For serious fans of Italian horror movies, the name Lucio Fulci likely rings a bell. Known to some as the “Godfather of Gore,” Fulci is the mastermind behind popular films like Zombi 2 (1979) and The Beyond (1981) and a legend in his own right.
But in 1988, he began work on Zombi 3, a film which I’m sure ultimately haunted him more than anyone — right until the day he died.
In all fairness, Zombi 3 is really the directorial work of two men. After health concerns forced Fulci to leave the production after only a few weeks of filming, the film was handed off to then second-unit director Bruno Mattei. Known for having a more sleazy directorial style, Mattei’s vision for the film never really jives with Fulci’s, and the result is a zombie flick that seems really unsure of itself….and kind of sucks.
Filmed on location in the Philippines, Zombi 3 takes place entirely on an island, which is kind of cool in itself. In fact, the film actually starts off pretty strong. Terrorists ambush a military exchange of what is later revealed to be the Death 1 compound, a bacterial virus which reanimates the dead. But this isn’t your mother’s D1 compound. This stuff makes the dead come back to life as bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.
After a firefight for the ages, the only surviving terrorist grabs the virus and takes off on foot into the jungle. The military sends a helicopter after the thief and it isn’t long before the skilled marksman in the chopper hits the container, which inevitably leads to the D1 compound infecting the population at large.
As the film continues, we meet all sorts of characters trying to survive the outbreak — some of them certainly stick around longer than others, but the real star of the show are the zombies themselves. Unlike Fulci’s more traditional, slow-moving zombies, these Mattei-inspired flesh eaters can walk, run, talk….even levitate. Some of them are apparently trained in martial arts and participate in many of the film’s fight scenes. One of the zombies even fights using a machete. No, I promise I’m not making this up.
The Conclusion:I can be a pretty forgiving guy when it comes to low budget zombie flicks. But at the end of the day, there is just too much wrong with Zombi 3 for me to forgive the select few good parts. With respect to the filmmakers, this movie has (at best) a hodgepodge of bad acting, a poor storyline and a whole lot of creative indifference.
Sure, at times, Zombi 3 gets a few things right. And if you don’t take it too seriously, I can see where it might be a pretty fun movie to watch. But the fun doesn’t stick around too long, and the movie itself feels like a long hour and a half. For all you zombie completionists out there, feel free to give this one a shot, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. For everyone else, it’s a total stinker. Don’t waste your time.
Watch the trailer for ‘Zombi3’ / ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters 2’ below:
Watch ‘Zombi3’ / ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters 2’ below:
|Buy the film at Amazon.com|
|Buy the film at Amazon.co.uk|
Written by: Joe Tallman