Zombie VS. Shark

When I first moved to this boho – darling neighbourhood, the Revue marquee had been closed for a couple months. The community banded together: business owner, neighbour and even realtor (!) alike to save what is certainly a city landmark. The theatre re-opened about a year ago now, and thank goodness for that. If it hadn’t, I might never have had the opportunity to be blown away in my very comfy seat by a 35mm print reel of Lucio Fulci’s ‘Zombi 2’.

Before I do some old fashioned point form highlights, let me first applaud the inclusion of some incredible Grindhouse trailers at the beginning. We were treated to “Women in Cages”, “Kansas City Bomber” (which will be immediately rented by me, once I find it. Raquel Welch roller derby bitch fight for the win.), “The Libertine”, which has a scene with the very promiscuous leading lady riding about nude on one of her boy toys, and, my favourite, ‘Der New York Ripper”! That last one was in English, but the trailer was in Dutch.

As for Zombi, rarely have I been treated to such a complete culmination of camp, carnage, cooch and crap cut scenes. The title track alludes to the birth of synth pop and new wave and comes in at all the wrong times, trying to be ominous. There is a veritable tumbling tidal wave of tits and breathy girls (it’s best if they don’t speak), though the lead actress, Tisa Farrow (yes, of those Farrows) never gets naked. That’s okay, though. Girlfriend looked about 45.

The makeup is very complex and probably the ‘best’ aspect to this film, skills-wise. From the jugular rivers of blood, to the ashen layers of dead flesh crawling with real worms and maggots while the actors ambled around, to the incredible eyefuck with a giant stake of wood scene, Maestro De Rossi gets my vote. If my vote counted for anything. And if I was part of anything that required voting.

As for the acting, it doesn’t really matter. I did enjoy when the ill-fated party of four was well on their merry way to the island of Matul, and they all have a gander at the captain’s girlfriend stripping off and getting into scuba gear. Well, all except the captain. He completely ignores her in favor of some rice and fish. Mmm! Rice n’ fish! Best actor goes to the uncredited bit part of Lucas. That guy had real delivery and was the only one I believed might actually be a little frightened. And, of course, the title of my review is in reference to the best scene ever made. But describing it won’t do it any justice.

There were also a couple gems I enjoyed such as the wee zombie crab teetering about the island occasionally, and the donkey tied to a rock on the road for some reason. And the eyefuck. I think there was also some Land Rover product placement.

If this was a real review for whatever publication, I’d probably get into the voodoo undertones combined with Fulci’s catholicism. But it’s not, and I’m not in school anymore so my interest in comparative essays has diminished somewhat. Just go to your local not Blockbuster and pick this up along with Kansas City Bomber and you can draw your own conclusions.

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