Zombies are everywhere. They just are. There’s no denying that they’re approaching levels of played out that previously only the mullet and the jerry curl had attained.
The funny thing is that even though everybody loves zombies they’re really only into a handful of films. The films that everyone always talks about are the Romero films, and rightfully so, Zombieland, 28 Days Later, and The Walking Dead. Rarely, however, do people talk about Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2.
In 1978, Dawn of the Dead was released overseas simply as Zombi. It was commercially successful and 1979 Elisa Briganti and Dardano Scchetti penned an unofficial sequel that would be directed by Lucio Fulci entitled Zombie 2. The films are virtually unrelated aside from the common factors of zombies and humans being eaten.
Zombi 2 follows the journey of a scientist’s daughter and an intrepid reporter as they attempt to learn the origins of a derelict boat with seemingly undead occupants. Their quest takes them to a tiny island named Matool where they… deal with zombies and stuff.
The film is a fairly slow paced ride, up until the end, where all hell breaks loose. The film has a strange atmosphere about it. It feels incredibly tense, like a good zombie movie should. It also has tons of gore. I mean, Fulci loads on the gore.
The film culminates in a massive showdown where our intrepid band of sort of heroes, locked in a tiny shed/barn-thing, must defend themselves from the oncoming hoards of undead island inhabitants.
Needless to say, it’s pretty fun.
The film lacks the magic that seems so omnipresent in Romero’s first four zombie installments but that’s really ok. This film is more concerned with the fun and terror of zombie engagement, than using the zombie as a metaphor. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Maybe it’s not nice, but whenever I meet someone and they say, “ I’m a big zombie fan” I always ask them if they’ve seen any Fulci movies. Inevitably, a crinkled nose and furrowed brow are a common occurrence.