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Zombie (Blu-ray)



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Zombie on Blu-rayStarring Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver, Olga Karlatos

Directed by Lucio Fulci

Distributed by Blue Underground

Way back in 1979 Lucio Fulci’s unofficial sequel to Zombi (known to us as Romero’s Dawn of the Dead Stateside), Zombi 2, began shambling its way through theatres, eventually making its way to American shores in 1980, where it was simply known as Zombie. I’ll never forget the ad in the newspaper with pictures of ghouls walking through a newly opened door emblazoned with the words:

“There is no explicit sex in this picture. However, there are scenes of violence which may be considered shocking. No one under 17 will be admitted.”

It was from that moment on that I was not only fascinated by this sliver of forbidden love … I was obsessed with it. I never got to sneak in and see it. Hell, I was only eight years old, but over the years from VHS to DVD, Zombie has been viewed countless times in the Creepy household. Here we are decades later, and Blue Underground has released a Blu-ray edition that made me feel as if I were watching the movie for the very first time.

Zombie is one of those movies that’s just indescribable. It’s brimming with insane looking flesh-eaters, incredible set-pieces (who could ever forget the whole zombie vs. shark bit), and more gut-ripping, eye-poking, brain-smashing fun than any one movie should be allowed to have. If you haven’t seen it yet (and shame on you if that’s the case,) you need to get your hands on it immediately, and if you have the tech, this is without question the edition to get.

Zombie on Blu-ray

The picture quality, though a little on the soft side on occasion, is nothing short of breathtaking. This flick looks as if it were filmed yesterday. For this release Blue Underground painstakingly poured over every frame of film to come up with this new high-definition transfer which was crafted from the original uncut and uncensored 2.35:1 camera negative, and they did so under the supervision of cinematographer Sergio Salvati. If you’ve seen this flick as many times as I have, you are guaranteed to be stunned. It’s like opening your eyes for the very first time and having perfect 20/20 vision.

Then there’s the soundmix. Holy cow. The DTS-HD 7.1 mix is the perfect complement to the new visual feast. Dialogue and effects are crisp, and given that the film was originally sporting a mono-track, the stereo separation is pretty friggin’ impressive. For you purists out there, the mono track is still present along with a 5.1 Dolbly Digital Surround EX track. No matter which you select, know this … the kick-ass theme song REALLY thumps! Good stuff!

Now then. On to the supplemental features, which for the most part are all new and presented here in HD from the good folks over at Red Shirt Pictures. Those of you looking for the ninety-eight-minute long Media Blasters documentary Building a Better Zombie can look elsewhere. It’s nowhere to be found, but that doesn’t matter in the slightest bit. There’s so much new and incredible stuff here it will not be missed.

Zombie on Blu-ray

Disc One of Zombie is home to the usual commentary that’s been found on every DVD release of the flick. It features star Ian McCulloch and Diabolik Magazine editor Jason J. Slater. No matter how you slice it, even after all this time the track remains a solid listen. Also on Disc One is an optional HD introduction from Guillermo del Toro, TV spots, radio spots, and even HD supported trailers and still/poster galleries. It’s on Disc Two, however, where you’ll find the mother lode of material.

You’re getting eight featurettes (all named and described below). Said featurettes run between seven and twenty-five minutes long each, and combined you have a grand total of about two hours of all new interviews and anecdotes from the cast and crew which feel as fresh as the movie itself does given its new facelift. In-depth, extensive, and constantly entertaining, it really doesn’t get much better than this, kids!

Blue Underground’s release of Zombie is nothing short of a gift for fans. A time-capsule-worthy look at one of horror cinema’s most infamous and fun movies. This without question is one of the single greatest Blu-ray releases of the year. Fulci would have been proud.

“The boat can leave now. Tell the crew.”

Special Features Disc 1

  • Audio Commentary with Star Ian McCulloch and Diabolik Magazine Editor Jason J. Slater
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Radio Spots
  • Poster & Still Gallery
  • Guillermo del Toro Intro

    Special Features Disc 2

  • Zombie Wasteland – Interviews with Stars Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson & Al Cliver, and Actor/Stuntman Ottaviano Dell’Acqua
  • Flesh Eaters on Film – Interview with Co-Producer Fabrizio De Angelis
  • Deadtime Stories – Interviews with Co-Writers Elisa Briganti and (Uncredited) Dardano Sacchetti
  • World of the Dead – Interviews with Cinematographer Sergio Salvati and Production & Costume Designer Walter Patriarca
  • Zombi Italiano – Interviews with Special Make-Up Effects Artists Gianetto De Rossi & Maurizio Trani and Special Effects Artist Gino De Rossi
  • Notes on a Headstone – Interview with Composer Fabio Frizzi
  • All in the Family – Interview with Antonella Fulci
  • Zombie Lover – Award-Winning Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro talks about one of his favorite films


    4 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    5 out of 5

    Discuss Zombie in the comments section below.

