If you read this site regularly, you know I’m a huge fan of horror, and also love revival screenings of crazy grindhouse flicks.
Of course, if you’re a major gorehound, the name Lucio Fulci needs no introduction. Fulci is part of what I call The Italian Troika, meaning the three top horror directors from Italy that also include Dario Argento (Suspiria), and Mario Bava (Black Sabbath, Black Sunday).
Now Fulci’s best known work, Zombie, is coming back to screens all over the United States, and if you haven’t seen it and think this is gonna be The Walking Dead, you better think again.
Blue Underground, which has restored many grindhouse classics, is handling the re-release of Zombie, and as Guillermo Del Toro says in an official press release, “When I first saw Zombie, my mind exploded! After the movie ended, I didn’t know if I had dreamed it, because sure such movies didn’t exist! You are about to see a movie that is created by one of the most brilliant minds in the genre, that is full of ‘Oh, my God!’ moments that you will not believe…visceral satisfaction fully guaranteed!”
Eli Roth also commented that Zombie is “One of the all-time great horror classics,” and that “There’s nothing you will see in any modern zombie movie that comes close to what Fulci did in 1980. Viva Fulci!”
Zombie was indeed strong stuff when it came to American shores in 1980, theatergorers were given air-sick bags, and first timers to the film may want to bring them. And even if you haven’t seen the film, you’re probably familiar with the infamous scene where a zombie fights a shark, because it’s featured in the Windows 7 commercial where someone goes to the website Zombie Companion.
Blue Underground has put a lot of work and effort into restoring the film, and as the company’s president Bill Lustig has said, “We spent hundreds of hours working by hand to restore every frame of the movie. When we premiered our restoration of the film at Fantastic Fest in Austin, fans told us that Zombie looks like it was made yesterday!”
The Zombie you’ll be seeing at theaters, and on a special two disc set to be released on October 25, will be in a 2K High Def transfer from an original camera negative, with a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound mix.
The late Lucio Fulci is still a huge cult figure in the States, I still see FULCI LIVES bumper stickers from time to time, and his work is still as brutal and shocking as it was when it was first released. With Zombie’s current re-release, he’s also getting critical respect that always eluded him. The Onion recently wrote, “Zombie is one of the keystones of the zombie film canon… it’s a hypnotic work that features beautiful cinematography, a stellar score, incredible atmosphere, and a number of classic set pieces.”
Having seen Zombie at one in the morning at a run down theater in Hollywood years ago, I can attest it really brought the house down, and if you’re ready for some sick, old school dead that still delivers, this is the movie for you.