• Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (88 Films) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: 88 Films
    Released on: October 22nd, 2018.
    Director: Claudio Fragasso
    Cast: Jeff Stryker, Candice Daly, Massimo Vanni, Jim Gaines, Don Wilson
    Year: 1989
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    Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 – Movie Review:

    When the daughter of a Voodoo priest (James Sampson) dies from cancer, he puts a zombie curse on the team of medical scientists operating out of the area. A few years later, the daughter of one of those scientists, Jenny (Candice Daly), and her friend Louise (Adrianne Joseph) wind up meeting up with a quartet of dude-bro-soldiers - Mad (Jim Moss), Rod (Nick Nicholson), Dan (Jim Gaines) and Tommy (Don ‘Not The Dragon’ Wilson) who take them on a boat trip.

    You see where this is going, right? Of course, soon enough they wind up on the shores of that same island when the motor powering their boat gives up the ghost. This upsets Jenny, because earlier on she was getting some bad vibes from the place, but they don’t really have a choice but to land. They poke around looking for something they can use to fix the boat, and then Tommy is attacked and bitten by… something. They wind up finding the old medical setup where they hope to help Tommy out.

    Elsewhere, a trio of rough and tumble adventurer types - David (Massimo Vanni,), Chuck (gay porn star Jeff Stryker credited as Chuck Payton) and Valerie – are also exploring the island after very coincidently finding a diary explaining its history. Eventually they get to a volcano, read aloud from a ‘Book Of The Dead’ and unwittingly bring about yet more flesh eating corpses hellbent on doing away with every last human on the island. The two groups eventually team up to try and escape, but Tommy, he’s not doing well…

    Good? No. Gory? Yes. Also known as Zombie 4: After Death, this film is seriously silly stuff in the grand Claudio Fragrasso tradition. The performances are all pretty daft (though to be fair everyone is dubbed) and logic pretty much entirely absent. But it’s fun, if you’re in the right frame of mind for it. Fragasso, for all his many, many faults as a director, does manage to keep the action moving pretty steadily here. Throwing the Voodoo element into the mix helps to set it apart from most of its Italian brethren and the movie can easily lay claim to one of the best theme songs ever recorded for a late 80s Italian zombie movie (not there there’s a ton of competition here). A wonky synth-heavy score from Al Fresta is also pretty great, and while the zombies here subscribe more to the ‘we can run and jump and do kung-fu’ theory of something like Nightmare City than the ‘we’re really dead so we can only sort of shuffle around’ theory of Night Of The Living Dead, some of the makeup and gore effects used to bring the corpses to undead life work quite well.

    Shot in The Philippines, (where life is cheap!), the movie has decent atmosphere and makes good use of its locations. It’s well-paced, features some solid action and more than respectable cinematography. This one works better than it really should, it is, if nothing else, quite entertaining.

    Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 – Blu-ray Review:

    88 Films brings Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 to Blu-ray with a transfer taken from a new 2k scan (presumably of the negative, though press materials don’t specify) and presented in 1.85.1 widescreen in AVC encoded 1080p high definition that appears to mirror the Severin Films release (which used the Zombie 4: After Death title) but 88’s version takes up over 25GBs of space compared to Severin’s at just under 19GBs. As such, compression is better. It’s generally a pretty strong effort. Colors look very good and the image is much more film-like than the older Media Blasters DVD. Black levels are fine and the image is free of noise reduction and edge enhancement issues. There’s a bit of jitter here and there likely inherent in the original photography but the picture is quite clean, showing little in the way of print damage while retaining a natural amount of film grain.

    A quick comparison between the two discs, Severin up top and 88 Films below.

    The English language DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track is fine. There are a few spots where the music seems a little loud in the mix but otherwise, no real issues here. The dialogue is easy enough to understand and pretty clear and the effects sound pretty decent here. There are no alternate language or subtitle options provided.

    The biggest extra on the disc is a thirty-two-minute featurette entitled Run Zombie Run (carried over from the Severin release) that interviews director Fragasso and writer Rossella Drudi. They speak here, in their typically candid style, about how Fragasso wanted to make this picture his way after all the turmoil on some of his past projects and about how they collaborated together to create different types and styles of zombies to exist in the film’s world. They also talk about problems with the weather and how that affected the shoot, having to add additional scenes to the film to build up the running time and their interactions with the cast and crew, including Stryker, claiming to be unaware of his past in the porn industry.

    The disc also includes Flesh Eaters, Driller Killers and all-round Video Nasties: VIPCO And The Golden Age Of VHS Gore. This is essentially an interview with Allan Bryce that runs just short of nineteen-minutes. Here Bryce speaks about the history and importance of one of the UK’s more significant horror home video labels, noting how they got their start, the history of the man behind the label and what he was like as a person, Bryce’s own thoughts on the Fulci film that inspired the sequels and his experiences seeing ‘Video Nasties’ early on. He then talks about how VIPCO had a big role in getting these movies out in the UK to horror fans.

    Closing out the extras is a brief two-minute interview with Daly entitled Blonde vs Zombies where she talks about her experiences on set, four minutes of behind the scenes footage shot on set during the production, an English language theatrical trailer, menus and chapter selection.

    Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 - The Final Word:

    Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (or Zombie 4: After Death - which is the title card used on the source for the transfer on this disc) is gloriously goofy but easy to enjoy. It’s chock full of the kind of lovably dumb ideas that Fragasso’s career is known for with some strong fore and memorable set pieces. 88 Films’ Blu-ray looks and sounds quite nice and has some decent extras as well.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!