Story: A boat arrives in New York without a soul on it. The cops that investigate are attacked by the living dead. The daughter of the boat's owner asks a journalist to help her find her father which leads them to a Caribbean island crawling with zombies.
Review: Like slasher films, there was no shortage of ones about the walking dead in the 1970s and 80s. It was like when one type of horror film became popular, filmmakers from all overt the world wanted in on the craze. In the United States director George A. Romero was hailed as the king of zombie films with his 'Dead' series, which of course led to a slew of imitations. Some turned out to be not so bad, others are better off forgotten. Romero's 1978 hit 'Dawn of the Dead' was especially big overseas. Italian horror master Dario Argento was involved and responsible for an alternate cut for European audiences. This would become known as 'Zombi'.
It wouldn't be long before someone wanted to capitalize on this success, and a year later another Italian film director, who at this point had never done a horror film, would be the first to do it. His name was Lucio Fulci, and the film was 'Zombi 2', otherwise known as Zombie here in the US. If one was to watch the two films back to back you could certainly see similarities and they could almost be linked by more than just title and genre, but ultimately 'Zombi 2' stands on it's own. It went on to a major financial and critical success in Europe and eventually found a fan base in the US and other countries. Anyone who has spent a lot time at the video store knows the famous artwork with an image of a grinning, rotted living corpse with worms coming out of one eye. It was the beginning of a new trend in cinema that would last for at least another decade.
Like most of Fulci's contributions to the horror genre, this film is atmospheric, which adds to the film's eerie feel. His films are not known for great acting or dialogue, but the cast here does a pretty good job with the material. One major difference you will see between this and 'Dawn of the Dead' is the look of the zombies. The make-up on both the zombies and the gore is very impressive and some of the best ever seen. Another things Fulci is known for is some memorable scenes that are really graphic, and this film is no exception. There are some really good gory set pieces.
There's plenty of lush island scenery, something not seen in many zombie films. The score by Fabio Frizzi is simple, but really effective. I'd go as far as saying it's pretty haunting. There are some really neat underwater sequences, which I won't spoil. And finally, the last shot is really chilling and leaves the door open for a sequel. Unfortunately one never came, at least not an official one. But that's another story.
As far as flaws there are just a few. For one thing some of the dialogue is pretty poor and sounds pretty silly coming out of the actors' mouths. The film is not at all boring, but the pacing is a tad uneven and it does drags in some spots. The story is nothing new and there's really nothing we haven't seen before. Aside from that this is a solid effort and nice addition to the living dead legacy.