Zombie (1979)

Directed by:

Written by: Elisa Briganti


Tisa Farrow .... Anne Bowles
Ian McCulloch .... Peter West
Richard Johnson .... Dr. David Menard
Al Cliver .... Brian Hull
Auretta Gay
.... Susan Barrett
Stefania D'Amario .... Menard's Nurse

Release Dates: Theatrical: August 25, 1979 (Italy); November 23, 1979 (Germany); February 13, 1980 (France); April 10, 1980 (Portugal); May 24, 1980 (Japan); June 5, 1980 (Netherlands); July 18, 1980 (USA); NatFilm Festival: March 28, 2003; Night Visions Film Festival: June 5, 2004 (Finland); Iik!! Horror Film Festival: November 6, 2004 (Finland)






A bunch of strangers lead by Peter West (Ian McCulloch) whom is a journalist as well as a daughter of a missing scientist named Anne Bowles (Tisa Farrow) looking for her father are travelling on a boat to an island after discovering that it was once abandoned devoured by a zombie and on the island a doctor named David Menard (Richard Johnson) desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead as these zombies are indescrutcable and has a hunger for human flesh.


The film seems to start off with a cheesy but mildly amusing beginning with the character Dr. David Menard shooting a wrapped up corpse in the head as it's supposed to keep you wondering as to why he did that but it's nothing too spectacular.
However, there's some nice shots on an abandoned looking boat floating in the sea of New York City as this looked carefully shot as well as some police crew coming on board to find out what has happened or if anyone is on board. There's a scene that's supposed to make you jump with a zombie coming out of a room in the boat to attack one of them and although it misses with that this still looked creepy to watch regardless and can please zombie fans who are into Italian horror flicks for sure.
We have a good quiet moment with the lead character Anne Bowles looking around inside a boat and then a nice surprising moment with the male lead character Peter West grabbing her as well as talking reasonably towards her which seemed to work well in for this moment. Also a good clever and mildly humoress moment on his plan so they won't end up in trouble by the police doing some investigating as this was nicely written in to the story.
We spot a discussion that really gets your attention with a strong dysfunctional moment on a crazy wife whom is Paona Menard getting forceful towards David as well as spitting nasty sentences towards him however there's a moment when he smacks her which looked lacking and a bit phony to watch as well. But their scene's together still grabs your attention making the moment here look perfectly twisted as well as good close up shots on Paona later on when he leaves for his duty.
We spot some interesting moments with Anne and Peter tagging along with Brian Hull and Susan Barnett on their boat for a cruise as well as Susan almost naked going scuba diving which works in well for this type of film. Also good shots on her going underwater as well as a shark coming her way as this makes you watch and wonder if this beast will attack her but while watching this things seem a little too mellow with all the surroundings to make this moment too terrorising. Seemed to almost pay a tribute to Jaws. It does look interesting when we spot a zombie underwater grabbing at her and she struggles from him which looked powerfully done and also making you wonder if she will survive or not. Then an impressive moment with the zombie battling against this great white showing one and the other trying to eat each other. It looked rather corny but fun to watch two killing machines of different specices doing this to each other.
Nice dakr shots on a zombie's hand trying to break into the home of Paona while she's taking a shower and yet things do look impressive when she tries to keep everything shut from them getting in but this scene is a bit overly long and almost not getting to the point at all. There's however a great disturbing and intense moment when the zombie's hand grabs her face and closely one of her eye's heads towards a sharp object which doesn't look like a pretty site after we spot on what happens to her and painful to watch as well. This was carefully shot and should please fans of shocking horror violence.
We also have another pleaser for the gorehounds when people try to find Paona and we spot a girzzly piece of gourment art on zombie's having a feast one her which was also carefully shot and done in a great horror fashion for perfect shock value here.
A great situation with zombie hands and bodies rising from the ground and slowly rising up and getting ready to attack as well as one of them lunging in for Susan which looked carefully shot and perfectly intense looking too as well as Brian using his rifle to try and blow this zombie away. This scene was a total classic for sure since any zombie horror fan would love to see the living dead rising from the grave for sure and this film definetely has it.
Perfect struggling moments with everyone trying to locks themselves away from the zombie attacks as well as great night shots on them hovering towards the home which looked exciting to watch for anyone who loves zombie flicks as well as good make up effects on them when they try to break in. Also a good shot on someone turning around and one of the zombie's attacks and bites off flesh from their victims with great close up shots on this which can totally gross you out and a pleaser for the gorehounds big time.
During the closing credits we spot zombie's walking along the Brooklyn bridge with cars driving by which looked corny but yet fun to watch as well. It opens a door for a sequel and there was one which makes you excited to find out on what happens next here.
Bottom line is that the filmmakers obviously saw Dawn of the Dead and tried to make it in their own style as an italian version of it as alot of the scene's are exciting and there's some that drags so the story goes up and down. A fun film to watch for sure as I as well as others have found italian horrors quite amusing and a nice drive in type of flick as well.