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    Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror



    Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

    Directed by James S. Brown

    We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

    Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

    Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

    As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

    With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

    8 out of 10.

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    Coulrophobia Review – One of the Most Entertaining Killer Clown Films in Quite Some Time



    Starring Pete Bennett, Warren Speed, Daniella D’Ville, Roxy Bordeaux

    Directed by Warren Speed

    The word ‘Coulrophobia’ refers to the fear of clowns, and if you happen to suffer from it, you might want to avoid director Warren Speed’s film of the same name. However, if you can stand the sight of clowns with gaping wounds in their manly parts, then you’re in for one heck of a fun time.

    An all-female hockey team get lost deep in the Scottish woods on their way to a match (don’t ask), and are captured and forced to participate in a series of horrific games by the Grock family of clowns. All of the members of said family are absolutely fucking insane, but the one that really stood out was Twitch (Pete Bennett), who wears jester cloths and it said to have a short attention span. He longs to be a violin player and wishes he could blend in with normal society like the other members of his family. And you almost feel sorry for him, even though he’s a mad killer with bells on his head.

    Director Warren Speed also appeared as Milo, a grunting mute who had his tongue cut out when he was a boy. As mentioned above, we see a close-up shot of a open wound in his penis being stitched up, which is not an image that will be leaving your mind anytime soon. Speed is clearly fearless when it comes to his art.

    Inter-spliced with all the torture and mayhem, we also see documentary-style telling the sad history of the family involved, and this was where the film unfortunately faltered, because these scenes seemed out of place and just didn’t flow with the rest of the plot.

    Ultimately, however, Coulrophobia almost seems like a film Rob Zombie might have made before he lost his way and started churning out trash like 31. Comparisons to House of 1000 Corpses are inevitable, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. This is one of the most entertaining killer clown films in quite some time.

    • Film
    User Rating 3.1 (10 votes)
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    The Gatehouse Review – What Is Found in the Woods Should Be Left in the Woods



    Starring Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis, Linal Haft

    Directed by Martin Gooch

    Now while no one will sneeze at the prospect of bringing up a bit of a rebellious child alone, it’s those damned kids that like to tempt fate by pissing off creatures in the woods…oh kids, they do the funniest things, don’t they?

    In Martin Gooch’s moderately spooky presentation, The Gatehouse, a struggling writer named Jack (Willis) finds himself behind the 8-ball following the tragic drowning death of his beloved wife, and if that isn’t enough to torque your drawers, his young daughter, Eternity (Rayner) is becoming quite the salty soul herself. Unfortunately the little one has been finding herself bullied at school, and her recourse of sorts is to simply toss attitude around as if it was pleasantly acceptable. Her pastime has become lonely wanderings in the deep woods, digging for hopeful treasures…and we all know what problems reside in the woods, don’t we, horror fans? Well, Eternity’s father is attempting to re-start his writing career with a frightening backstory – taking the reigns on a novel that was abruptly ended when the author committed suicide, and supposedly the tome is quite the dark piece of literature.

    Eternity’s never-ending quest for fortune and glory in the forest leads her to a most interesting (and ultimately) dangerous discovery (don’t sweat it – I won’t spill it for you). Bottom line here is this: the little girl has taken possession of something that should have been left in the friggin’ woods, and now someone (or something) wants it back PRONTO. What follows is a lackluster series of “spooky” events, and far be it from me to say, I’ve seen creepier stuff watching the evening news. Gooch then tries to bombard the audience with a plethora of instances and swerving plot direction – it’s fun at the beginning but can grow a bit tiresome over a duration.

    Performance-wise, both Rayner and Willis play the perfect combination of mentally-shot dad and determined-to-be-independent daughter – their scenes are ripe with subtle contempt, and the right amount of indecision. Overall, the film is best suited for those fans of fantasy/fable-like horror, and while it might not scare the pants off of you, it definitely will give us all another reason to stay the hell out of the woods once and for all.

    • Film


    Children in a forest-setting don’t always add up to cutesy-pie encounters with furry creatures – this one’s got a few scares to keep fans of coppice-horror appeased.

    User Rating 3.38 (13 votes)
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