(1979) director Lucio Fulci
You want a zombie movie that you can really sink your teeth into? Zombie (a.k.a. Zombi 2) is your film.
I’d seen this movie on video shelves over the years and have had it in my queue for ages and ages, knowing that it’s one of the pinnacles of the genre of a sort, especially for a zombie film not made by George A. Romero.
What’s kind of nice about it is that it mixes a bit of the more classical zombie themes (Carribean setting, a ghost ship, voodoo) with the more modern zombie tropes, stumbling, gruesome dead who just want to gorily eat the living. And on top of that, it’s got a zombie wrestling a live tiger shark! Talk about having your cake and eating it too!!
The film opens with a ghost ship sailing into New York. Apparently abandoned, the Coast Guard boards it to find…a giant rotting zombie! The daughter of the ship’s owner, who is sequestered on a Carribean island under a mysterious quarantine of sorts, and a reporter she meets on board the ship decide to hunt down her father and find out just what gives. What gives is a zombie plague, for which he is trying to find a cure, shooting the living dead in the head and burying them when it fails.
The film’s gore is very effective. There are numerous notable shots of eye gouges, flesh-ripping, and oozing worms, plenty for any horror fan with that particular prediliction. It’s a classic for a reason. It’s good, gooey, gory stuff and what else can you ask for from a zombie movie? A breath of fresh (or musty, decaying) air in comparison with any current trends in the genre.