Zombi 2 (1979) is a zombie horror film directed by Lucio Fulci, which made Fulci a horror icon. Despite the fact that it purports to be a sequel to Dawn of the Dead (1978) (whose Italian title was Zombi), the two films are unrelated. It's called Zombie Flesh Eaters in the UK.
Officials investigating a derelict yacht drifting into New York Harbor are attacked by a rotting man, who kills one of them by biting out his throat. The owner of the yacht is nowhere to be found, so police question the man's daughter Ann. She knows only that he had gone to a tropical island to conduct research. She meets Peter West, a reporter who has been assigned the story, and together — with another seafaring couple, Brian and Susan — they go to find the island Matool.
Problem: Matool is a cursed place, where the dead rise to attack the living. Dr. Menard is on the island to investigate why. His high-strung wife Paola wants to leave for fear of being attacked. But hey, they're only dead dudes... what could they possibly do?
This was followed in 1988 by Zombi 3D. A rip-off was made in 1980 by Marino Girolami called Zombie Holocaust.
"Zombie Trope Eaters":
- All There in the Manual: The Zombie Graphic Novel CD contains several spoken-word tracks by a Hunter Thompson soundalike, giving people clues about what was going on in New York when the zombies hit.
- Bolivian Army Ending: The only survivors from the island are en route to New York only to learn via radio that the entire city has been taken by an uncontrollable horde of zombies.Reporter: I've just been informed that zombies have entered the building. They're at the door... they're coming in! YI-YAGH! ROOOWWAARRRRGGHHHHHH!
- Brick Joke: The ending is a particularly grisly one. This would've applied more had the scene where the boat zombie emerges onto the New York shore been left in.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Ann and Peter fake it to avoid being arrested for trespassing on Dr. Bolt's boat. The officer that finds them having sex on the boat buys their act and simply shoos them off the boat.
- Coincidental Broadcast: When they turn on the radio.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Underwater zombie versus shark.
- Covers Always Lie:
- That picture you see on a lot of advertising for the film, including many video covers and the page image? That's actually Ottaviano Dell'acqua, in full worm-eyed zombie regalia, doing his best impersonation of Olga Karlatos as Post-Eye-Gouge!Paola. Though he does appear in the film proper as the zombie that kills Susan, he just doesn't "smile" like in the posters.
- This◊ scene of the boat zombie coming ashore never made it into the film.
- Creator Cameo: Peter's boss at the newspaper is played by Fulci himself.
- Downer Ending: Peter and Ann escape the island after burning the zombies alive. Due to the deaths of all of the other main characters, the film is shaping up for a Bittersweet Ending. Then they turn on the radio, and learn that the US is in the midst of a Zombie Apocalypse.
- Dubtitle: The Media Blasters DVD release, the first in America with an Italian language track, does this for the English subtitle track; however, the Blue Underground release has a subtitle track that's translated closer to the original Italian.
- Due to the Dead: Anyone doomed to become a zombie gets a summary funeral consisting of a headshot followed by burial in a mass grave, including Dr. Bolt. This is done to prevent the corpse from running rampant on the island.
- Dolled-Up Installment: This film was developed as stand-alone film titled "Gli ultimi zombi" ("The Final Zombie") before it's title was changed to Zombie 2 to tie it to Romero's Zombi.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: And everything becomes deader because of the zombies starting with Matool which becomes a ghost island with no inhabitants except reanimated corpses by the end of the film and then the deadness starts to spread into New York...
- Exploitation Film
- Eye Scream: OH GOD THAT SLOW PULL ONTO THE WOOD SPLINTER...
- Foreshadowing: See those eyes the camera is zooming toward? They're about to go SPLAT! later on courtesy of a wood splinter.
- Four Is Death: During the climax, it takes four Molotov cocktails to get a good enough fire started to destroy the zombies.
- Greater-Scope Villain: A very vague and cryptic speculation made by the Matool's natives and voiced by Lucas, is that an evil voodoo doctor is behind the rise of the dead but it is left deliberately indefinite till the end without any clear answer though the lack of any scientific evidence supports it as black magic.
- Gross-Up Close-Up: Fulci is a master of this. Proudly showcasing his gory setpieces in graphic close ups.
- The Jaywalking Dead: The protagonists encounter one as they flee Menard's villa, and it ends up causing their car to crash.
- Killed Off for Real: A variation. Paola and Dr. Menard are both killed in ways that would make it impossible for them to come back as zombies; Dr. Menard was bitten in the face twice, but Paola flat-out becomes an item on the zombies' menu. As zombies it wouldn't even be them anymore, so technically they aren't any deader than the others.
- Neutral Female: Played straight for the most part. The women in this movie have an annoying tendency to stand still and scream as zombies bear down on them.
- Numbered Sequels: Spiritually, Zombi 2 is meant to follow Dawn of the Dead, which Dario Argento re-edited into what amounted to a different movie, called Zombi, to which various people made five sequels, called Zombi 2, Zombi 3, and so forth. To make this even more confusing, Zombi 2 was retitled Zombie for its North American release (see the page image), but later sequels followed the numbering pattern on both sides of the pond. Therefore, you can rent Zombie, Zombie 3, and Zombie 4, but not Zombie 2 (except via the 1992 Edde Entertainment VHS or the 2004 Media Blasters DVD). Confused yet?
- It's also called Zombie Flesh Eaters in the UK and Australia.
- There's around a dozen movies claiming to be Zombi 3-6 in some markets, such as Anthropophagus and Killing Birds, and at least one Zombi 7.
- There's only one official sequel, and it was directed by the Godfather of Gore himself with later assistance from schlockmeisters Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso (both of who make cameos in that film as the general's assistants).
- Playing on this, there is a 1995 Dutch short film called Zombi 1.
- Only Sane Man: Dr. Menard's wife Paola was fighting with her husband for refusing to drop his Mad Scientist tendencies and flee the island while they still had a chance. Neither of them are crazy; the zombies are real, and the danger is real, but Dr. Menard is more optimistic than anything.
- Threatening Shark: Subverted in the well-known "zombie vs. shark" scene. It's a tie.
- Token Good Teammate: Invoked and most likely parodied with the shark-fighting zombie by supplementary materials; at least one home video release actually mentions that said zombie saved Susan from the approaching shark.
- Thought ironically in film, it's the zombie who attacked Susan the second time and the shark who comes rushing in, effectively making the killer fish the Token Good Teammate.
- Too Dumb to Live: The survivors actually had a pretty decent chance of holding out against the horde in the hospital near the end of the film...if only Dr. Menard had remembered to shoot the corpses already inside the building. You know, like he'd been doing the entire movie already.
- Then finally Brian comes across a zombiefied Susan as the survivors are fleeing the hospital. Considering he saw her get killed by a zombie only a short while ago, and he's spent most of the day killing zombies, you would think he'd realize what's happened and shoot her or at least get the hell away from her. But instead he just stares at her, lets her get close, and then actually seems surprised when she bites him.
- And how did Susan die? By just standing there for a good minute or so as a zombie slowly crawled out of the ground in front of her. The fight or flight reflex apparently just passed her over.
- Video Nasties
- Zombie Apocalypse: Why it would suck if zombies got anywhere near New York City...
- Zombie Gait: And how. The ones in "Zombi 2" are even slower at trudging along than George Romero's zombies.