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Saturday, May 19, 2018

ZOMBIE 3 -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle

Gory, lurid, and just plain nuts, Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE 3 (Severin Films, 1988) sails over the top from the very first scene and just keeps on going. 

It's definitely not part of the George Romero universe.  Created by accident during a lab experiment to reanimate the dead, these zombies are some of the most groteseque, malicious, and aggressively hostile undead fiends to ever come leaping out of the bushes at you.

As expected, the makeup and gore effects are crude--obvious rubber masks and such--but are so wonderfully extreme that they're effective and fun nonetheless.  Lots of bladder effects are used to good advantage in the facial makeups, with plenty of graphic gore and severed limbs to go around.

The action is confined to a tropical resort island that just happens to have a top-secret military base where the disastrous experiment takes place.  After that, the good-guy scientists struggle to come up with an antidote to the highly-contagious zombie virus while the bad-guy military brass decide to just kill off everyone in the infected area, locals and tourists alike.

This includes a bevy of fun girls and their boyfriends in an RV, a young couple tooling around in their convertible, and three rowdy soldiers on leave, looking for a good time. 

Their trouble really starts when all are attacked by swarms of infected, virus-carrying birds, after which the injured must be protected by the others against growing hordes of horrific zombies intent on turning them all into pulled pork.

The rest of the film is a series of lively setpieces as various protagonists endure harrowing undead encounters which several of them won't survive.  Not only that, but they also must contend with military hit squads in hazmat suits who are machine-gunning anything that moves (which is where our three vacationing soldiers come in handy).

Direction and camerawork are pretty artless as usual, which is part of the film's charm.  ZOMBIE 3 was begun by Italian schlockmeister Lucio Fulci (ZOMBIE, DOOR INTO SILENCE, THE DEVIL'S HONEY) but actually completed by fellow filmmakers Bruno Mattei (ZOMBIES: THE BEGINNING, ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE JAIL: THE WOMEN'S HELL, VIOLENCE IN A WOMEN'S PRISON) and Claudio Fragasso (ZOMBIE 4, TROLL 2).

As a result, ZOMBIE 3 is a frenetic conglomeration of so-bad-it's-good fun in which the subpar acting and dialogue, goofy characters, and hokey effects only add to its perverse appeal.  It's a non-stop zombie blowout that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.

Buy it at Severin Films

Release date: May 28, 2018

Bonus Disc: CD Soundtrack (pictured below)
The Last Zombies – Interview With Co-Director/Co-Writer Claudio Fragasso and Co-Writer Rossella Drudi
Tough Guys – Interview with Actors/Stuntmen Massimo Vanni and Ottaviano Dell’Acqua
The Problem Solver – Interview with Replacement Director Bruno Mattei
Swimming with Zombies – Interview with Actress Marina Loi
In the Zombie Factory – Interview with FX Artist Franco Di Girolamo
Audio Commentary With Stars Deran Sarafian and Beatrice Ring


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