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.