Night of the Zombies

Night of the Zombies ★★

A lot of people bad mouth Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 for ripping off Dawn of the Dead. It's not that Fulci ripped off the script, it's that Fulci marketed it as a sequel, which is disgusting! But Italian directors never seemed to give a shit about ripping off movies or marketing them as sequels. Having said that, Hell of the Living Dead director Bruno Mattei is the "King of Not Giving a Fuck". It seems like he did sort of give a fuck, since all of his movies are made under pseudonyms, but I'm sure that was only for legal reasons.

It seems that Mattei has ripped off almost every movie that made money in the late 70's early 80's. He's even ripped off movies that didn't make money! Mattei is responsible for such unofficial "sequels" like Jaws 5, Robocop No. 2, Terminator 2, Cannibal Ferox 3, Cannibal Holocaust 2 & 3 and several Emmanuelle movies. He's also made countless other flicks ripping off the likes of Rambo, Missing in Action, Caligula, Nazisploitation movies, Women in prison flicks, porn flicks, you name the exploitation subgenre, odds are Bruno Mattei has ripped it off! And they're not even competently done. Just to demonstrate how dumb his movies are, the writer of most of these flicks is Claudio Fragasso, director of Troll 2.

While Hell of the Living Dead isn't a note for note rip off like jaws 5 is, it borrows very heavily from Dawn. First, the pseudonym he uses for the movie is Vincent Dawn. Which could be just a coincidence, but then he dresses his swat team in similar uniforms as Dawn of the Dead. And hey, maybe SWAT teams back then all wore the same blue jump suits. But when you use the same exact Goblin music as Romero did, that's just a bit much.

The story starts off at some big industrial factory. What do they make? Ummm.... I'm not to sure, it definitely involves some sort of radioactive materials. It's some sort of government Top secret research. It's so top secret that they don't even bother telling the viewers of the movie what it's about! Shit happens, and the radioactive materials start turning people into zombies. How it goes from a leaky chemical plant to the entire earth being affected I don't know, nor does the movie explain. Although, I've got to give the movie credit in this regard. Not many zombie movies explain how people become zombies. Even though it's an incomplete and shoddy explanation, at least they tried.

So then it becomes a Dawn of the Dead movie. A cheap one. So cheap they couldn't afford an abandoned Mall, so they just have them milling around Papua new guinea (since Mattei had a lot of stock footage of native tribes I'm assuming). Instead of two SWAT members like Dawn had, there are 4. And ugh.... they're terrible! The worst one being Zantoro. He's thee most over the top character i've ever seen in any movie. And no, I'm not being hyperbolic. He's just constantly screaming and yelling, acting like a complete ass. But at least he has a personality, since the other 3 are dull as fuck. They meet up with a female reporter and her cameraman and try to survive. Sound familiar?

I will say the movie isn't without it's charm. The dialogue is just so bizarre. I would usually say that there was a breakdown in the translation of the script to English, but considering Claudio Fargasso wrote this, I can't. It's also entertaining enough in a dumb as fuck movie way, but don't expect this flick to keep you in suspense or for some sociological message to be conveyed.

If you like dumb, cheap Italian zombie movie, this is a must see, but if you're looking for a smart, interesting well made zombie movie, stay far away.

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