Zombi 3

Zombi 3 (1988)
Media Blasters
Cast: Deran Serafian, Beatrice Ring
Extras: Interviews, Trailers, Gallery

While I was waiting for the release of the Special Edition of Lucio Fulci’s ’Zombie’ through MediaBlasters in a few weeks, I decided to give ’Zombi 3’ – aka ’Zombie Flesh Eaters 2’ – a spin, another genre film made by Fulci during the zombie craze. Sadly the film is nowhere nearly as good as Fulci’s horror highlights, ’Zombie,’ City of the Living Dead’ or ’The Beyond.’ It may have something to do with the absolutely absurd plot that simply strings up splatter moments for their own sake without even bothering to explain the logic behind any of it. For gorehounds, the film offers some great moments and a slew of Fulci-style undead, but make sure to leave your brains at the door, as they won’t be needed here.

Media Blasters is presenting the film in an anamorphic widescreen transfer here but the quality is mixed. The transfer is quite obviously coming from a number of different sources of varying quality. While there are scenes that have a fairly high level of detail, others are a washed out mess. Strangely especially the gruesome moments in the film seem to be affected by this, as they all look as if they were up-converted from a low definition video source, complete with chroma noise, excessive grain and drop-outs. Serious compression artifacts in those shots in question further add to the poor look. On the other end of the spectrum are those scenes that seem to come from clean film elements without blemishes or grain, and they have been well prepared and compressed. Knowing how hard it is to find proper elements for these films and being aware of the state of some of Fulci’s other movies, while disappointed at the quality, I won’t disparage the studio for it.

The audio comes as a Dolby Stereo track in English only. The frequency response is noticeably limited on the track, resulting in a presentation that sounds harsh in many instances. Especially the poorly dubbed dialogues have an artificial quality that is hard to ignore. Stefano Mainetti has created a score that is stylistically reminisicent of Fabio Frizzi’s work in other Fulci films but doesn’t capture the brooding mood of the setting quite as well. Sadly the studio has included neither subtitles, not captions, which is a big disappointment, as I consider it an obligatory feature for any DVD release.

The release contains a few new interviews with cast and crew members, including co-director Bruno Mattei. These are interesting little pieces that put a few more stones into the mosaic that these films are. A gallery and trailers are also included in the release.

While Bruno Mattei has often been credited with directing the majority of the movie, it is hard to believe this to be true. ’Zombi 3’ has Fulci’s signature all over. However, since the continuity and consistency of the film is broken up in so many places, these problems may be a result of conflicting visions. ’Zombi 3’ is a bad film, let’s face it. Horribly acted, inconsistent and illogical. But still, it is in a sense hypnotic and certainly a film zombie-fans and gorehounds will have their fun with.