Zombi 2: Wikis

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Zombi 2

USA theatrical poster
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Produced by Fabrizio De Angelis
Ugo Tucci
Written by Elisa Briganti
Uncredited:
Dardano Sacchetti
Starring Tisa Farrow
Ian McCulloch
Richard Johnson
Al Cliver
Auretta Gay
Stefania D'Amario
Olga Karlatos
Ugo Bologna
Dakar
Franco Fantasia
Leo Gavero
Mónica Zanchi
Music by Fabio Frizzi
Giorgio Cascio
Adrianno Giordanella
Maurizio Guarini
Cinematography Sergio Salvati
Editing by Vincenzo Tomassi
Distributed by Blue Underground (DVD)
Shriek Show (DVD)
Release date(s) Italy:
August 25, 1979
United States:
July, 1980
Running time 91 min.
Country Italy
Language Italian
Budget $8,000,000
Preceded by Dawn of the Dead (unofficial)
Followed by Zombi 3

Zombi 2 (also known as Zombie, Island of the Living Dead, Zombie Island, Zombie Flesh Eaters and Woodoo) is a 1979 zombie horror film directed by Lucio Fulci. It is the best-known of Fulci's films.[1] The movie made Fulci a horror icon. Despite the fact that the title alludes to the film being a sequel to Zombi (the Italian title of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead), the films are unrelated. When the film was released in 1979, it was scorned for its extremely bloody content notably by the at the time Conservative British Parliament.[2].

Contents

Plot

An apparently abandoned yacht drifts into New York Harbor, and the Harbor Patrol investigates. On board, a huge rotting man (Captain Haggerty) kills Marty, one of the patrolmen, by tearing out his neck with his teeth. The remaining patrol man called Bill manages to knock the hulking man into the sea by blasting him with his revolver several times.

A young woman named Anne Bowles (Tisa Farrow) is questioned by the police when it is discovered that the boat belonged to her father (Ugo Bologna). She does not know anything except that her father left for a tropical island to do research. A reporter named Peter West (Ian McCulloch) is assigned by his news editor (director Lucio Fulci in a cameo) to get the story on the mysterious boat. Anne and Peter meet on the boat and decide to work together after finding a note from Anne's father. The note says that he is on the island of Matool and that he has come down with a strange disease. Anne and Peter enlist the aid of a seafaring couple, Brian Hull ('Al Cliver' aka Pier Luigi Conti) and Susan Barrett (Auretta Gay), to help find Matool.

On Matool, Dr. David Menard (Richard Johnson) is hard at work studying the island's secrets. Matool is a cursed place where the dead rise to attack the living, and Menard is determined to find out why. Menard's contemptuous, highly-strung wife Paola (Olga Karlatos) wants to leave the island in fear of the zombie attacks, but Menard insists on staying to continue his research. When Anne, Peter, Brian, and Susan reach Matool, the island itself seems to come alive, vomiting forth all the dead buried on the island to kill them.

In the end, all of the island's inhabitants and Susan fall victim to the walking dead; Brian is infected and dies soon afterward. Peter and Anne manage to escape by boat, taking the now reanimated Brian with them as evidence for their story. Shortly after the group leaves the island and reach the open ocean, they receive a radio message that, to their great horror and dismay, the undead have attacked New York City. Marty, the policeman killed by the zombie, and his killer itself have infected the New York population, explosively multiplying the zombie army beyond any hope of control.

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Memorable scenes

The film became infamous for two scenes in particular, aided by special effects. One features a zombie (Ramon Bravo) fighting an actual tiger shark underwater. The actor scheduled to fight the shark was unable to perform the day the sequence was to be shot, so the shark's trainer was used instead.

The other infamous scene is where Paola has her eye gouged out on a splintered piece of wood very slowly and painfully. This scene in particular was edited from many previous releases, but is intact on all three current DVD versions.

The film is also remembered among fans for its creepy, synthesized opening theme, composed by Fabio Frizzi.[3].

Reception

In Europe

Zombi 2's incredible success in Europe re-ignited Fulci's sagging career and reinvented the director as a horror maven. Fulci would go on to direct several more horror films, and Zombi 2 introduced several of his trademarks: zombies, hyper-realistic gore and blood, and the infamous "eyeball gag" (a character is impaled or otherwise stabbed through the eyeball). Contrary to what some web sites have said about Zombi 2 being written before Dawn of the Dead this is not true. In fact at least some of the dialogue is a variation of a line written for Dawn of the Dead.[4].

Despite the massive popularity of the film, Zombi 2 was banned in several countries, including Great Britain, due to the massive gore content. It was released by Vipco but with a lot of violence edited out. It was finally released uncut in 2005. Lead actor Ian McCulloch, who is British, never actually had the opportunity to watch the full film until he recorded a commentary for the Roan Group's laserdisc release of Zombi 2 in 1998, and was shocked at the gore level.

Zombi 2's massive European box office take also paved the way for three more sequels, which, like their predecessor, have no relation to any of the other films in the series — they all have self-contained plots. While the Zombi series proved to be incredibly lucrative, Zombi 2 is by far the most recognizable of the European zombie films.

