OT: Zombi 2
Director: Lucio Fulci
Written by: Elisa Briganti
Cast: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver
Year / Country: 1979, Italy
Running Time: 91 mins.
Sun, sea and zombies in Lucio Fulci’s unofficial sequel to George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, which is weird considering that was a sequel itself (to Night of the Living Dead). Also, this film has nothing to do with Dawn. Well, it’s about zombies obviously and it pretty much kicks ass as well.
A seemingly abandoned sailboat is found in the New York harbor with a zombie on board (zombies are called ‘zombies’ in this flick. Cool huh?). A reporter and the daughter of the missing boat owner head for the Atlantic to find out what happened. Along with two friendly sailors they meet in St. Thomas, they head out for the supposedly cursed island Matool. Already underway they stumble upon a zombie who is fighting a shark underwater. This is a spectacular scene: classic stuff!
On the island, the struggle for survival really begins. The horror starts with the infamous eye splinter scene, another classic moment, but perhaps not so brutal if you see it coming. From then on it is kill or be killed for the main characters. Fulci is not known for delivering a subtle underlying message. Neither is he specialized in directing actors to towering heights. No, he is a man of the gore. And he does what he does best with this movie.
Compared to Romero’s classic to which this is supposedly a sequel, it is done in a more low budget style. There are fewer zombies and it certainly misses the intellectual layer. But, the tropical location is almost as cool as Dawn’s shopping mall, the make-up and special effects are far out, and the music adds to a creepy atmosphere. This might just be Fulci’s best film. Definitely a must see for zombie aficionados.
Biography: Lucio Fulci (1927, Rome – 1996, Rome) originally studied medicine but quickly turned to filmmaking instead. He started his film career with directing comedies, musicals and spaghetti westerns. Later he turned to Italian shock horror films and made a name for himself as the goriest director ever. His international career came off the ground in 1979 when he directed Zombi 2, an unofficial sequel to George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, which had been released in Italy under the title Zombies. Fulci died from diabetes in 1996.
Filmography (a selection): The Thieves (1959) / The Jukebox Kids (1959) / Getting Away with It the Italian Way (1962) / The Strange Type (1963) / The Maniacs (1964) / 002 Operation Moon (1965) / How We Stole the Atomic Bomb (1967) / The Conspiracy of Torture (1969) / A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971) / Don’t Torture Donald Duck (1972) / White Fang (1973) / Challenge to White Fang (1974) / Four of the Apocalypse (1975) / Silver Saddle (1978) / Zombi 2 (1979) / City of the Living Dead (1980) / The Beyond (1981) / The New York Ripper (1982) / Evil Eye (1982) / The New Gladiators (1984) / Dangerous Obsession (1986) / Zombi 3 (1988) / Demonia (1990) / Door to Silence (1991)