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Zombi 2
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Produced by Fabrizio De Angelis
Ugo Tucci
Written by Elisa Briganti
Dardano Sacchetti
(uncredited)
Starring Tisa Farrow
Ian McCulloch
Richard Johnson
Al Cliver
Music by Fabio Frizzi
Giorgio Tucci
Adrianno Giordanella
(uncredited)
Maurizio Guarini
(uncredited)
Cinematography Sergio Salvati
Editing by Vincenzo Tomassi
Studio Variety Film Production
Distributed by The Jerry Gross Organization (United States, original theatrical distributor)
Walt Disney Pictures (3D version)
Release date(s) August 25, 1979 (Italy)
July 18, 1980 (United States)
October 17, 2012 (3D version)
Running time 91 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian
Budget $8,000,000

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[1] and made him a horror icon. Though the title suggests this is 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 UK's Conservative government.[2]

PlotEdit

An apparently abandoned yacht drifts into New York Harbor. When the Harbor Patrol investigates, a huge decomposing man kills one of the officers. The remaining officer shoots the hulking man, a zombie, who topples into the sea. The body of the deceased officer is deposited in the morgue.

Ann Bolt (Tisa Farrow) is questioned by the police, since the boat belonged to her father (Ugo Bologna). She only knows that her father left for a tropical island to do research. Reporter Peter West (Ian McCulloch) is assigned by his news editor (director Lucio Fulci in a cameo) to report on the mysterious boat. Anne and Peter meet on the boat and discover a note from Anne's father saying he is on the island of Matool (Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands) suffering from a strange disease. Anne and Peter decide to investigate together. They arrive in the tropics and enlist the aid of a seafaring couple, Bryan Curt ('Al Cliver' aka Pier Luigi Conti) and Susan Barrett (Auretta Gay), to help find the island.

Matool is a cursed place where the dead rise to attack the living. Dr. David Menard (Richard Johnson), a resident on the island and physician at the local mission, is investigating its secrets. His contemptuous, highly-strung wife Paola (Olga Karlatos) wants to leave the island in fear of the increasing zombie attacks, but Menard insists on staying to continue his research.

Anne, Peter, Brian, and Susan reach Matool. As they investigate, the zombies attack en masse, killing most of the mission's occupants. Susan is later killed and returns as a zombie, infecting Brian. Peter and Anne escape by boat, taking the reanimated Brian with them as evidence. On reaching the open ocean, however, they receive a radio report that a plague of zombies has attacked New York City.

CastEdit

ReceptionEdit

EuropeEdit

Zombi 2's incredible success in Europe re-ignited Fulci's sagging career and reinvented the director as a horror icon. Fulci would go on to direct several more horror films, and Zombi 2 introduced several of his trademarks: hordes of shambling putrefied zombies, hyper-realistic gore and blood, and the infamous "eyeball gag" (a character is impaled or otherwise stabbed through the eyeball). There is some controversy about when the Zombi 2 screenplay was written, and if it lifted dialogue from Dawn of the Dead.[5]

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 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 of the Dead.

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.

United StatesEdit

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).

Released theatrically to U.S. theaters and drive-in theaters in the summer of 1980 from distributor The Jerry Gross Originazation (no longer in existence today) with the tagline: "When the earth spits out the dead, they will rise to tear the flesh of the living!"

Home video release historyEdit

The film developed a massive cult following after its release on home video, although a series of public domain releases from Wizard Video, Magnum Entertainment, and Edde Entertainment (through subsidiary T-Z Video) featured a muddy full screen transfer of the film that angered hardcore fans. In February 1998, the film was released on VHS, DVD, laserdisc by Anchor Bay and The Roan Group respectively. Both versions used a widescreen film print, to the delight of fans. But more complaints were made about the transfer, which was still dark and muddy as with the film's original VHS release. The VHS/DVD/Laserdisc version also omitted several shots of nudity from the film and other miscellaneous bits because of print damage.

Five years later, Blue Underground and Media Blasters, the latter of which used their Shriek Show horror banner, struck a deal to release the film on DVD yet again, this time with a newly remastered, uncut version of the film from the original negative. Now truly complete and no longer muddy looking, the two DVDs were released with Media Blasters using the film's original name Zombi 2 while Blue Underground released the film under the Americanized Zombie name. The Media Blasters release also contained a second disc filled with bonus material. The Media Blasters and Blue Underground releases differ slightly in their video. The Blue Underground version is encoded for progressive scan while the MB release is not.

Also worth noting are the differences between the 2004 Media Blasters and Blue Underground releases and the 1998 Anchor Bay disc, which often get confused. While Anchor Bay has a history of showing a great deal of respect for the preservation of purity in original director approved and uncut film releases, the 1998 Anchor Bay release of 'Zombi 2' inexplicably has a few seconds of footage omitted which can be found still intact in the 2004 Blue Underground and Media Blasters release. Both feature comparable digitally remastered, anamorphic 16:9 transfers, Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks as well as bonus materials.

The film was released by Blue Underground on Blu-ray (as well as a new DVD edition) on 25th October in 2011 with a new 2K transfer.[6]

Disney later discovered an early film print and made their own 4K restoration for a VHS/DVD/Blu-ray release in their "Disney Public Domain" line of films, consisting entirely of public domain films. The Blu-ray features a new English dub in addition to the 1980 dub. The release took place in February 2012 and presaged an all-new 3D conversion in the making.

The 3D version was released in theatres and IMAX on October 17, 2012 and featured a combined Italian/English audio track using the 1980 English dub as well as redone credits. This was part of an Italian Zombi series re-release program instituted by Disney as a lead-up to the 2015 film Zombi 4, which is slated to conclude the series and tie the previous three entries together. All re-releases in the program will be in 3D and come with subtitles. Disney released this 3D version under the name Zombi 2: The Dead are Among Us. A Blu-ray 3D combo pack was released in January 2013, with the 3D disc exclusively using the 2012 English dub in addition to the Italian audio track.

Video NastyEdit

Zombi 2 was released in the UK in the early 1980s as "Zombie Flesh Eaters", which was passed with nearly 2 minutes of cuts for Cinema Exhibition. The original Australian version of the film used this cut.

It was later released in the same "X" version on Video. Some time later the distributor decided to release a "Strong Uncut Version" on video, which caused it to be placed on the D.P.P.'s list of "Video Nasties."

It was later released in its cut form in the early '90s. The video's sleeve notes were misleading and described the film as uncut.

It was re-submitted in 1999, and an "Extreme version" was passed, with only minimal cuts to the eye gouge scene, and the Zombie Feast Scene. Apparently, the BBFC did not have a problem passing the movie uncut, but as it was still classed as prosecuted for obscenity, they could not by law. By 2005 it was removed from the list of obscene publications and was finally passed uncut, and released as a box set with a few other of the Video Nasties.

LegacyEdit

SequelsEdit

The film was followed by 3 sequels.

See alsoEdit

References Edit

External linksEdit

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