dir. Lucio Fulci and Bruno Mattei

Starring Deran Sarafian and Beatrice Ring


Zombi 3 is probably one of the most notorious Horror films made, but for all of the wrong reason. A film disliked by the people it was made for, and worse, disliked by the director of the yarn, who is also one of the best known the genre has turned out. But is it deserving of the horrible labels lauded upon it?

With the success of Zombie (aka. Zombi 2 and 100 other names) the studios and the people wanted more zombie grue from Lucio Fulci. So back to work he went. The filming however was not going as Fulci had wanted, and the ending time of his filmed work was about an hours worth. With failing health though, Fulci ended up in the hospital and had no intention of doing any more work on the film he disliked to begin with.

So the studios decided to get a hold of Bruno Mattei, aka. Vincent Dawn, the man responsible for the Hell Of The Living Dead, a film commonly regarded by many now days to be one of the worst films ever made! Usually being given the same praise normally attributed to an Ed Wood film.

So in came Bruno to finish the film. He chose to not step on Fulci's toes, and instead of adding more to the story that Fulci had already told, he chose to add a sub-plot. By doing this he created two drastically different looks and styles to the film. These two styles are so different that I could never understand how anybody could NOT tell which stuff was directed by Fulci and what was Mattei. Surely one could tell the difference between the atmospheric and stylistic Fulci, and the workman static camera approach by Mattei!

Whereas Zombie was considered to be a rip-off of Dawn Of The Dead, one would have to say that all possibilities of Zombi3 Being a rip off of Return Of The Living Dead are very good. Both films share certain similar plot elements. A medical experiment goes horribly wrong resulting in a dead man returning back to life, and the chemical used to bring him back to life being stolen and later infecting people at a nearby hotel. The military steps in, finds the infected people, bring them back to the medical installation, and thereby cremate the bodies, which unleashes the ashes to the air to infect more dead. Does that sound familiar at all?

From here the film becomes a "road movie" following a group of soldiers on leave, who hook up with a bus load of flirtatious women, and a couple on a trip.

The happy couple out driving stumble across a bunch of dead birds lying in the road, to which they decide to check and see why so many birds are laying dead in the road. Well, these are not dead birds, but zombie birds and they attack! Our busload of women are soon attacked by maniacal birds on the attack, thereby infecting our heroes to seek safety ina HOTEL!!! Yes, guess which hotel we end up at?

Eventually everybody ends up at the hotel, including the zombies.

During all of this, the military is out trying to help the populace. Though, as in Return Of The Living Dead, the militaries idea of helping the people and the peoples idea is not exactly the same thing! If you have seen Return, you have an idea of what to expect.

Zombi3 is a not the terrible film it has been made out to be. It has it's weak moments, but if you are able to find enjoyment in films such as Nightmare City, Hell Of The Living Dead and Burial Ground: Nights Of Terror, then there is no reason you couldn't find something of enjoyment in this film. Yes, the script can be weak at times and yes, the acting can be rather poor, but that takes nothing away from the fun to be had. I mean, come on, you get flying zombie heads and zombies bursting through the bellies of pregnant women! How much more absurd do you want your zombie films to be?

Zombi3 comes to us from the fine folk at Shriek Show, and though the very beginning of the film utilizes a washed out print, the rest of the film features some very fine looking film! The colors are all sharp and vibrant. In comparison to my old Midnight Video dupe, this is a strong improvement. Word on the SGM message boards and other boards though leads one to believe that this still is not the "ultimate" presentation. Though from all the talk I have found on the topic, it seems that none of the releases are definitive. My advice is to find the one where the price best suits you and is the best value for you, and grab it!

Sound-wise, again, I have no complaints about the disc. Did the sound "rock my world"? No. But the sound comes through and everything was clear without hiss or any kind of defect.

We are treated to four different interviews on this disc. Those would be with Bruno Mattei, Claudio Fragasso, Ottaviano Dell'Acqua & Massiomo Vanni, and Marina Loi. In each of these interviews the interviewers ask and try to find out exactly what happened on the shoot and why the film went as it did. We get some good background info on the picture and everybody involved seems to be with good memories of the shoot. The one common thing that they all state is that this was a Lucio Fulci film, not a Bruno Mattei. Even Bruno insists that his role was minor and no matter what, this was a Fulci film. This may be his way of escaping the film, and one wonders that if this was a success, if he wouldn't be saying a different story.

All in all, this is a fine disc. It may not be the most complete version that will exist, but since this film is no masterpiece, I myself am more than pleased to have this version in my collection. Damn fine disc in my opinion.

Review by Carl Isonhart

Released by Shriek Show
Region 1 - NTSC
Not Rated
Audio - English
Extras :
see main review