Zombie Flesh Eaters (4 stars)

Zombie Flesh Eaters

Reissue of the 1979 video nasty classic on Blu-ray and DVD

How can you not love a film called Zombie Flesh Eaters? And unlike so many exploitation movies it actually lives up to its inflammatory title. We get the infamous splinter meets eyeball scene, zombies fighting sharks underwater, multiple torn throats and yet more graphic violence. The story itself is fairly basic. A seemingly abandoned boat drifts into New York Harbour, one of the officers who goes out to investigate is brutally killed by the shambling living dead they find onboard so journalist Peter West (Ian McCulloch) and the owner of the yacht’s daughter (Tisa Farrow) head off to investigate, ending up in the Caribbean, where they find voodoo and legions of the undead.

The plot might be flimsy but director Lucio Fulci has a real eye for pace and shot composition that far exceeds its exploitation roots, while Fabio Frizzi provides a stunning score that sets your teeth on edge. Add to that Gino de Rossi’s wonderful gore effects and you have a true classic of the video nasty era (the aforementioned eye/splinter interface is still gut-wrenchingly visceral).

This is another fantastic package from Arrow Video, and the film has never looked better than this new high definition transfer to Blu-ray, and it’s packed with extras including an interview with lead actor McCulloch; docs on the effects, script and Italian zombie movies and - of particular interest to Scottish fright fans - a Q&A with composer Frizzi, recorded at the Glasgow Film Theatre in 2012.

The restored edition of Zombie Flesh Eaters is available on Blu-ray, DVD and Steelbook now (Arrow Video).

Arrow Video's Zombie Flesh Eaters

Zombie Flesh Eaters

  • 4 stars
  • 1979
  • Italy
  • 1h 31min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Lucio Fulci
  • Cast: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson.

Fulci's shameless rip-off of Romero's 'living dead' series is done with full-on spaghetti abandon, touching also on the notorious Italian cannibal sub-genre and a bit of voodoo for good measure. When the zombies manage to spill onto the streets of New York, two couples head off to the island that seems to be their source.

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