|Settling the age old debate of shark vs. zombie|
If you read enough of my reviews you quickly realize I like all things zombie-related. From movies (28 Days Later) to comics (The Walking Dead) to video games (Evil Dead: Regeneration) I consume as much zombie media as I can find. Not too long ago, in the letters section of a Walking Dead comic, Robert Kirkman asked for zombie movie recommendations. Many of the responses I have watched, but one which came up time and again I hadn't: Lucio Fulci's Zombie (or Zombi 2 as it was known in Italy). I quickly decided that, if it was indeed the great zombie movie it was said to be, I had to see it. I have this to say: I'm glad I did.
The movie starts a little slowly, with a harbor patrol picking up a drifting boat just off the coast of Manhattan. However the movie wastes no time introducing zombies, as one quickly attacks one of the police offers, before getting shot and falling into the water. From there we have ten to twenty minutes of creating a pretense of a plot (a reporter is investigating the mysterious death of one of the police officers and a woman wants to know what happened to her father who owned the boat). However, once you get through that we're quickly on our way to b-horror central.
While the movie starts in Manhattan the search for answers sends our two protagonists down to the Caribbean. Unfortunately for them the island has been having some voodoo issues, and the dead have been coming back to life. The rest of the movie is basic zombie - run! action, with a top-notch final showdown with shotguns, Molotov cocktails and a whole lot of death.
You can tell the movie is a classic b-horror movie from several factors: for one, there are several scenes with totally unnecessary (but fantastic) nudity; second, it's very very gory. At one point a woman gets her eye gouged out by a piece of splintered wood, and you see it all; thirdly, half of the actors are dubbed - very poorly dubbed.
The entire movie is highly entertaining, but one point I particularly enjoyed was right before arriving on the island. One of the attractive female characters decides to go scuba diving - topless, of course - in the clear waters around their boat. She quickly attracts the attention of a shark, and tries to swim away from it. However, in swimming away from it she swims right into the arms of an underwater zombie! She survives the encounter with the zombie, but suddenly the shark and the zombie start fighting over who gets to eat the girl. I don't want to spoil the outcome of the fight, but I must admit I was very disappointed when a zombie-shark didn't appear later in the movie.
If you're a fan of zombie movies, or just good old fashioned b-horror, then this movie is most likely for you. The acting is bad, the effects are gruesome, and the plot is threadbare. Needless to say I loved it. Avoiding an actual Seal of Approval if only because I can't help but think that a good-because-it's-bad film doesn't truly deserve one, but I do fully endorse this. You can never have too many zombies.
Written by Hyperion, 2007-03-23 17:39:35
IMDb page: Zombi 2 (1979)