Night of the Zombies

Night of the Zombies ★★★

Well, this is a fairly enjoyable mess. Although it starts with two 10-minute scene-setting sequences - the first in which a virus is accidentally unleashed, and the second in which we're introduced to the SWAT team heroes - it's not until we relocate to the zombie-infested jungle that the story really begins. And then there's an unexpected twist. At some point during production someone had the clever idea of dropping a bunch of mondo and wildlife library footage in, no matter how incongruous (wild elephants in Papua New Guinea?!). So suddenly we're in among the weird and frightening rituals of a lost jungle tribe, the mondo footage giving the film a Cannibal Holocaust-ish edge of verité and explicitness. It livens up what was threatening to be a rather generic, if grisly, zombie action flick. Hack director Mattei can't keep it up though, and the tension created by a big zombie attack is due to the sheer number of undead rather than any directorial brilliance. Look out for several really, really bad zombie actors too. There's some decent gore on display throughout, and particularly in the final two scenes.

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