Director: Lucio Fulci
Writers: Elisa Brigante and Dardano Sacchetti
Not one I was looking forward to watching again to be honest, but on second viewing it wasn't that bad at all (maybe my quality threshold has lowered since starting this blog). Nicely summed up by Mark Kermode while listing zombie movies to watch for Halloween in his latest BBC Radio 5 podcast as “Rubbish, but not bad rubbish”, Zombie Flesh Eaters is pretty much what you'd expect from a zombie movie, with some iconic scenes thrown in.
It's set largely on the Caribbean island fiefdom of a mad doctor, whose experiments with the living dead have left him with a makeshift hospital of full of chained-up zombies. Unusually for a zombie film actual voodoo legend explains the chaos, while a functional plot is used to string together gory set pieces in proper exploitation fashion. The most well-known of these, the infamous eyeball scene, is joined by undead Conquistadors rising from their graves, a gory gut-eating scene that pre-dates Romero's Day of the Dead, and nothing less than an underwater fight between a zombie and a shark, done with a lot more flair and technical expertise than you'd imagine.
In fact, where it matters – the gore scenes – Zombie Flesh Eaters' production values are pretty high, and will have the squeamish covering their eyes. This being Fulci there's also plenty of nudity, with the gorgeous Auretta Gay getting her kit off more than once. There's certainly enough going on to keep you interested.
It doesn't get boring, the zombies keep on coming, and in my opinion Zombie Flesh Eaters vies with its sequel City of the Living Dead, a film which somehow escaped the BBFC's attentions, as Fulci's best. Both films are scored by Fabio Frizzi, whose strident yet melancholy electronic music is amongst the best in Italian exploitation cinema.