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Today I’m taking a look at Zombi 3, AKA – Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, which is the sequel to Zombie AKA – Zombi 2, AKA – Zombie Flesh Eaters, which was an unofficial Italian sequel to Dawn of the Dead, AKA – Zombi. Confused?
I first became a big fan or horror movies during my last year or two of high school. So, we’re talking probably 1998 or 1999. I was making Friday and/or Saturday night trips to Blockbuster to get my fix of zombies, slashers, Evil Dead and Phantasm. I often turned to the internet and sites like the defunct Zombie-Keeper.com or the now-dilapidated HouseOfHorrors.com for reviews and suggestions.
It was after watching the original Zombie that I decided I wanted to try the sequels. Except the sequels weren’t easy to come by. This was in the days before things like Netflix, YouTube and even DVDs (which had just started out about this time). Amazon wasn’t the major e-commerce force that it is today with virtually everything so sale, so you’d have to go the local route and head off to a place like Suncoast or FYE and hope they had a copy.
The point I’m trying to make is that in the late 1990’s, obscure Italian zombie movies from the 1980’s were not cheap or easy to come by. Therefore, it’s only in 2014 that I’ve finally been able to watch Zombi 3. It’s actually pretty cheap to find on DVD these days but the copy I’m viewing came from Netflix (it’s actually been in my queue on/off for the last couple of years).
The back story to the movie is that Lucio Fulci was commissioned the studio to write/direct a sequel to Zombie. Which studio? I don’t know. Amazingly, I can only find info on VHS distributors. I know this movie wasn’t a theatrical release in the United States but surely it got a theatrical release in Italy?
The film was to be shot in part in the Philippines but Fulci ended up leaving the Philippines and the entire project. One story says it’s because he became ill, another story says it’s because he had disagreements with the film’s producers. In comes Bruno Mattei to finish up directing. Despite his contributions, Mattei has said he still considers the movie to be Fulci’s, not his. But even Mattei’s contributions aren’t quite clear because it’s also been said that producer Claudio Fragasso (the director of Monster Dog!) sat in the director’s chair as well once Fulci left production. While reading a review for this movie, another name popped up as a contributing director — Rossella Drudi. So who knows who filmed what?
Zombi 3 has no direct link to Zombie. Sure, both are zombie movies directed (partly) by Lucio Fulci and, yes, they both take place on an island but that’s where the similarities end. I’m serious, you guys! While the first movie dealt with voodoo bringing back the dead, this movie has a man-made chemical being released that ends up infecting almost every one on the island. A small group of survivors tries to make their way to a local military base while trying to avoid zombies and a disease containment force that has been ordered to kill everyone. Why they thought they should go to the military base for help when it was the military out to kill them, I don’t know.
There’s very little story here. The movie goes from one zombie attack to another. The upside of this is that the movie never really becomes boring. I also have to get another shout out to the make-up and special effects in this one. Great effects for a 1980’s horror movie.
It lacks the tone of the original film. This may be a trashy and bad ’80s zombie movie but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable.