May 252020
 

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
(1979)

Genre(s): Horror
Blue Underground | NR – 92 min. – $49.95 | May 26, 2020

Date Published: 05/25/2018 | 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: 4K UHD
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), 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
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

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.

Note: This review was originally published in 2018. Only the audio and video sections, with a slight change in features, has been updated.
All screen captures came from the Blu-ray release and do not reflect the 4K video.


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 2-disc release comes with an embossed slip cover.

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’s Blu-ray transfer on Zombie already looked fantastic in its own right so the upgrade quotient for this 4K Ultra HD edition — culled from the original 35mm 2-perf camera negative and scanned in 4K — also looks incredible. I would say the natural film noise, which was present on the Blu-ray, is especially magnified with detail itself perhaps a tad sharper. Given its low budget, and its tone, colors are tamped down somewhat but when it shows, there is a slight pop to them.

AUDIO – 4.75/5


As with Blue’s Maniac release, the difference between the Blu-rays DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track and this new Dolby Atmos one is a little better than just negligible, though this one still sounds amazing, especially considering its age and presumably not always the best sound design (during and post production). There is some nice depth throughout every channel, with the major action taking place through the center channel, providing crisp and clear dialogue.


OVERALL – 4.25/5


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.

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.
All screen captures came from the Blu-ray release and do not reflect the 4K video.

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