Zombie Holocaust (1980) (U.S. released as Doctor Butcher, M.D.) is yet another deformed stepbrother in the ‘70s/’80s Italian zombie canon.
Zombi 2 (1979) producer Fabrizio De Angelis knew a good thing when he saw it — and how could he possibly improve director Lucio Fulci’s gorefest?
Two cups of sautéed cannibals. Sure, the success of the Italian-made Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977) was also on his mind, but I prefer my version of reality where De Angelis is a closet cannibal-obsessive, later discovered to be an actual cannibal while on set producing Karate Warrior 6 (1993), upon which he is banished to live among an actual cannibal tribe in the Amazon.
There. I just wrote Zombie Holocaust 2.
Alive Or Dead, Please Just Stop Eating Me:Anyway, lets get back to reality – a reality where an NYC hospital worker is discovered devouring bodies in the morgue. Anthropology expert Lori (Alexandra Delli Colli) works together with Dr. Peter Chandler (Ian McCulloch) to determine that the crimes of the worker — an immigrant from the Asian Molucca — match with those of other hospitals also employing immigrants from that area (Immigrants: just what can we do with them!).
And with the plot now set for us, it’s off to the islands, with Dr. Peter in the lead, where the group discovers — wait for it — zombies! And cannibals. Also cannibals.
If you can believe it, the two sides end up battling, finally putting that age-old bar argument that no one ever had to rest.
Sound familiar? Yep, that’s not too far from the plotline of Zombi 2. Plus, actor Ian McCulloch returns to play a nearly identical role, and footage is directly ripped from Zombi 2 including the burning church sequence.
Furthering the spirit of homage stealing, the soundtrack is ripped from that cannibal film I mentioned earlier, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977). Zombie Holocaust was released in some markets as Zombi 3, just to further add to horror fans’ confusion and lead them to think it was a direct sequel to Zombi 2 (of course, not to be confused with the “real” Zombi 3 (1988), aka Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, aka Who the Hell Cares.
Cannibal REMIX (Feat. DJ Sp3wgut)Like its Italian brethren, Zombie Holocaust doesn’t skimp on the gore. With two gory camps of characters to choose from, it’s double the pleasure, double the fun, from filthy hospital carnage to native zombie carnage.
The zombies bear resemblance to the ghouls in Zombi 2, and the focus here really is on the cannibals and some gnarly feast scenes. Call it a cannibal film with a zombie subplot. Of course, nothing can be Italian and contain zombies without also containing boobies, and we see Alexandra Delli Colli’s almost as much as we see gross flesh wounds. And that’s a lot.
Like any viewer of any cannibal film seen anywhere, I become most concerned with existential questions about the human condition. Namely, why are we so frightened of humans eating other humans? What’s scarier: the dead rising once again or a human consciously committing atrocities of zombie-like scale? Why don’t men find the pectorals of other men as attractive as nubile bosoms? It’s times like these when I slowly slip into my own reality, ruled by Fabrizio De Angelis, where the rivers run with Starbucks Gold Coast, and exploitation films are always mashed-up with predictably fun results.
Watch Zombie Holocaust below:
|Buy the film at Amazon.com|
|Buy the film at Amazon.co.uk|
Written by: Ben Mueller