Zombi 2 (Shriek Show) DVD Review

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by gorasu, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. gorasu

    gorasu Guest

    I haven't seen any DVD reviews of this up yet, so I thought I'd offer my thoughts on this particular edition for those of you still undecided on which DVD to buy (Blue Underground or this).

    THE FILM
    What can I say that hasn't already been said about this Italian horror classic? This is one of the shining examples of Italy's film industry for its period. Many have derided it for being simple and derivative, but its simplicity is one of its best assets. The voodoo angle is fresh, a welcome change from the rash of "biological" zombie films we've seen lately. The plot flows naturally, with only a few strange mistakes and implausible twists. The zombie/shark duel is a classic. The fiery climax is ambitious and fun. And that last shot... well, one may be able to see it coming (poster art, anyone?) but it still packs a wallop. An extremely entertaining movie, to say the least.

    VIDEO
    There have been many visual comparisons within this forum between the Shriek Show and Blue Underground transfers. While I'm sure the BU disc looks superb (haven't seen the transfer in person), the SS disc looks excellent as well. Colors are consistent and vibrant throughout, if a bit soft in places. Blacks are pretty solid for the most part. There are very few compression artifacts, if any, but there is some minor grain (this has more to do with the original film elements than the transfer itself). Overall, a beautiful job, if perhaps a notch below the BU release (haven't seen it, so I can't really comment).

    AUDIO
    The DVD boasts the original Italian as well as English tracks, both in 5.1 Digital Surround, 2.0 Stereo, and mono (6 tracks in all). I'm not an audio expert, but this sounds just as good as many of my other period discs. The audio is crisp and clean, especially the English tracks.

    EXTRAS
    If extras are your cup of tea, the SS edition the version to buy. First, on Disc One, we have a running audio commentary by actor Ian McCulloch. This is the same track as found on the Anchor Bay disc. Its pretty dry, and McCulloch doesn't remember an awful lot about the production, but it still has a few nuggets of information that may be somewhat interesting to a diehard Zombi 2 fan.
    Also on Disc One we have Food for the Worms, a featurette that runs about ten minutes and features the opening scene zombie Captain Haggerty (yes, that's his real name- he explains it in the interview). This is a fun and informative little piece, as Haggerty tells some interesting stories about the on-set antics (including a great bit about Lucio Fulci) and the shooting situation in the Big Apple.
    A still gallery is also included, which features over 100 different stills, posters, and video art. Unfortunately, this is not a traditional navigable still gallery, which means one must play it like a regular featurette. Very interesting, though, as it includes just about every still you could want from Zombi 2.
    Finally, there is the original English-language trailer for Zombi 2.

    The wealth of the bonus material is found on Disc Two.
    The 98-minute documentary, Building a Better Zombie, can be played as a whole or as individual segments. This comprehensive piece features interviews from just about every major participant in the film's production. The movie's stars, special makeup effects, and production are all touched upon in detail, as are individual scenes such as the infamous "eye" sequence and the shark battle. We also get insight into the film's conception, the parallels to Dawn of the Dead, the score and the release. One of the most interesting parts of this documentary was hearing from the famous worm-eye zombie himself! This is certainly one of the more informative and enjoyable documentaries I have seen in a while, mostly because I never thought anyone would bother with such a massive project. Media Blasters certainly pulled out all the stops with this one.
    Also featured on Disc Two is a little piece entitled Raising the Dead. A six-minute interview with the film's costume designer, this featurette contains some interesting tidbits of information. Unfortunately, the combination of the interviewee's thick Italian accent and his penchant for talking with a pipe clenched between his teeth makes for a difficult listen.
    The last featurette in the set is entitled An Evening with Dakar. This is basically a short clip of actor Dakar (the character of Lucas) singing, combined with clips from the movie! A fun, if strange, little short.
    Disc Two also contains a Zombie Trailer Gallery, with nine trailers from the Shriek Show catalog.

    PACKAGING
    Media Blasters really shines here, giving fans some beautiful cover art while still retaining the famous worm-eye zombie image we're so familiar with. The keepcase comes sheathed in a sturdy cardboard slipcover with stunning artwork. Inside, one will find a little chapter-stops insert, a booklet with imagery from Flesh for the Beast, and, best of all, a fold-out reproduction of the original Zombi 2 poster art, "signed" by Lucio Fulci! All in all, a great set for Zombie fans.

