With its lurid title and promises of putrefied corpses coming back to life with worms oozing out of eye sockets, this was one Romero rip-off that was a must-see during the video nasty 1980s. But to see Lucio Fulci‘s Zombie Flesh-Eaters in all its uncut gory was only for European audiences until the film was finally passed uncut in 1999. Even so, the VHS and DVD print quality has always been terrible. Thankfully, this new restoration from Arrow Video is the best Chrissy present fans of the film can ask for.
With the help of a vacationing couple, scientist’s daughter Anne (Tisa Farrow – yep, it’s Mia’s sister) and reporter Peter (Ian McCulloch) head to the picturesque Caribbean island of Matoul where Richard Johnson‘s Professor Menard is conducting experiments on the dead. But when the powers of voodoo cause re-animated corpses to overrun the island, our heroes find themselves holed up in a make-shift hospital with nowhere to run…
Flesh fiends can gorge themselves on a host of special features that accompany the lush 2k HD restoration – which looks ace and breathes new life into Fabio Frizzi and Giorgio Tucci’s collectable soundtrack. There’s optional English/Italian sequences and audio; new subtitles; audio commentaries; collector’s booklet; and exclusive artwork by Graham Humphreys (though not in the standard Blu-ray release); while five featurettes, spanning two discs, showcase the film’s special effects, music and the history of the Italian zombie genre.
With its high gore content and relentless violence, Zombie Flesh-Eaters is without doubt the king of the video nasties, and its the sheer realism of Gianetto de Rossi’s sfx that steal the show. Arrow’s restoration gives Rossi’s gruesome artistry and Fulci’s horrific set pieces a whole new dimension, allowing fans (both old and new fans alike) to finally fully appreciate this bona fide cult classc.
• Watch the trailer here