Bottom of the Barrel Movie Reviews: Zombie Flesh Eaters

In the last Bottom of the Barrel Movie Review I promised a very special one in the near future. And that is true. It is coming in the future – just not now. I was going to review the Big Daddy of video nasties but I have actually acquired some more so would rather do those first.

And today’s is Zombie Flesh Eaters, (AKA Zombi 2 and Zombie) directed by one of the greats of Italian gore – Lucio Fulci.

Let me start by saying once again those in Australia are getting fucked over by dvd companies. A lovely 2 disc 25th Anniversary Edition was released in the US. No sign of it in Australia. One disc.

And even that one disc is fucked. Despite the box and on-line retailers proclaiming the film having a 5.1 soundtrack, there is no sign of it on the disc. A TOTALLY AWESOME 2.0 stereo!!! Oh yeah. Who needs 5.1? So we miss out on the second disc and the remastered soundtrack. But if you think that is the end of the fucking over by the dvd company you are sorely mistaken.

The box proclaims it to be a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and it is…. sort of. It is more of a 2.35:1 ratio inside a standard 4:3 picture. Yes it is fucked somehow (again completely unlike the glorious transfer on the US disc). My widescreen tv has numerous settings for different broadcast ratios. All dvds (whether 1.85:1 or 2.35, 2.40:1 et al) require the Full setting, standard tv and 4:3 aspect ratio films get set to the Normal setting. The Full setting both squashed and stretched the image terribly and the Normal setting left my screen with more black space than actual picture. One of the other three or fours settings on the tv gave me a picture that used up more of the screen area without distorting the image too badly.

So my advice – DO NOT BUY THIS DISC IN AUSTRALIA. If local dvd companies are going to fuck us over, then let’s fuck them over. Import the 25th Anniversary disc. Import a copy of this movie. Download it. Burn it. Whatever. Just don’t fucking buy it.

Ok. On to the film. This is a movie about zombies that eat flesh.

A small deserted boat is found in drifting into New York harbour with a zombie on board. A young woman (whose father owned the boat) and a British newspaper reporter travel to the Antilles Islands in order to locate her father. When they get there, they find out that a mysterious disease has killed him, along with many others. However they won’t stay dead. Voodoo curses, a semi-mad doctor, and hoards of flesh-eating zombies abound.

With a title like Zombie Flesh Eaters (and knowing it is an Italian film) you basically watch it for two reasons – tits and gore.


More tits!

And the only good thing I can say about this shitty disc, is the one truthful thing that the box says – this is an uncut version.

I remember seeing the Infinity Video version (once again kudos to the excellent Refused Classification site) many years ago and yeah – the censors butchered it. The big “controversy” about this film was the ‘splinter in the eye’ scene and this uncut scene is definitely not like I remember it. It is much, much better…..

The synthesised soundtrack is surprisingly effective giving many scenes are creepy surrealism (because let’s face it – does it get more creepily surreal than zombies arising from the grave because of voodoo?)

And speaking of the zombies, these zombies look awesome. They do look like they have been decaying underground for differing lengths of time, and the way they slowly crawl out of the ground is great. And the gore it pretty damn good as well. There is some superb make up work here and it is much better than your usual shitty Italian fare.

And that pretty much sums up my opinion of this film. Though there is only a flicker of plot/story and the characters are entirely forgettable, it has atmosphere – and that is something that is typically lacking from most Italian films (and most modern horror remakes).

If you like your gore gratuitous with wet and wild shark on zombie action, then you will enjoy Zombie Flesh Eaters.

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