The film was written before Dawn of the Dead was released in Italy, as an action/adventure thriller with no link to George A. Romero's films. The opening and closing scenes (which take place in New York) were added to the script later when the producers wanted to cash-in on the success of Dawn.

The infamous shark vs. zombie scene was filmed in a large salt water tank and the shark was fed horse meat and sedatives before filming.

In the United States

Zombi 2 was released merely as Zombie in America and was considered a stand-alone film with no connection to Romero's zombie canon. The theatrical trailers for Zombie provided the memorable tagline of "We Are Going to Eat You!" and showcased some of the make-up effects, but did nothing to indicate the plot of the picture (although the audience was indeed warned about the graphic content of the film: a humorous crawl at the end of the preview promises "barf bags" to whoever requested them upon viewing the film).

VHS/DVD release history

The film developed a massive cult following after its release on home video, although a series of public domain releases featured a muddy full screen transfer of the film that angered hardcore fans. In the late 1990s, the film was released on DVD and laserdisc by Anchor Bay and The Roan Group respectively. Both versions used a widescreen film print, to the delight of fans. But more complaints were made about the transfer, which was still dark and muddy as with the film's original VHS release. The DVD/Laserdisc version also omitted several shots of nudity from the film and other misc bits because of print damage.

Five years later, Blue Underground and Media Blasters, the latter of which used their Shriek Show horror banner, struck a deal to release the film on DVD yet again, this time with a newly remastered, uncut version of the film from the original negative. Now truly complete and no longer muddy looking, the two DVDs were released with Media Blasters using the film's original name Zombi 2 while Blue Underground released the film under the Americanized Zombie name. The Media Blasters release also contained a second disc filled with bonus material. The Media Blasters and Blue Underground releases differ slightly in their video. The Blue Underground version is encoded for progressive scan while the MB release is not.

Also worth noting are the differences between the 2004 Media Blasters and Blue Underground releases and the 1998 Anchor Bay disc, which often get confused. While Anchor Bay has a history of showing a great deal of respect for the preservation of purity in original director approved and uncut film releases, the 1998 Anchor Bay release of 'Zombi 2' inexplicably has a few seconds of footage omitted which can be found still intact in the 2004 Blue Underground and Media Blasters release. Both feature comparable digitally remastered, anamorphic 16:9 transfers, Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks as well as bonus materials.

The other films in the Zombi series made it to America as video releases—none were released theatrically in the States, or had any real connection with this entry other than Zombies.

Video Nasty

Zombi 2 was released in the UK in the early 1980s as "Zombie Flesh Eaters" It was passed with nearly 2 minutes of cuts for Cinema Exhibition. It was later released in the same "X" version on Video. Some time later the distributor decided to release a "Strong Uncut Version" on video, which caused it to be placed on the D.P.P.'s list of "Video Nasties."

It was later released in its cut form in the early '90s. The video's sleeve notes were misleading and described the film as uncut.

It was re-submitted in 1999, and an "Extreme version" was passed, with only minimal cuts to the eye gouge scene, and the Zombie Feast Scene. Apparently, the BBFC didn't have a problem passing the movie uncut, but as it was still classed as prosecuted for obscenity, they couldn't by law. In 2005 it was finally passed uncut, and released as a box set with a few other of the Video Nasties.

Legacy

  • The Canadian band Fake Shark - Real Zombie! took their name as a reference from a scene in this movie.
  • The band Send More Paramedics have a song called Zombie vs. Shark in homage to this movie.
  • Hip-hop producer Necro sampled the theme in the song "Carnivores" on the 2005 self-titled album from his group Circle of Tyrants.
  • This film was #98 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments for the scene when a zombie pulls a victim towards a splintered wood shard.
  • An animation company is called Zombie Flesh Eaters.
  • Heavy Metal band White Zombie make reference to the eye-gouging scene in their 1995 album "Astro-Creep 2000: Songs of Love, Destruction and other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head" on the fifth track "Electric Head Pt. 2 (The Ecstasy)" Rob Zombie's lyric being "a fistful of hair and a splinter in the mind."
  • The New York band Grasshopper performed a track live on WFMU titled "Zombie Shark Mangler," referencing the zombie vs shark fight scene.[5]
  • The East Bay band Faith No More's third album, The Real Thing, features a song titled "Zombie Eaters." Although the lyrics to not reference the film explicitly, singer and lyricist Mike Patton is known to be a fan of Italian horror films [1], and even titled a song on his debut solo album, Adult Themes for Voice, after another Lucio Fulci film.

See also

References

  1. ^ Kinocite - Zombie: 25th Anniversary Special Edition
  2. ^ Glenn Kay, Zombie Movies (Chicago Review Press, 2008), pg. 96, ISBN 1-5565-2770-5.
  3. ^ Fangoria - Interview: Composer Fabio Frizzi
  4. ^ Glenn Kay, Zombie Movies (Chicago Review Press, 2008), pg. 95, ISBN 1-5565-2770-5.
  5. ^ WFMU Blog - Grasshopper, Snatch the Pebble from My Soul; My Castle of Quiet Session, 26thAug09

External links


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