    FINAL THOUGHTS
    The movie is great fun, and the transfer is much better than anyone could have hoped for. Best of all, we get an incredible amount of bonus material (more than I ever expected, even a year ago when the disc was first announced). I haven't seen the BU release, so I can't compare the two directly. For those fans who already own the Anchor Bay disc, this is an incredible improvement and a worthy upgrade. A great purchase all around.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2004
  2. BloodMan

    BloodMan Kill Time B4 It Kills You

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    Can you mention a lil on the second disc?
     
  3. gorasu

    gorasu Guest

    Sorry about that- I slipped and hit "Enter" by mistake. Here's the full review.
     
  4. bwana the clown

    bwana the clown Supreme Ruler Of Sados

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    I have to admit, I much prefer still galleries in this format. Guess I'm just a lazy bastard!

    Thanks for the review - so far it looks like I'm still leaning towards SS!
     
  5. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    I already own the BU and just purchased this from eBay. Can't wait!

    BTW: Can someone post a screenshot of what the worm-eye zombie looks like today? I'm curious! :D
     
  6. Ichi

    Ichi Guest

    Mine shipped today!
     
  7. evildeadfan123

    evildeadfan123 Sam & Dean Winchester

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    I order my copy from Best Buy, for store pickup, and got a confirmation e-mail, that my order was ready to pick up, so I will be picking it up today. I bought the BU's version last Tuesday, so I will have 2 copies now.
     
  8. zombi3

    zombi3 Pure Evil

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    I got my copy of the SS disc in the mail yesterday. The movie looks and sounds great. Haven't seen BU's version, but I think I'll stick with SS for this one. The only hiccup I can report so far is a split second of pixellation right at the end of the Zombi 2 trailer, when Al Cliver fires the gun and the picture fades out. Anyone else notice this? No big deal really - very nice disc overall.
     
  9. speanroc

    speanroc I WANNA BAN

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    on screen title is??????????
     
  10. zombi3

    zombi3 Pure Evil

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    Zombie.
     
  11. speanroc

    speanroc I WANNA BAN

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    i would have figured at least SS or BU would've used the original title.....i bet u SS re did the title the way they saw fit , they have a habit of redueing credits.........

    1-beyond the darkness(smaller type)
    2-emanuelle and the last cannibals(out lined credits)
    3-zombi holocaust(colored all credits red, when origional credits r white)
    these films have suffered from SS customizing the credits which r different from the original versions, i know these r minor changes , but changes none the less , i for one like my films in their most original versions.....sorry for getting off subject :)
     
  12. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    I like OAR and all that. If I had to pick me least problem, it would be changing the color of credits, or the size of the credits size. I know people care about such things, I'm just not one of them. Therefore, I'd say the films don't "suffer" in this regard at all. I'd guess SS use the print they have, and don't color anything themselves.
     
  13. hell ya!

    hell ya! ~Go ahead, make my day~

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    What happened to the outtakes that SS announced would be on it?
     
  14. betterdan

    betterdan Guest

    I guess the outtakes were takeouts. ba bump bump

    Thank you I'm here all week :D
     
  15. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    *applause*

    Have any more up your sleeves? ;)
     
  16. betterdan

    betterdan Guest

    What I have up my sleeve cannot be revealed at this time as it may shock you.
     
  17. Mortis

    Mortis GARBAGE DAY!

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    Just watch out for what's up his pant leg.

     
  18. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    :eek2: :eek2: :nervous: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  19. Big Bobby D

    Big Bobby D Guest

    Cool, I wasn't even aware that this disc was available. I've been to 3 stores that sell Shriek Show dvds (I went to Hastings, Best Buy and Media Play-all in the last 2 days) and have been on 3 online dvd stores and none of them had it. Then I checked X-Ploited DVD and they claim to have it for $23.00, so I guess I'll order it from them.
    :blabla: :banana:
     
  20. Mortis

    Mortis GARBAGE DAY!

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    Order from Best Buy, dude. It's $14.99 with free shipping and it's in stock as of right now.

     

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