Zombi 3 (1988)
Directed by Lucio Fulci

Starring Beatrice Ring Deran Sarafian Massimo Vanni Ottaviano Dell\'Acqua Ulli Reinthaler

Figuring out what are the "legitimate" sequels to Lucio Fulci`s classic gorefest "Zombie" can be an ordeal. Although it was titled "Zombie" in the U.S., Fulci`s film was marketed in Europe as "Zombi 2," in an attempt to confuse people into thinking it was the sequel to George Romero`s "Dawn of the Dead" (called "Zombi" in Europe and "Zombies" in Britain).

In any case, Fulci`s original "Zombie" is known throughout much of Europe as "Zombi 2." (In England it goes by the name "Zombie Flesh Eaters".) So a sequel to the film was bound to be called "Zombi 3."

Unfortunately, there are two films that go by that title. One is the hilarious early 1980s dog "Burial Ground." The other is this equally terrible `88 zombie film which was half directed by Fulci and half by Bruno Mattei, who helmed the horrible 1983 clunker "Night of the Zombies."

If any film can qualify as the legitimate sequel to "Zombie" it`s probably this film. Unfortunately, the story has nothing to do with the voodoo theme of the original. Fulci quit the project over halfway through the filming, after deciding he hated the script.

The result is a mess of a zombie film, whose living dead ghouls may or may not be cannibals, may or may not be killed by ordinary weapons and may or may not be able to spread their disease by biting other people. Imitating "Return of the Living Dead," this film has the dead coming back to life after one zombie is cremated and its toxic ashes spread out to contaminate the rest of humanity. Instead of saying "I want brains," these zombies say clever things like "I`m thirsty for your blood!"

First to be affected by the toxic zombie ashes from the crematorium birds that breathe in the fumes and start attacking people. The bird effects are laughable, looking more like hand puppets than the creatures we remember from Hitchcock`s classic "The Birds." The flying rodents' human victims become zombies. A lot is borrowed from "Return of the Living Dead," with the zombies in this film acting more like rabid animals than the ghouls from either the Romero Dead trilogy or the original "Zombie." The most laughable seen has someone being attacked by a flying severed head.

Ultimately, the movie was a disaster, although it isn't as horrifically bad as "Night of the Zombies" or the horrendous "City of the Walking Dead." But it`s bad enough. The film was never released in the U.S. until it hit DVD as part of the renewewed interest in everything Fulci. But it's better just to assume that Fulci`s "Zombie" never had a sequel.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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