Friday, March 20

Zombies: The Beginning (2007)

"We are gonna go in there and stick 'em, stick 'em, stick 'em!"

A.K.A. Zombi: La creazione
Directed by Bruno Mattei
92 Minutes / KSM Germany DVD / Anamorphic 1.78:1 Widescreen

Only Mattei...a sequel to his Island of the Living Dead that's a blatant rip-off of James Cameron's classic Aliens.

The sole survivor (well sorta) of Island (Sharon, Yvette Yzon) returns to normality tormented by undead memories. The corporation she works for doesn't believe her grand story, but a man (not Paul Reiser *wink*) soon requests her help as an insider after losing contact with another island laboratory that happened to be tinkering with "specimens." After realizing she must confront her demons, Sharon agrees and is sent in with a crack military extraction team via submarine. Queue the sub footage taken directly from both Crimson Tide and U-571. Seriously.

The team blasts into a dingy warehouse on the island by night while Sharon, the sergeant, and Mr. Reiser watch their movements from a monitor bank in a van. If wasn't already enough of a giant dump in Mr. Titanic's eye, we soon witness struggles over corporate interests, sneaking about to hook up satellite intel, "we just got our asses kicked!", going out in a blaze of glory together, Riple...I mean Sharon trapped in a room with a ghoul, "they're everywhere!", and a trash bag and foil ventilation hose-infested "nest" where our flamethrowin' tanktop clad heroine makes her final stand. Oh, but Newt is still compost.

It's all just as "wrong" as Island of the Living Dead, but probably more so taking the extreme level of wholesale theft into consideration. Nothing new to the filmmaker in question. I'd say this is a more bland experience than its predecessor. Everything besides the surprisingly entertaining action sequences is a bit of a bore. No, the action isn't well-staged in the slightest, but it has a certain crazed gusto.

The special ops are dressed like SWAT on crank and I find it no small feat the budget was ample enough to have such detailed costumes. Of course, that can't save the duds from the actors wearing them like kindergarten dress-up. The gore is noticeably amped up here over Island, with much flesh exploding, chunky births, and gooey babies. The zombos are kinda like bloodier versions of the nuclear goons seen in Lenzi's equally inept Nightmare City. I'm scared to talk about the naked Filipino children ("spawn") with plastic pantyhose eggs on their heads and cut up swimmer goggles over their eyes. Oh shit, I just did. The English dubbing is even more hilarious, with the dubbers frequently tripping over their words to fit the shots.

It's pretty wild when you stand back to take it all in. Who would have ever thought? The (endearing) cockroach of Italian horror would be the one to make what may be the last old school pasta zombie flick. It boggles the mind and these two films are a true testament to barreling ahead despite a lack of talent but with all the passion. R.I.P. Bruno.

Film: 6/10
DVD Picture: 8/10
DVD Sound: 7/10

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