Dec 062018
 

For as well loved as Zombie is and the cult following it has garnered in the 40 years since its release, I still was genuinely surprised because more often than not, I usually am disappointed in these kinds of movies.

Zombie
— 3-Disc Limited Edition —
(1979)

Genre(s): Horror
Blue Underground | NR – 92 min. – $45.95 | November 27, 2018

Date Published: 12/06/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Writer(s): Elisa Briganti (written by)
Cast: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver, Auretta Gay, Stefania D’Amario, Olga Karlatos
DISC INFO:
Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Galleries, TV Spots, Theatrical Trailers
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray, CD
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), English (DTS-HD MA 1.0), Italian (DTS-HD MA 7.1), Italian (DTS-HD MA 1.0), French (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai
Disc Size: 34.6 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Blue Underground provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5


Plot Synopsis: A New York reporter (IAN MCCULLOCH) follows a woman (TISA FARROW), with the help of a couple (AL CLIVER, AURETTA GAY) with a boat on vacation, to an island where a doctor (RICHARD JOHNSON) faces an epidemic of the undead.

Review: The zombie genre has been going strong for many years though probably exploded due to George A. Romero’s classics, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead which then spawned official and unofficial sequels plus the Zack Snyder well done 2004 remake. It also brought forth many low budget affairs, such as Zombie (a.k.a. Zombie 2 and Zombie Flesh Eaters in the United States; Island of the Dead in Europe and Zombie 2 in other regions).

I was familiar with Zombie mostly through online reviewers like The Cinema Snob who made mention of the film multiple times over the years. In any case, I was genuinely surprised by the film. It’s fairly well edited, the acting is fine though the ADR/dubbing got distracting at times and the gore effects were fantastic along with the kills, some of which were gross. And that word kind of described the movie: it’s more on the gross than scary, and as someone who can’t stand anything happening to the eye, this one did get to me…

The film from Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci, someone admittedly I’m not terribly familiar with having only seen The Beyond, Manhattan Baby and now Zombie. He was certainly a talented director with his own unique brand of horror though didn’t have quite the same mainstream-ish notoriety compared with Romero.

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.5/5


This 3-disc limited edition set comes housed in an extra-wide HD keep case and comes with a lenticular slip cover and the inner cover is reversible revealing the film’s poster artwork. Also, there are three variants to choose from: A – Bridge, B – Splinter and C – Worms, I received the latter though my personal favorite is “B”. There is a quite bit of content which is good thing considering how many releases of this there are out there, including a third CD disc with the film’s soundtrack.

Disc 1:
Audio Commentaries:

  • Author Troy Howarth
  • Actor Ian McCullock and ‘Diabolik Magazine’ Editor Jason J. Slater

Both of these are pretty fascinating with the first taking a more historical view while the second, ported from another release, is more first-hand stories with Slater serving as both a moderator and giving more historical analysis.

When the Earth Spits out the Dead (33:05) is a new interview with Author Stephen Thrower, an expert on filmmaker Lucio Fulci.

The disc also has the International Trailer and U.S. Trailer, 2 TV Spots, 4 Radio Spots and a Poster & Still Gallery (9:51).


Disc 2:
Zombie Wasteland (22:19) are a set of interviews with actors Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson & Al Cliver, and Actor/Stuntman Ottaviano Dell’Acqua. Each of them discusses their time working on the project and how it has grown in cult status.

Flesh Eaters on Film (9:38) – Co-Producer Fabrizio de Angelis, with subtitles, chats about the project and working with Fulci.

Deadtime Stories (14:30) are interviews with Co-Writers Elisa Briganti and (uncredited) Dardano Sacchetti, hearing the origins of the project.

World of the Dead (16:29) contains interviews with Cinematographer Sergio Salvati and Production & Costume Designer Walter Patriarca.


VIDEO – 5.0/5


Blue Underground has hit a homerun with this Limited Edition release of Zombie, which has been given a new 1080p high-definition transfer culled from the 4K restoration using the original uncut and uncensored camera negative. The movie is presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and looks absolutely brilliant. Not only is it breathtakingly clear, for a movie that is now 40 years old, the detail is incredibly sharp throughout and it would appear they did an amazing restoration job retaining the natural film grain and noise while colors have a natural appearance, including the skin tones.

AUDIO – 4.25/5


Not only did the video get an upgrade, the audio got a tune-up as well. The disc comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 in English and Italian as well as DTS-HD MA 1.0 in both languages as well as in French. I sampled both the English and Italian languages with preference being in English (though the ADR or dubbing kind of threw me off) and also felt both the 7.1 and 1.0 tracks sounding pretty darn good. I’m not sure if the 7.1 option exactly makes great use of all of those channels but still has some nice depth to it while the mono track seemed more even despite being relegated to the center speaker.


OVERALL – 4.0/5


For as well loved as Zombie is and the cult following it has garnered in the 40 years since its release, I still was genuinely surprised because more often than not, I usually am disappointed in these kinds of movies, not to mention that I have grown tired of the zombie horror subgenre. This Blu-ray release from Blue Underground is absolutely fantastic with amazing work in all categories.

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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