9 Dec 2012

Zombie Flesh Eaters - Lisa's Review

*** SPOILERS ***

So the last on our Nasties List.  Taaaaaaaa Daaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Another Fulci offering.  I've enjoyed his other offerings on the list and this is one of the hubbys favourite zombie movies, so I looked forward to watching this one.  He even sat through one with me for a change!!

Our basic premis here is of a boat washing up in New York (Twin Towers footage is quite a sad sight).  Onboard is a rather large, rather odd looking man who proceeds to attack and bite a coast guard who consequently dies.

The owner of this boat is a doctor who has gone to The Antilles to attempt to find a cure for what is being proclaimed as a 'Voodoo Curse' but he is convinced is an infection.  His daughter Ann (played by Tia Farrow) wants to go to see if she can find him as his boat has returned without him and he has been gone some time.  A reporter (Peter) she runs into while sneaking about on the boat (which is meant to be being guarded by police) teams up with her as he also feels there is a story to be had.  He has also found a letter from Anns father proclaiming he is unlikely to return alive, this fuels her desire to go looking for him.

The couple team up with another couple (Brian & Susan) who are going on a holiday and agree to take them.  Not much point to this couple, but for a bit of nudity from Susan who goes diving to take some underwater fishy photos wearing nothing more than a triangle of cloth with what looks like rather uncomfortable cheese wire up her butt.  This leads us into one of the better parts of the movie where she encounters an underwater zombie (Darren found that reference rather funny... but thats what he was... I didn't know zombies didn't have to breathe.. ok, so they're dead, but I thought they needed to breathe oxygen. anyways I deviate) who gets between our lovely nudey lady and a shark!!!!  Now I am not a big shark fan... mainly because they scare me shitless, but this guy WRESTLES with a live shark, ripping bits off!! It makes for some stunning footage, but you can tell all's not well with the shark.  Having read that the shark was drugged just makes me feel really sorry for the animal.  Ok, so it makes for some great footage, but not good guys!!!   The make-up on the zombie is very good, so I was quite impressed by that.

So we eventually find the island and coincidentally the boat has been damaged by the shark so Brian and Susan can't sail off into the distance and are forced to come onto the island too.  Here we find out, Anns dad is dead and his friend and colleague Dr Menard was forced to shoot him in the head to stop him turning into a zombie.   After being initially doubtful of this story of course our intrepid 4 travellers meet the zombies for themselves.  I forgot to say, we had been cutting back to the island and Dr Menard throughout the movie, so we know about the disease affecting the villagers and the mounting bodies wrapped and bound in sheets and shot in the head.

We also witness the infamous Fulci Eyeball moment at the expense of Dr Menards wife.  That was a bit crap I have to admit, so I was disappointed by it, but I suppose you can't have 'em all.  The effects when the 4 come across her body later being comsumed by a group of zombies was much more impressive.. I couldn't help but think it would have been much more creepy had she been semi conscious and alive rather than stone cold.

The last section of the movie is outstanding.  The effects, the music, the zombies!!  I hadn't seen zombie make-up like this before.  Why on earth did other movies not follow the zombie look in this movie???  I mean the worms in the mouths of the rising corpses??  The little clay-head man... (anyone who know the movie will know who I mean).

In the midst of all the zombieness, Ann & Peter try to get it on and are attacked by a zombie.  Brian hears screaming and runs to their aid, at the expense of Susan who gets her throat ripped out.  They manage to kill the zombie and escape and barricade themselves in the hospital.  All hell ensues.. much shooting, zombie attacks, re-animations, fire bombs...

The upshot is Dr Menard and the staff die, Bryan is bitten by Susan who is now a zombie.  Peter, Ann and Bryan escape onto the boat and set sail, but it is clear Bryan is infected so they lock him in a room on the boat.  They hear a report on the radio that there are zombies in New York.  We don't see them again so are sort of left to wonder what happened.

The final scene is a hoarde of shuffling zombies heading towards New York over the Brooklyn Bridge.  Very powerful stuff.

