Spaghetti splatter spruced up
Release Date: OUT NOW!
1980 | 18 | Blu- ray Director: Marino Girolami Cast: Ian McCulloch, Alexandra Delli Colli, Sherry Buchanan, Peter O’Neal, Donald O’Brien
It’s a zombie film! It’s a cannibal film! It’s a mad doctor film! It’s… a not very good film.
In a plot familiar to anyone au fait with Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters, a group of New York medical types – including Ian McCulloch, looking and sounding exactly like Pointless’s Alexander Armstrong – head to the East Indies to find the source of a cult that’s stealing body parts. There they encounter the cannibals and zombies and mad doctor who gave this film the best of its squillions of aliases: Dr Butcher, Medical Deviate.
Flashes of nudity and gore break the mundanity: a skull is removed in bloody detail, and McCulloch fends off a rotter by pulping his face with a boat’s motor. Natives feast on a man’s intestines, then drill their fingers into his eye sockets. Yes, this sounds mighty grim, but most of the gore looks pretty fake, and Zombi Holocaust’s main problem is that it ambles. Zombie films shouldn’t amble; they should race!
Extras: A 2014 convention Q& A with Ian McCulloch ( 50 minutes) and Eaten Alive!, an hour- and- ahalf- long documentary on the rise and fall of the Italian cannibal film – it’s comprehensive, with lots of juicy footage, but watching the interviewees trying to out- PC one another becomes tiresome ( why watch these films if they offend you so much?). A trailer and deleted scene round things off; there’s also a postcard and a 16- page booklet.
Beach body ready? Hmmm…