Tagline: "We are going to eat you." Highly entertaining Italian gore-fest from 1979 is a rip-off of "Dawn of the Dead," which was released a year earlier under the title "Zombi." In Europe, this film was released as "Zombi 2," before the makers of "Dawn" sued. If this is supposedly related to "Dawn," it's a prequel actually because it appears to show the origins of the zombie plague.
With decent special effects and a nihilistic, sleazy atmosphere, this flick remains a popular cult hit and made a career for director Lucio Fulci, who went on to make a few other zombie films (most of them dreadful) and a number of slasher movies. Other Italian exploitation directors followed suit with their own gore films for the U.S. market.
Like some other Italian zombie and horror films (most notably "Alien Contamination"), this one starts in New York with an abandoned ship arriving in to the harbor with mysterious cargo on board: in this case a flesh eating zombie. An interested journalist (McCulloch) and girl interest (Farrow) head to South America and run into an army of ghouls.
The storyline is almost nonexistent, but there are some terrific set-pieces including an undersea battle between a zombie and a shark, the highlight of the movie. The film also features the most gruesome eye gouging sequence of all time. The dubbing is laughable. It has a Goblin-esque rock music score.
Be sure to see the widescreen edition recently made available on video and DVD. It's in Dolby sound and you can clearly see the exploding heads, a major plus if there was one Seriously, he older versions on video look so shoddy that it literally ruins the movie. After it made millions in box offices worldwide, the film was tragically released in a very poor format by that now infamous early horror VHS company Wizard Video. As wonderful as Wizard was back in the day, this is definitely the version to avoid at all costs.
Tisa Farrow is the sister of Mia, by the way. She even looks like her. She didn't do much else in the horror vein, althoug co-star McCulloch also performed leading man duties for "Zombie Holocaust: Dr. Butcher M.D." and "Alien Contamination."
Why is it always that ignorant horror fans call this a dawn rip off if you've ever even seen or read an interview with fulci he says he was more inspired by del teney films then any romero film which makes sense. I'm sorry but I don't remember seeing a mall through out this movie. If anythin romero ripped off the italian cannibal movies if anything
Posted by PhantomClone·InX on October 10, 2009
I don't understand how Zombie gets called a Dawn of the Dead rip-off. Other than the fact that they're dealing with zombies, they are completely different. Different characters, different styles, different plot, and even different zombie make-up. While Dawn of the Dead is more polished, I find Zombie to be more atmospheric and horrifying. They are completely different films, and while Zombie may have been released abroad as Zombie 2 to cash in on Romero's success, Zombie truly stands as its own gut-wrenching viewing experience.
Posted by Billy on November 27, 2009
Its widely thought to be a Dawn rip off because it was marketed as a sequel to Dawn (which was called Zombi in it overseas release)
The movies have nothing in common other than the marketing connection and the fact that both used zombies. i wish people would acknowledge Fulcis' contribution to this genre and stop automatically attributing everything to Romero
Posted by Rob on May 27, 2012
Hands down, this is atmespharic and horrifying like phantom said. I don't scare easy, but this film gives you a sense of dread once it gets going. There is no humor in this movie like you'll see in a Romero, this movie is a genuine creepoutfest. I let my boy watch pretty much all the zombie flix, afterall how serious can you take zombies as opposed to slashers which he's forbidden from watching. But this zombie movie is Definitely one he won't be seeing anytime soon. These zombies are no joke. imagine being held up in an old church like our heros, and seeing these nasties coming out of the dark toward you..............yikes!!!!!
Posted by on September 3, 2012
Rank this film on a '666 scale' of one to six (left to right). Based on 2340 votes.