Review: Zombie 3 and Zombie 4: After Death From Severin Films
Before I begin to actually review these titles, I want to take a second to speak about exactly that: the titles. I could write an entire article on the naming conventions of the Zombie series of films, explaining how things were already messed up from the beginning when Lucio Fulci's 1978 movie Zombi 2 was christened to cash in on the success of Romero's Dawn of the Dead, distributed in some territories as Zombi, even though they share no connection whatsoever. That's only the beginning: is Zombi 3 really Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, since it was shown in Britain under that title? Is After Death part of the series at all? I'm avoiding all of that. Severin has titled these releases Zombie 3 and Zombie 4: After Death, and that's how I'll be referencing them here.
As should be expected from a movie that has such a tumultuous filming history, Zombie 3 feels uneven. Different directors shot different scenes to pad the movie, so it does feel disjointed, but it never feels incompetent. There's a natural ending point at around 70 minutes, and yet the movie keeps going for another 25 minutes. It's not necessarily unwelcome, but it does speak to the different creative directions.
The Big Racket, have made me a fan.
The direction by Fragasso is capable, but not up to the level of the previous entry. Again, that doesn't mean it's bad, but Fragasso just doesn't seem to have the vision that Fulci or Mattei display, and in the supplementary interviews, it sounds like he's aware of this. Some of the same zombie cliches are trotted out over and over again here. For instance, the walking dead in this movie frequently turn to the camera and allow vile liquid to run from their mouth. It's gross and unsettling the first few times it happens, but by the 25th time we've seen someone dribble green goo out of their mouth, the novelty has long-since worn off.
You can currently purchase Zombie 3 and Zombie 4: After Death at Severin-Films.com or at Amazon using the links below.