Lucio Fulci’s Zombie 2 released in Italy August 25, 1979
Zombi 2 (also known as Zombie, Island of the Living Dead, Zombie Island, Zombie Flesh Eaters and Woodoo) is a 1979 zombie horror film directed by Lucio Fulci. It is the best-known of Fulci’s films. It made Fulci a horror icon. Despite the fact that the title alludes to the film being a sequel to Zombi (the Italian title of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead), the films are unrelated. When the film was released in 1979, it was scorned for its extremely bloody content notably by the at the time Conservative British Parliament.
Tagline: When the earth spits out the dead, they will rise to suck the blood of the living!
Strangers looking for a woman’s father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.
Memorable scenes :
The film became infamous for two scenes in particular, aided by special effects. One features a zombie (Ramon Bravo) fighting an actual tiger shark underwater. The actor scheduled to fight the shark was unable to perform the day the sequence was to be shot, so the shark’s trainer was used instead.
The other infamous scene is where a character has her eye gouged out on a splintered piece of wood very slowly and painfully. This scene in particular was edited from many previous releases, but is intact on all three current DVD versions.
The film is also remembered among fans for its creepy, synthesized opening theme, composed by Fabio Frizzi.
Reception in Europe:
Zombi 2′s incredible success in Europe re-ignited Fulci’s sagging career and reinvented the director as a horror maven. Fulci would go on to direct several more horror films, and Zombi 2 introduced several of his trademarks: zombies, hyper-realistic gore and blood, and the infamous “eyeball gag” (a character is impaled or otherwise stabbed through the eyeball). Contrary to what some web sites have said about Zombi 2 being written before Dawn of the Dead this is not true. In fact at least some of the dialogue is a variation of a line written for Dawn of the Dead.
Despite the massive popularity of the film, Zombi 2 was banned in several countries, including Great Britain, due to the massive gore content. It was released by Vipco but with a lot of violence edited out. It was finally released uncut in 2005. Lead actor Ian McCulloch, who is British, never actually had the opportunity to watch the full film until he recorded a commentary for the Roan Group’s laserdisc release of Zombi 2 in 1998, and was shocked at the gore level.
Zombi 2′s massive European box office take also paved the way for three more sequels, which, like their predecessor, have no relation to any of the other films in the series — they all have self-contained plots. While the Zombi series proved to be incredibly lucrative, Zombi 2 is by far the most recognizable of the European zombie films.
The film was written before Dawn of the Dead was released in Italy, as an action/adventure thriller with no link to George A. Romero’s films. The opening and closing scenes (which take place in New York) were added to the script later when the producers wanted to cash-in on the success of Dawn.
The infamous shark vs. zombie scene was filmed in a large salt water tank and the shark was fed horse meat and sedatives before filming.
Reception in United States:
Zombi 2 was released merely as Zombie in America and was considered a stand-alone film with no connection to Romero’s zombie canon. The theatrical trailers for Zombie provided the memorable tagline of “We Are Going to Eat You!” and showcased some of the make-up effects, but did nothing to indicate the plot of the picture (although the audience was indeed warned about the graphic content of the film: a humorous crawl at the end of the preview promises “barf bags” to whoever requested them upon viewing the film).
Special Effects Department
Giovanni Corridori … special effects
Gino De Rossi … special effects
Roberto Pace … special effects
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