The acting is hard to tell since it's overdubbed by US actors but will do my best here. Lead actress Tisa Farrow (Anne Bowles) seems to show off a nice scream queen type of presence in the same vein as Jamie Lee Curtis as she shows a nice anxious attitude when the terrors start to happen as well as showing off a nice personality here and there. Also has some good energy and nice virgin type of looks too which seems to work in well with her character for a film such as this one since we see these types in horror films quite often back in the days.
Ian McCulloch (Peter West) seems to add a nice charm to his part in the film and acting fast on things which he shows off some good decent energy within all of this. He also knew on how to put on an acto by acting romantic to cover up as he shows it off by acting like a natural ham here. Plus he was good by struggling against the terrors of the zombie's and coming across as the wisest of everyone too. Yes I can tell that he offered some good characteristics into his part.
Richard Johnson (Dr. David Menard) was another fine one who stood out with his gruff behavior as well as getting to the point with things and coming across as someone who is mysterious into everything that he did. However at times his blocking was a little off but still showed some good seriousness into whatever he did as well as having nice energy when trying to survive agains tthe zombie's. He certainly knew on how to howling and scream intensely in pain at the end of his performance.

Al Cliver
(Brian Hull) didn't seem to offer much into his part as he seemed awfully plain by what he did throughout most of the scene's but however knew on how to come into battle by firing his gun against the zombie's showing a good heroic type of force. Plus does well near the end of his performance when he feels sick and drowsy as his reactions looked fairly natural.
Auretta Gay (Susan Barrett) added some nice spunk into her part along with her nice looks too as she shows some good energy like in the ocean scene when she freaks that a shark is in the water or struggling against a zombie as she pulls it off convincingly with that too. Also shows off some nice anxious expressions and reactions when she's pitted against a zombie and knew on how to howl intensely in pain too. I found that she could grab your attention quite a bit here.

Stefania D'Amario (Menard's Nurse) had a real effective supporting role in which she shows off some good energy by acting alert on things as well as having some nice serious concerns with what is happening. She really is on the ball with stuff and could tell that she really studied her part here inside out.

Auretta Gay's character takes off her top with breasts exposed before she showed scuba diving and wearing a very thin bikini bottom.
Olga Karlatos'
character is bare breasted while taking a shower as well as having a reflection in the mirror exposing her butt.

Tons of gore and graphic gore galore more so in an italian horror for sure.
Dr. David Menard shoots some corpses heads wrapped in a blanket with a bit of the insides oozing out.
A zombie's bites an officer's neck with blood splurting out.
A shark bites off a zombie's arm.
Paona has her eye stabbed in a sharp object.
Zombie's have a feast on her body parts which looked good and graphic.
Zombie's heads are blown off with their brains revealed.
Many zombie's are sliced and diced.
Someone's neck is bitten off with blood splurting out.
A guys arm is chewed off.
Someone's face is bitten off.
Lots of blood splattering and more flesh being eaten by zombie's.

Alot of good thumping sounds as well as some cheesy synthesizer music but not the typical cheesiness that we've heard in US low budget horror flicks since this was an italian one so their styles were a little different. Plus some good effective screeching noises too. Also we hear some nice conga jungle beat music too which seems to suit where most of it is at which is on an island in a jungle. Also we hear the odd original types os sounds not repeating itself sounding good and adventureous too. Also alot of ghostly type eerie sounds too which works in for the low budget moments with the zombie's trying to stalk or attack someone. Plus there's some cheesy synthesizer playing having watery type music when someone is scuba diving as it suits the scene regardless. All of this was brought together by Giorgio Cascio, Fabio Frizzi, Adriano Giordanella and Maurizio Guarini