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.
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.
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
Special Features Disc 2
4 1/2 out of 5
5 out of 5