Let me start, by straightening out some things. Zombi is the American movie Dawn of the Dead. Zombi 2 has been brought over as Zombie, but was played off as a sequel in Italy to Romero's movie. It, if anything, is more of a prequel, but I'll get around to it. Zombi 3 is well, a standalone movie not related to any of the others besides it involves zombies. We'll get to it, as well.
For its cheap, Italian grittiness, Zombi 2 is a good movie. Well, a good zombie movie, which is necessarily the same definition of "good". Its plot rotates about a group of young people who investigate an island after a boat washes up in New York with living dead aboard. The island is plagued by voodoo, and living dead, and gore...oh yeah, and Italian directors. And an eyeball scene that is legendary.
Zombi 3 is god-awful. And I mean god-awful in the zombie since of the word (if zombie good is as low as I have hinted above, well, you figure it out). I have NEVER seen a zombie flick this bad with the exception of Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis and this movie probably wins out because it seems to be trying. Oh, by "wins out", I mean loses. RLD:N is throw away. This is by Fulci, at least in part, and so must be recognized.
What worked for the first one (being #2) was at the core of its cheap sets and caricature characters. Things had a sheen of grittiness upon them, a certain realism. The gore was over the top, an inhuman amount of blood and suffering. Zombies reeked of dust and dirt and cheap but effective makeup. This formula utterly fails the second one (being #3) because the gore is downplayed except in a couple of scenes, where it is bright fake blood. The characters are dunces, doomed to die after acting out scenes stolen from other, better, movies.
And while the first had a hark back to the old days of voodoo mysticism, the second was more comfortable in stealing a plot that was much more mundane. Terrorists steal chemicals that make zombies. The only thing approximating salvation for this plot is that Boyle ended up making it better in 28 Days Later.
To recap. Watch Zombi 2, Zombie. Burn #3's DVDs. All in all, there is one thing to redeem Zombi 3; it seems to be the maker of the of the zombie baby scene. Thank you, Fulci, for that, and go screw yourself.
Um..."ugh"...comes to mind.
Written by W Doug Bolden
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