ZOMBIE (1979) – The Dungeon Review!

“When the earth spits out the dead, they will rise to suck the blood of the living!”

Like many Italian horror films this one is known by several names including ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters’, ‘Zombi 2’ and ‘Island of the Living Dead’ but the copy I owned was entitled ‘Zombie’ so that is the title I went with here. ‘Zombie’ without a doubt has some of the most vial and disgusting looking zombies to grace a genre film. That is in fact what makes Fulci’s film so freaking awesome! Admittedly it is light on story, but visually it is an extravaganza! Fulci’s zombies are covered in rotted flesh, worms and maggots. I absolutely love when victims are fighting for their life and in the process end up with some of the zombie’s rotted flesh in their hand. Nice touch! ‘Zombie’ is also one of the few films where you see zombies under water. Why in the hell don’t I see more zombies under water? They are dead after all, so breathing isn’t an issue! There is a scene featuring a zombie attacking a shark that is not to be missed!

The opening sequence of ‘Zombie’ is awesome. One man shoots another in the head and then says to someone off screen “The boat can leave now. Tell the crew”. The next shot is a seemingly abandoned boat floating in the New York harbour. Two coast guards board the ship and one of them gets an ugly surprise when a large nasty looking zombie rips his throat out with its teeth. You have to appreciate a zombie flick that gives you a kill in the first few minutes! There is entrail eating, more throat ripping, an eye gouging and Fulci even threw some nudity in there. ‘Zombie’ delivers the gory goods!

Although the opening scene takes place in New York the balance of the films action takes place on an island in the Antilles. The abandoned ship belonged to Anne Bowles father, and she is desperate to find out what happened to him. She hooks up with journalist Peter West and together they travel to the sunny locale to investigate. Upon arrival they meet couple Brian and Susan. They agree to let Anne and Peter travel with them, regardless of the fact their requested destination is considered cursed by the locals. Eventually they find their Island and meet the curious Dr. Menard, who tells them about the infection spreading that brings the dead back to life. The breathtaking scenery of the Island is the perfect backdrop to the zombie mayhem to come!

I am a big fan of 70’s soundtracks and Fabio Frizzi’s excellent score really helps build the sense of dread. The film clocks in around 90 minutes and really doesn’t have much in the way of downtime. There’s action at regular intervals and of course the finale is jammed packed with zombie madness! If you love gore, carnage and you like your zombies really, really, really gross and disgusting you will probably love ‘Zombie’ as much as I do. I have seen this film countless times and it never gets old. ‘Zombie’ gets my highest of recommendations!

Dungeon Rating: 5/5

Directed By: Lucio Fulci

Starring: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver, Auretta Gay, Stefania D’Amario, Olga Karlatos

7 Responses to “ZOMBIE (1979) – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. Great review!!! I don’t know too many horror fans who don’t love this film. The first time you see the underwater zombie take a bite outta that shark you just know you’re watching horror movie history!!

    And let’s not forget Fulci’s signature: the infamous “splinter in the eye” scene. Hurts just to think about it!!

    Great review!!!

  2. hagiblog Says:

    While this movie has some great moments in it, like the splinter in the eye or shark vs. zombie, this is probably my least favorite of Fulci’s films. I still enjoyed it but I find his other flicks to be a bit more entertaining. Hard to dispute the importance of this one though and it is what got me interested in Fulci in the first place.

  3. goregirl Says:

    Fulci does like poking people in the eye!

    I have no idea how many times I’ve seen this one, but it probably ranks as one of the top 3 Italian horror films I’ve seen most often. Fulci has some awesome flicks though, and Zombie isn’t the only selection I would rate 5/5 that is for sure.

    I hope to squeeze in at least a couple more Fulci films before months end!

  4. I adore this film. I first saw it as a teenager in the ’80s, then kinda-sorta forgot about it. Years later at a kinda-sorta party I found a copy of the remastered VHS, popped it in, and that party livened up quick! Might even edge out Romero’s movies for my favorite zombie flick of all. Good call on the effectiveness of that score, too.

  5. I am on your side to this Goregirl; Fulci’s Zombie never gets old & I personaly never get tired to watch it over & over again. It also has an excellent soundtrack by Fabio Frizzi that makes me wanna travel far away to some exotic islands when I close my eyes. Very nice review Goregirl. Love to read you.


    • goregirl Says:

      We are on the same page here Sly! And by the way, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this soundtrack on your show!

  6. James Jones Says:

    I’ve never seen so much in the spectacular underwater sequence that has everything. A beautiful topless scuba swimming next to a real 10 foot shark. Then a zombie fights the shark up close, grabbing the huge fish near its mouth?! WTF!!!??? How did they do this?

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