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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ask Bobby #12
September 25, 2023

COLUMN: Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

Zombie1979Director – Lucio Fulci”When the earth spits out the dead, they will rise to suck the blood of the living!”91 min – rated R

Halloween is that magical time of year when it suddenly becomes socially acceptable to arm little kids with bloody axes and when shaving cream and toilet paper rain from the sky. I figured for this week’s column I’d honor this unholiest of holidays and give the readers what they want: a review of a more well-known and well-respected Universal horror classic such as The Bride of Frankenstein. But, you know what? I don’t even know who you are and plus I get paid the same either way. I personally would rather review something with a full two scoops more senseless blood and gore.

Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – zombies totally rule. They’re one of the few horror movie monsters that you don’t have to sympathize with so you can just shoot them in the face and there’ll be plenty more to set on fire later. Lucio Fulci’s Zombie is one of the moistest in the genre. Uninterestingly, this movie’s sequel is titled Zombie 3 because the US titled Zombie was released in Europe as Zombi 2 in a pathetic attempt to make Fulci’s film seem like a sequel to George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, released as Zombi in Europe, which itself was already a sequel to Night of the Living Dead. Where as Night of the Living Dead moved the zombie genre away from its voodoo origins, Zombie serves to reconnect it. In the film, a woman journeys to a remote Caribbean island to find out what has happened to her missing father. She travels with a reporter and two other characters, who you can be sure were written into the script as zombie fodder. They are all warned that the island is cursed but who cares, right? One of the great things about late 70s Italian horror is since the Italian movie market was beginning to suffer from American imports, Italian horror movie directors had to increase the amount of both nudity and gore to compete with US imports. The result is a somewhat inexplicable underwater topless scuba diving scene that turns into an amazing five minute shark vs. zombie scene. Both a real shark and a real zombie stunt man are used and several shots are long enough to make you wonder exactly how Fulci was able to pull this off with out drowning his actor. Unfortunately, one of the down sides to late 70s Italian horror is that much of it, including Zombie, was filmed using both Italian and English speaking actors. So, honestly, the dubbing looks crappy. On the other hand, the zombie make-up and erupting-jugular special effects are particularly impressive, far outdoing Dawn of the Dead’s Krishna-blue face paint zombies. Truly repulsive creations, make-up artist Maurizio Trani’s zombies are at all times caked in some combination of blood, dirt, and drool, as live worms and maggots pour out of hollowed-out eye sockets. The most memorable scene in the film is often cited as the terribly graphic scene where a woman’s eyeball is forced into a wood splinter where Fulci refrains from turning the camera away at the point of penetration, and instead zooms right into the gut-wrenching action. Though the pacing may be a tad slow for today’s reality TV generation, but Zombie does sustain a continuous flow of exploding heads and gushing flesh wounds to make this a highly entertaining film. Lucio Fulci has also directed a number of horror films that are worth searching for, namely 1982’s The Beyond. But seriously, underwater zombie/shark fight? Genius!

About the Contributor
Denez McAdoo served as the following positions at The Mass Media for the following years: Arts Editor: Spring 2005; Fall 2005 Editor-in-Chief: Spring 2006; 2006-2007