Horror, Zombies

Zombies: The Beginning (2006)

Comments Off on Zombies: The Beginning (2006) 26 July 2015

Zombies the Beginning coverStudio: Intervision

Theatrical Release: 2006

DVD Release: February 10th, 2015

Rating: Not Rated

Directed by Bruno Mattei

Review by Craig Sorensen

Picking up right where Island of the Living Dead left off (more or less), Zombies: The Beginning drops us right back into the cheap gut-munching action that fans of Bruno Mattei are accustomed to.  Another thing that Mattei fans are accustomed to is rip-offs and Zombies: The Beginning has that in spades.  And, as a filmmaker known for his questionably legal ‘homages’, it’s sort of fitting that this would be his final film. 

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So, as I said above, this film is a direct sequel to Island of the Living Dead and picks up the story right at the end of that first film with with Sharon (Yvette Yzon) being rescued by the coast guard.  There’s a little bit of revisionism going on here (the first film ends on a downer) and Sharon is having PTS nightmares about turning into a zombie.  Soon she is meeting the board of directors at the pharmaceutical company that owned the salvage boat from the first film (don’t dwell too long on that point).  Of course, no one believes her story and she’s ostracized by the company.  Distraught, Sharon takes refuge in what I guess is a Shaolin monastery.  The company tracks her down anyway.  Seems that they found that island and now they’ve lost contact with their research team.  They want Sharon to go back with a crack military unit to find out what happened.

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If that plot sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because it’s the plot of Aliens.  Exactly the plot of Aliens.  Zombies: The Beginning hits all the plot points of that film.  That might sound incredibly annoying to some.  Me, I find it entertaining.  It helps that I’m not a huge fan of Aliens.  I enjoy seeing how sloppily Mattei is going to translate the dialog and action scenes.  What’s going to stand in for the spaceship?  How about some submarine footage stolen from Crimson Tide?  What about the troop transport truck thing (I’m sure that has a super nerd name that I don’t care to look up)?  How about a shitty van?  The film follows the Cameron original pretty closely right up until the end and becomes some sort of hybrid Aliens/Invaders from Mars rip-off with a bunch of naked, dancing kids in monster makeup and lots of bloody fake babies.  No, it doesn’t make any goddamn sense at all and I would be disappointed if it did.  No one should go into a Bruno Mattei film looking for concise plotting or well rounded characters. 

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Zombies: The Beginning was shot on standard def video like Island of the Living Dead and Intervision’s DVD is probably about as good as it’s ever going to look.  No need to ever issue this thing on Blu-Ray.  I don’t think it looks terrible by any means, it’s certainly watchable, but it’s a cheap, shot-on-video affair so be aware what you’re getting into I guess.  Sound is perfectly acceptable.  The ridiculously dubbed audio is encoded in a nice stereo track and nothing gets lost in the mix.  Also included is a video trailer, a short interview with writer Antonio Tentori and a brief audio interview with him and Lucio Fulci. 

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

- who has written 151 posts on UnRated Film Review Magazine | Movie Reviews, Interviews.

Craig hails from 'Parts Unknown'.

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