In short I really enjoyed this movie, but I would have liked to have seen more action throughout the movie, rather than the last 20 minutes are so being 'Oh my GAWD!' and the rest of the movie being quite slow.  It definately is one of the better zombie movies though and one where I will deffo watch the ending again at least.

I am pleased to be sticking a 'Recommends' tag on my last review on the list!

Please use the comments bellow only to comment on this post - to write your own review, please comment on the main post for this movie.

8 Dec 2012

Zombie Flesh Eaters - Will's Review

What to say about our last movie?

Well, its a Fulci, with all that entails; multiple plot threads, hyper-realism, gore and an eyeball getting graphically damaged.

It also contains what is probably Fulci's most famous scene - the underwater fight between a shark (2 sharks actually, but probably bot 'played' by the same shark) and a Zombie!

While I'm not sure I approve of drugging a shark, just to wrestle it for a movie, the result is something to behold (bonus marks for creating waterproof zombie makup!)

The eyeball scene is excellent, not just for the effect, but also for the build up; this being a Fulci move, we know the eyeball is getting stabbed as soon as the possibility arises, but without such knowledge  the woman's struggle as the Zombies arm pulls her closer and closer to the shard of wood that used to form part of her door would be brilliantly suspenseful.

It's a good job though,. That the eyeball sequence, zombie make-up, shark fights and effect pieces are so good, because in-between, it can be a bit of a drag.

The film opens and closes in New York; scenes which were added after the success of Dawn of the Dead (in Italy  Dawn was called "Zombie" and this movie "Zombie 2") and for me, the films final NY set scene makes the movie (SPOILERS FOLLOW), While our hero's have been out in the tropics, dealing with a seemingly contained Zombie outbreak, a corpse that turns up in the opening scene has started an outbreak that has overrun the city. It provides a brilliant 'oh fuck' moment and turns what we have been watching into a  single sub-plot in a much bigger movie; its a really neat idea.

Please use the comments bellow only to comment on this post - to write your own review, please comment on the main post for this movie.

2 Dec 2012

Week 81: Zombie Flesh Eaters

Alternate Titles : Zombie, Zombie 2: The Dead are Among Us, Zombi, Zombi 2, Island of the Living Dead
Year: 1979
Reviews / Author Comments due: 08/12/2012
DPP Status: Successfully prosecuted 
BBFC Status: Passed uncut in 2005
Wikipedia: LINK

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.

Zombie Creeping Flesh - Will's Review

Whenever I find a film borderline incomprehensible, I tend to have a quick read around to make sure that what little I did understand is correct, before coming here and making an ass of myself by describing totally the wrong film.

This week, while it turned out i was right about the plot, it seems there are some bloody good reasons for my confusion.

It seems that, having already been fleashed out by one writer from another writers treatment, the director then decided it needed further changes; but rather than having them written, he just haphazardly filmed stuff that he thought might be useful, then tried to turn it into a cohesive movie in editing, THEN had a second unit film some more sequences (mostly gore shots) and edit them in, AND threw in some documentary footage from a previously released mondo to boot.


This checkered history probably goes some way to explaining the go-nowhere terrorist sub-plot; following a chemical plant leek at the begging of the movie, a terrorist group pops up demanding the closure of the so-called "Hope-centers" (the chemical plants), only to be massacred 2 minutes later by a team of military types  and never mentioned again.

The aforementioned chemical leak is responsible for a  horde of oddly colored zombies; Mostly purple and brown, although they settle down to a consistent pale blue after about half way through the movie.

Come to think of it; odd skin hues are a bit of a theme; this guy is still alive and well (not even infected):

So, With the Zombie origin explained, We meet due of documentary film makers in the Jungle who, before long, form an uneasy alliance with the military types who took out the terrorists.

Wait a minute... Documentary film makers... Jungle... This is starting to sound like a cannibal movie!

