Zombie Flesh Eaters is a classic.
The original nasty from 1979 cut a swathe into the home video market way back when with its vicious scenes of splintered eyes, tiger sharks, voodoo drums and blood drinking undead zombies.
The movie was originally titled Zombi 2 and was marketed by the men in suits to cash in as a sequel to Dawn of the Dead (DOTD originally being released in Italy as Zombie, edited by Dario Argento and with a new musical score by the band Goblin) in its home country yet it’s director, Lucio Fulci rightly later claimed it as a stand alone effort. With this in mind, they ditched the slight comedic aspect of Dawn and just went straight for the jugular (no pun intended).
Whilst the blood effects were like nothing really seen before; the zombies also looked rotten; literally caked in special effects make up, worms and other filth that would make Tom Savini swivel around in his chair and say “relax kids, it’s only a movie”.
For those who haven’t seen ZFE, it stars Ian McCulloch and Tisa Farrow and tells the story of a certain Dr Menard trying to cure a voodoo curse on a Caribbean island called Matul. The curse is bringing the dead back to life and people are dying at an alarming rate. Later, a boat turns up in New York harbour and the sinister tale begins to unravel.
American printing company Eibon Press have now released the comic of Zombie which so far has 3 glorious issues to its blood soaked name. Naturally, I picked these up….
The comic is actually “based” on Zombie Flesh Eaters and goes more in depth into scenes that were otherwise left mostly to the imagination in the film. The witchdoctor for instance is now a staple character rather than just being a suspect for the outbreak. The thoughts of the characters are scripted in a way that delves into their personal psyche, namely Menards wife who dies in the cabin. I really enjoyed the extra scripting and it was cool to have that approach and gave a kind of “expanded” feel to the work.
I understand that the comic itself was actually meant to be released at the turn of the century but due to whatever commitments the creators had at the time were unable to honour it. Because of this, some of the artwork had to be returned to and restored and also some of the dialogue etc re scripted. The art style is quite cartoonish (rather than realistic ie Slaine) in parts which took me a little getting used to at first I’ll admit. The main artwork pages such as the shark attack scene are truly amazing though and really make the editions fantastic collectors items.
The comics come packed each in a special sleeve with bookmarks/stickers and trading cards. I got mine in a white “Fulci Comics” box which was ace and a great touch.
Eibon Press are now releasing The Gates of Hell collection – City of the Living Dead, House by The Cemetery and The Beyond as well as finishing the conclusions to the Zombie series.
“When the earth spits out the dead…..They will return to tear the flesh of the living.”