029583";
/* 125x125, created 12/10/07 */
google_ad_slot = "8167036710";
google_ad_width = 125;
google_ad_height = 125;
//-->
</script>
<script type="text/javascript"
src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js">
</script></div>{/googleAds}

4 stars

Finally, the truth about the walking dead can be told (and sold) to the masses.  Cretins and Clodettes, I bring you the blood-curdling classic known as Zombie!  Arriving fresh from its sabbatical at the Mount of All Things Gooey and Gross, Zombie should satisfy your need for babes and brains and shark-boxing zombies.  It’s been a hell of a long wait, but – after several delays and other brain-numbing excuses - Italian horror master director Lucio Fulci’s unofficial sequel to George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead arrives on blu-ray from those cult enthusiasts at Blue Underground.

Released as Zombi 2 (and a whole slew of other Zombie related titles) in 1979, Zombie starts with an abandoned yacht floating into New York Harbor.  A couple of unsuspecting police officers climb aboard and are quickly attacked by a fat zombie presumably full from eating all those onboard during the yachts many travels.

Wanting to get to the bottom of the flesh-chomping being, the police question Anne Bowles (Tisa Farrow) whose father owned the boat.  All she knows is that her father – an island researcher – left for the U.S. Virgin Islands.  She doesn’t know his current location or anything about the flesh-chomping fat dead man onboard.

Reporter Peter West (Ian McCulloch) joins forces with Bowles and, after discovering some mysterious clues about the possible location of her father, make their way to the tropics and are joined by Brian Hull (Pier Luigi Conti) and Susan Barrett (Auretta Gay) to help navigate their way to the island of Matool and discover the truth about the zombies that are plaguing the island and (gulp) New York City.

Forget the plot, though.  This is a bloody bonanza of flesh, tiger shark attacks, and gruesome eye gouging pieces tied together by one zombie attack after another.  It all leads up to a zombie attack en masse that leaves little hope for survival.  It seems the zombies are even acclimated to surviving on the ocean’s floor as one, showcasing his boxing skills, punches and wrestles his way toward earning a tasty meal on a freshly dead tiger shark.

It’s a film that shouldn’t be as entertaining as it is given its narrative limitations, yet the glue – Fulci’s palpable behind-the-scenes enthusiasm for setting up the kill – keeps its creaky frame together.  Simply put, Zombie is unrated horror at its finest; its cheesiest; its bloodiest and, ultimately, at its most fun.  You might cringle a little at the Italian gusto toward blood and guts but, as one clever zombie pulls actress Olga Karlatos’s hair causing her to greet a piece of splintered wood with her open eye, you’ll be hard pressed to find any better use of the camera at building tension or the use of makeup and gore effects in the genre.  These guys love to make an audience squirm and squeam in their seats.

Fulci, although underrated as a director, was a mad genius.  Zombie is all the proof the world will ever need.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Zombie - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: R for horror violence/gore and nudity.
Director
: Lucio Fulci
Writer
: Elisa Briganti
Cast: Tisa Farrow; Ian McCulloch; Richard Johnson; Al Cliver
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
When the earth spits out the dead, they will rise to suck the blood of the living!
Memorable Movie Quote: "West, keep the British accent out of your prose. Don't take advantage of the fact that your uncle owns the paper."
Distributor:
The Jerry Gross Organization
Home Video Distributor:
Blue Underground
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 18, 1980
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 24, 2011

Synopsis: Strangers looking for a woman's father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Zombie - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

2 - Disc Ultimate Edition

Available on Blu-ray - October 24, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Korean, Mandarin
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX; English: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX; English: Dolby Digital Mono; Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (2 BDs)
Playback: Region free playback

The 1080p transfer offered from Blue Underground is a pretty solid piece of work.  While it won’t reach the levels and clarity that a new release will, this restored and remastered image (originally from 1979 mind you) is the best this film has ever looked.  Colors and contrast levels are strong throughout and shadows hold their own very nicely against the tropical settings and cool interiors.  Fine detail adds to the suspense of the picture and the textures in the gore and zombie flesh that drops and dangles from skull and bone adds a bit of a horrifying level long since missing from the makeup effects.  While not as clear and boisterous as one might expect, the DTS-HD MA 7.1 lossless soundtrack does a fine job and honing in on the sound and dialogue and keeps the film in line with some pretty decent soundscapes…even if it is a bit front loaded.

Supplemental Material:

Commentary:

  • Originally recorded for an earlier DVD release, the commentary – provided by Ian McCulloch and Diabolik Magazine Editor Jason J. Slater – is decent enough to be enjoyed.  It is, however, limited by McCulloch’s memory and reliability as he recounts the making of the film with promptings from Slater.

Special Features:

Much of the supplemental material has been ported over from an earlier release which, considering the quality of the new HD transfer, is a good thing.  Separated over two discs with the best stuff on the second disc, the special features range from a grand collection of still galleries and trailers to reminiscence from the (still living) actors and actresses about the behind the scenes antics and other making of tidbits.  Interviews with everyone from Cinematographer Sergio Salvati to filmmaker Guillermo del Toro make the bulk of the special features.

  • Zombie Wasteland (23 min)
  • Flesh Eaters on Film (10 min)
  • Deadtime Stories (15 min)
  • World of the Dead (16 min)
  • Zombi Italiano (17 min)
  • Notes on a Headstone (7 min)
  • All in the Family (6 min)
  • Zombie Lover (10 min)
  • Poster & Still Gallery (10 min)
  • Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Radio Spots

{2jtab: Trailer}

{/2jtabs}

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets

 

You are here: Home Home Video Zombie (1979) - Blu-ray Review
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Google+
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes