Zombie 2 (1979)
By: Craig Villinger on March 11, 2002 | Comments
Italian Shock | Region 2, PAL | 2.35:1 (Non-anamorphic) | English DD 2.0 | 88 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Credits
Director: Lucio Fulci
Starring: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver, Auretta Gay
Screenplay: Eliza Briganti
Country: Italy
AKA: Zombie Flesh Eaters; Zombie
External Links
IMDB YouTube
With the world-wide success of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead in the late 70's, the world was on the verge of zombie film fever, and the Italian's were quick to cash in on Dawn's success with Lucio Fulci's Zombie 2 (aka Zombie or Zombie Flesh Eaters among others).

A seemingly abandoned yacht drifts into New York harbour. Two police officers are sent to investigate, one of whom is murdered in grisly circumstances. The incident attracts the attention a local newspaper, and reporter Peter West is assigned to the case. While sniffing around for some clues, West bumps into the daughter of the man who originally chartered the boat, Anne Bowles, who hasn't heard from her father in some time, and is also interested in finding out how the boat came to arrive in New York . They decide to work together, and their investigations quickly point to the island of Matul, the last known location of Anne's father. With he the help of adventurous couple Brian and Susan, they set sail for the mysterious island, intent on uncovering the truth about the events leading to the boats strange arrival in New York and her father's disappearance.

What they discover is an island overrun by the living dead, and they, as well as the few remaining locals (including the resident quack, Dr Menard and his wife), must keep their wits about them to avoid the chomping jaws of the rampant flesh eaters.

This film gained a great level of notoriety throughout the world for it's extreme violence, especially the now legendary "Splinter through the eye" sequence, which was censored from most of the film's original video releases. Thankfully, Japan Shock have released this film in it's "Strong Uncut" form, which should appease gore hounds the world over. Numerous Italian zombie movies were released in the wake of Zombie 2's success, but few (if any) were capable of living up to the high standards set by Fulci's original. As well as Fulci's top notch direction, the films boasts some amazing cinematography from Sergio Salvatti, and a fantastic musical score by Fabio Frizzi. This is a true horror classic, and despite it's sometimes slow pacing, stands up to repeated viewings.
The Disc
Zombie 2 is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 but unfortunately does not feature anamorphic enhancement. The transfer is grainy in parts, but is free from any major artefacts apart from some slight aliasing. Some minor damage to the source material is evident, but these hardly detract from the viewing experience. The image is certainly a big improvement over Anchor Bay's transfer. The 2.0 channel soundtrack is perfectly acceptable, with Fabio Frizzi's score sounding quite impressive. It certainly won't push your surround sound system to it's limits, but it gets the job done nicely.

Not a whole lot on offer in the extras department. The standard theatrical trailer is included, as well as liner notes, a slideshow of stills from the film and a Lucio Fulci filmography. The most interesting extra feature on this disc the addition of the complete film soundtrack which should please fans of Fabio Frizzi's score.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
One of the greatest zombie films of all time, the Italian Shock version of this gore filled classic doesn't have many flaws, and is definitely superior to the DVD release from Anchor Bay. If you have never seen this film in it's uncut form, then this release is well worth a look. However, one gets the feeling that the truly definitive DVD release of this film is yet to come.
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