I’m going to come right out and say it; I’m an elitist when it comes to film.If you read my blog you can tell that right away.I’m opinionated, stubborn and can even come across as arrogant.Just like when I reviewed “The Beyond” awhile back, I mentioned about Fulci’s style when it comes to directing.Throw plot and character development right out the window, and give your viewer a product that’s visually striking and laden with gore effects that are still impressive today.You’re not going to find a riveting dialogue and social commentary with this classic from 1979.As a matter of fact a good friend of mine once stated if someone asks him what “Zombie Flesh Eaters” is about, his answer is always he same; “It’s about an hour to long.”
Personally one of my favorite activities is showing this film to friends who have never seen it before.I’ve heard reactions ranging everywhere from “What’s the point of this?”, “Is there a plot anywhere?” and my personal favorite “Is that a shark?” I would also like to add this right here and now, This is without a doubt one of favorite horror films of all time.It’s one of my “Go-To” movies, I can throw it on anytime and enjoy it just as much as I did the first time I saw it.Right from the start it drags you in; The corpse wrapped in a white shroud rising from a hospital bed, a single bullet fired from a pistol and the famous opening line before Fabio Frizzi’s pulsating soundtrack chimes in.”The boat can leave now, Tell the crew.”
I suppose I really don’t have to touch base on the plot at all.Because a lot like “Dawn Of The Dead”, this is required viewing. Not just for Zombie films but horror in general.Filmed on location in New York,Rome and with additional footage shot in the Gulf of Mexico for the infamous “Shark” scene, Fulci’s eye for making the perfect scare is near perfection.So what makes this film so iconic?
I believe a lot has to do with the make up and effects.The zombies Fulci used where actually a a small family of stunt men, which is why a lot of them look alike. Genonnetto Di Rossi’s makeup work rivaled that of Tom Savini’s. Whereas Romero’s “Dawn” gave his cadavers a comic-like appearance, The Zombies from Flesh Eaters have an appearance that gives you the impression that they really are risen Spanish Conquistadores who have been in the grave for close to 500 years.Right down to the crawling worms in the rotted eye socket.The film’s other infamous scene that many people love is the “Eye Splinter” scene, which is one of Fulci’s trademarks, long build up and then a delivery of epic proportions.
Note: In the original screenplay this scene was depicted as a lot more violent.While the zombie pulls her by her hair towards the splinter her scalp was supposed to be ripped off.Why Fulci chose not to have included this aspect in the film is anybody’s guess.
The films final act has 2 things I wanted to touch base upon.Instead of using multiple takes for the final showdown in Dr.Menard’s clinic, Fulci chose to simply re-use the shots of West and company hurling Malatov cocktails at the oncoming horde.Secondly, I’m not going to lie, The film has probably one of the best for zombie film.As the boat leaves the island with West and Anna, they hear on the radio about a state of alert.Zombies have launched an invasion of New York.The two look at each other completely in shock, As we see a large horde slowly crossing a bridge into the city.A perfect ending in my opinion, leaving the viewer to wonder what could possibly happen next.
Note:Fulci never obtained permits to film on the bridge.Which is why during this scene you can hear cars honking as New Yorkers were making their morning commute.
So all that’s really left to say about this film is what else? Fulci Lives.