Yup, almost the entire center third of the film has the look and feel of a standard cannibal flick; right down to the mixed moral messages - being preachy about sensationalism one minute, and using prolonged gross-out scenes and exploitative documentary footage the next, we see a tribal funeral. The female journalist at this point demonstrates the only reason (or rather, the only two reasons) shes in the film, as she strips down and dons body paint to gain the trust of one of the tribes.

Thanks to the "borrowed" nature of the footage, the look of the tribe switches from shot to shot, so we get everything from lip-disks, to intricate make-up, to Frank Sidebottom, all in a single 60 second stretch, supposedly featuring the same tribe.

The whole point of the (real)  tribal funeral, is to tell us that the tribe doesn't bury or burn its dead; which handily brings us back to zombie movie territory, just in time for our heroes to reach a (formally) populated area.

More attempts at social commentary are made, as we drop in on a UN meating which has been called to address the Zombie problem currently affecting Africa's tribal populations, and the African delegates are virtually the only attendees.

The whole thing is, as I have mentioned, a confused mess; on top of that the acting is so over the top that I'm not 100% certain that they wern't going for parody!

You know you have problems when your 
zombie extras cant keep a straight face...

The film's one saving grace was the stolen Goblin soundtrack, which lifts tracks from Contaminated and Dawn of the Dead (the latter being literally stolen - the rights were never cleared, and Goblin almost sued)

Please use the comments bellow only to comment on this post - to write your own review, please comment on the main post for this movie.

1 Dec 2012

Zombie Creeping Flesh - Lisa's Review

*** SPOILERS ***

So where to start this week?  I'm not at all sure.  When I started watching this movie, I realised I have actually watched it before when Darren delighted myself, Kelly and Dave by making us watch it on one of our get-togethers and its no better now than it was then.

This is an extremely disjointed movie which flits from location to location with not much of an explanation.  We have a leak in a chemical plant which turns all the workers in a research facility into zombies.  In a parallel story we have a team of men sent into a building where some protesters have taken hostages as they want these research plants to be done away with.  The government and media are denying all knowledge these places even exist.  The swat team do away with the bad guys.  Mission Complete.  What I fail to understand is why we suddenly end up in Papua New Guinea amongst tribes people?

It is here that our 4 neanderthals (that is the only way to describe them, trust me) meet our eye candy of the moment, a journalist called Lia, who is there with her camera man to investigate the sudden deaths of people from attacks in the village.

So there we go, an introduction to our zombies.  The movie makes no sense.  It is full of documentary footage of various different tribes people.  There is even what looks to be some real UN footage used.  None of this ties together and does nothing to add to the story.  All of a sudden, Lia decides to 'blend in' with the tribes and make them more comfortable by getting naked... hmmm.  Obviously all the men keep their clothes on which doesn't cause a problem.  We see the need for the journalist anyway.

There is hideous over acting, it is one of those which gives quite a few laughs in its absurdity if watched with friends, but when watching alone, it loses any of its small amount of appeal.  It was a waste of an hour and a half the first time and I have to say even more of a waste of time this time around.   The actors seem intent on standing watching zombies open mouthed rather than running away.  They stand back of hand to forehead with an "Oh my god" stance while the rather crap zombie shuffles towards them and has a go at eating them.

The 4 guys, Lia and the cameraman finally make their way off the island and to the chemical plant where they find out about the chemical leak and the reasons for it. It seems in the crap attempt at a serious message that the purpose of this chemical that leaked was to control the size of the population in third world countries.  Kind of lost in the mess that is the rest of the movie to be honest.  It wasn't really the kind of movie that should be attempting any kind of serious point.

They all die anyway when the zombies at the plant get them.  *YAWN*

We end the movie back in the US with a young woman being attacked by a group of zombies showing that it has spread out of the 'third world'.  No explanation.. nothing!

I wouldn't go so far as to say 'Avoid' as some people may enjoy the silly factors in this movie, but it certainly didn't float my boat.

Please use the comments bellow only to comment on this post - to write your own review, please comment on the main post for this movie.