Monday, 7 February 2011

Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (aka Zombi 4/Zombie 4: After Death) (1988)

This film is a complete shambling wreck, and all the more enjoyable for it. Though it plainly states in the title that it is a continuation of the series Lucio Fulci began by sequelizing Dawn of the Dead, it has no link to even the first two Zombie Flesh Eaters films, let alone Dawn of the Dead itself.

Directed by Clyde Anderson (aka Claudio Fragasso) and starring notorious porn star Jeff Stryker (under the name of Chuck Peyton), Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 is a romp of a different kind, with gore galore mixed in with the constant explosions and gun battles. There are moments when Anderson/Fragasso attempts to recreate Lucio Fulci-styled gore scenes and atmospherics, which on many occasions are actually pretty cool, but with a maddeningly bad script, a daft story and a cast with assorted comedy moustaches, it's hard to take even remotely seriously.

As some late-night brainless schlock, it's absolutely brilliant, but as a sequel to one of the most infamous horror films ever made, it's an embarrassment. A bunch of mercenaries get caught up with a bunch of researchers on a remote island when it is besieged by zombies that have been awoken by a curse. The curse is also seen to be the cause of a virus that is turning the world's population into flesh eating zombies.

There are some striking visuals, but almost no dialogue for ten minutes at a time, endless set pieces that go nowhere and woefully underdeveloped characters played by actors you could make a heavy bookcase out of with a good saw and some quality varnish. Add to this a soundtrack of fist-pumping 80s hard rock and cheesy synths, and you'll find more atmosphere down the back of your sofa.

The best thing about Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 is that it makes even Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 look like a masterpiece. Still, at 3am and with a beer and some chicken wings, it's possibly the best (and indeed worst) thing ever made. Only under those circumstances, though...

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