Night of the Zombies

Night of the Zombies ★★★★

Resident Evil 5 is the one with Chris Redfield in Africa that rightfully draws criticism for its great white hunter narrative. It might not be the version you would want in a film, but in its spirit, Hell of the Living Dead is as close as you’ll get to a Resident Evil flick.

My MatteiAthon continues…

A meltdown at a plant sets the scene for a zombie apocalypse before introducing everyone’s favourite Italian subgenre oddity, the SWAT team buddy picture. The combination of the two feels more like a cannibal adventure piece, as our protagonists are set loose on a journey across Spain doubling for Papua New Guinea courtesy of some stock footage. The interactions with the footage can be ridiculous, and using burial rituals of the actual deceased is damnable, but it’s impossible to deny Hell of the Living Dead’s energy.

Structurally it feels very similar to Mattei’s other big walking dead entry, Zombi 3 – but with a stronger focus on the protagonists for a more consistent survival jaunt. Budgetary restraints abound, but along with RATS this remains Mattei’s most effectively realized effort. First discovered in my early teens, that maggot eating sequence kept me off food for a solid week. Any film that could encourage an eating disorder gets high marks in my book.

One question remains unanswered. How did the rat get into the most sterile part of the plant? Perhaps the facility was designed by the very same person who crafted those easy to crawl into radiation suits?

In conclusion, the origin of the term fur baby.

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