Zombie Holocaust Reviews
Yet again New York City is the starting location of the film as body parts go missing from corpses in a mortuary and a cannibal mortuary worker is killed.
A team consisting of a Doctor, anthropologist, journalist and assistant travel to the island of Kito to explore for themselves the cannibal/zombie goings on.
On the island they encounter a mad Dr. who performs brain experiments on dead people. (you really couldn't make it up)
The Dr who goes on the mission is played by Ian McCulloch I believe who plays a quintessential English character. He's David Niven, Roger Moore and Ken Barlow rolled into one.
The film really is as awful as it sounds. Still I have to explore these numerous Italian made films.
The Dr. and anthropologist eventually overpower the mad butcher Dr. of the island.
[originally posted 19Jan2001]
Another film known by many names (eight, to be precise, that IMDB has been able to track down), Zombi Holocaust is probably best known by American cult-film devotees as Dr. Butcher, MD. I ended up picking this one up because there are a rather large number of crossovers with Lucio Fulci's brilliant splatterfest Zombi 2-writer Fabrizio DeAngelis was one of the producers of Fulci's film, male lead Ian McCulloch was the lead in Zombi 2, character actor Dakkar plays a native guide in both, etc. (Most interesting, one of the film's actors, Walter Patriarca, was Zombi 2's costume designer. Go figger.)
Simple plot, which should sound familiar to anyone who's seen Fulci's film; a number of deaths occur in New York City, and Ian McCulloch, a beautiful sidekick, and two of their pals end up going to a remote Caribbean island where there's an English-speaking doctor who treats the natives. Sound familiar?
For about the first forty-five minutes of this film, I was too busy thinking that it was exactly like Zombi 2 to be impressed. (No one, these days, is sure which film came out first, and most people also draw parallels to another classic of the genre that came out the same year, Ruddero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust.) Then Ian McCulloch disposes of a zombie with a motorboat motor, and suddenly things started getting a whole lot more fun. Rather like The Evil Dead, this is a film where there's a whole lot of setup (though Raimi pulled it off miles better), but when the gore starts, the director lays it on thick, fast, and ugly. And while death-by-propeller is probably the funniest and nastiest scene in the film, there's certainly more than enough blood flowing/spraying/dripping/being drunk/etc. to please most fans of hardcore horror. Pound for pound, though, in comparison to Zombi 2, the latter stands up as the better film. As one reviewer put it, "Fulci... might have had the sauce, but [he] passed on the cheese." Fulci's obsessive attention to detail, better scriptwriting, and stunning score give Fulci the edge over Girolami. But man, it's fun to be the judge. ***
The gore is of the bright red variety and while there are some good realistic moments of gore using real organs and such, most of the blood is candy apple red. While I enjoy the gratuitous amounts of the red stuff, it's too bad it isn't more realistic.
This movie could have been really good. It had lots of decent gore, and a storyline that had potential, but it just tried too much and failed unfortunately. There are too many inexplicable scenes.