Zombi 2 (1979) aka "Zombie" directed by Lucio Fulci and starring Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, and Richard Johnson.
A young woman heads to the Caribbean in search of her missing father. Accompanying her is a reporter who is doing a story on why her fathers boat turned up in New York harbor with a ravenous Zombie aboard. The two hire some vacationers to help them search the local islands only to discover the dead are walking among the living.
When you read what Zombieö is about you discover it to be sequel to Zombies (1964) aka "Zombie Bloodbath", I rented it nonetheless because recently it appeared in a magazine as one of the great unknown cult horror flicks of all time. Since I can rent several movies for a fixed price a month, I thought why not. It won't cost me anything extra to rent it.
The film starts off like a sequel. A boat turns up in the New York harbor and a zombie bites a member of the harbor patrol. The how and the why this boat and zombie got there is probably in ôZombie Bloodbathö, but I could get past it when the reporter with the really bad comb over started to investigate the boat and the rich woman who came to identify the boat as her fathers. The two go on a search for answers that leads them to a horrific zombie voodoo island.
As zombie movies go it is step up form the ôNight of the Living Deadö and its sequels. There is a lot less zombies and a lot more suspense. The zombies, when they do appear ,have a realistic decomposed oceanic feel to them which creeps them out all the more.
Now the film is from 1979 and it has a certain 1980Æs feel for it. The special effects, the acting, and the music all reminded me of Sam RaimiÆs ôEvil Deadö. I just wish I would have watched this film on an old VHS copy (like I did with the first two Evil Deadö films) to get that run down faded documentary type feel. DonÆt get me wrong the picture transfer was beautiful but a film like this is better seen on actual film with scratches on the print to bring out its realism.
There is one moment that I wish I really could really talk about in this film (but I post a Spoiler Free Review) that set this zombie film apart from all others. It takes place in a location and with something that a zombie has never been seen with before. That sequence put this film in its own category and in a lot of ways earned my respect. In 1979 to accomplish what they did, on what seems like a shoe string budget, ôZombieö delivered enough thrills and chills to make me want to see all over again.
If you want to discover a cult classic that you have never heard of or you are into foreign zombie films, ôZombieö is one of the best films that stays true to the genre and goes for the horror every time instead of the camp. Something that many ômodernö zombie flicks have lost touch with.
Plus the ending is surreal and perfect!