Friday, October 14, 2011

"Zombi Holocaust"(1980)d/Marino Girolami

We've got a real fucking gem for you, the eagerest of woprophiles, to feast your glassies upon tonight, kids.An Italian exploitative classic and original BBFC-certified 'video nasty' as helmed by Enzo Castellari's dad(!), that mixes two subgenres(cannibals and zombies, though the powdery, Moe Howard-wigged natives do all of the glorious gut-munching here) with often hilarious results.In a mad rush to emulate Fulci's Zombi 2 and Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust all the way to the bank, the film's producers hastily slung together some mind bogglingly uber violent, cheap-looking gore(as provided by Maurizio Trani and Rosario Prestopino), naked thrills(as frequently served up by Alexandra Delli Colli), some identical shooting locations to Fulci's earlier film, and a cast comprised of regular genre names like Ian McCullough, Donald O'Brien, and Sherry Buchanan around a slapdash Fabrizio DeAngelis script(?) and Nico Fidenco score.Two years later, Aquarius Releasing slapped two and a half minutes from an unfinished 1977 anthology project entitled 'Tales That'll Tear Your Heart Out' onto the beginning, re-edited the film for pacing, replaced the score, whipped up a gloriously demented one sheet based on a photo of Salvador Dali(!), and changed the title to the familiar Dr. Butcher, MD, and the rest, as the late, great Chas Balun would say, is chunk-blowin' history.I remember picking up the Paragon VHS at the long gone General Radio outlet in Wilkes-Barre and thinking to myself, "Look at this, this has to be a fucking masterpiece!" as I greedily drank in the screenshot of the split-wigged cannibal on the back of the box while my father coarsely grilled one of the salespeople about a non-existent porno section.We Monteforte boys know how to live, that's for sure.
Apply more chicken gizzards to this patient's midsection, nurse...
After various body parts start disappearing from cadavers and turning up in the hungry gullet of a local immigrant hospital worker, who, upon screeching discovery, makes with an impromptu swan dive out an upper floor window only to break an arm off on the concrete below like the cheap mannekin he was, no doubt, in life.It just so happens that one of the morgue assistants, the oft-nakies Lori(Alexandra Delli Colli) just happens to be an anthropology buff(what are the chances.), and as such, she pinpoints the origin of the late heart-chewin' rascal to be Asian(Molucca, to be precise), and with the crack detective work of Dr. Chandler(Ian McCullough), the duo unravel the mystery of some primitive symbolism found at the anthropophagal crime scenes, which have extended past their own place of employment and into any surrounding hospitals that have unfortunately hired on any Moluccans of late.They enquire about the term 'Kito' to Lori's colleague and top anthropologist, Professor Stafford, who relates that it's not only the name of an island where the mythical cannibal god of the same name existed, but also the residence of a primitive tribe who comprise the 'Sect of Kito' that worships him through blood sacrifices and cannibalism.Lori finds her pad rummaged through and her ceremonial Kito dagger's been ruthlessly ganked.Call the cops? Meh, call the tourism agent.I'm sold, book the flight, baby.Joined by Susan, George(Sherry Buchanan,Peter O'Neil), and a dusty Jeep-driving guide, they track down Dr. Obrero(Donald O'Brien), a world famous surgeon who's apparently content playing doctor for the natives in a jungle Hell, and who assigns the aptly-named Mulotto(Dakar) and four bearers to Chandler's expedition into the green inferno to Kito, at the opposite end of the archipelago.Lori, shagged from the flight, strips down to knickers n' tits for a refreshing shower, unaware she's being spied upon by a powder-pussed cannibal in a Moe Howard wig, who's cruel, primitive, and absolutely unwilling to accept any form of civilization, just outside her window.Cue annoying, dated 80's synth stab.
"You call that an eye gouge, you turkeyneck? Wait'll I get ya in the ring!"
Lori returns from her shower to find a maggot-ridden human head and Kito symbol scrawled in blood under her bedsheets.After finding a well-mown patch of lawn grass in the dense jungle to set up camp in, one of the bearer's screams interrupts the party's campfires that night.The next day, Susan shriekingly stumbles across his mutilated remains in the grass, a Kito symbol spraypainted on a nearby tree.These mugs don't muck about.One of the porters tries to make a break for it, but unwittingly springs a bamboo spear trap on himself, as the approaching cannibals slit his throat, drinking the arterial spray, before gutting him longways and eating his innards raw.That night, Lori's forced to split the wig of a peeping cannibal outside her tent as the last porter takes a fatal bamboo harpoon to the labonza.The next day, the wily flesh-eaters lassoo a screaming Susan with a red satin sash-lariot and carry her off into the bushes.In the melee, George gets fish-gutted against a tree, as hungry natives pluck both his eyes out and eat them.The others are about to suffer the same fate, when an oatmeal-faced zombie with soundstage echoed groans appears and scares off the gut-munching primitives in the nick of time.The three survivors make it to Obrero, who points them to a rubber dinghy that's guarded by another cheap-looking zombie, who Peter de-face-ifies with an outboard motor(!).Afterwards, he and Lori find another zombie wearing Susan's bloody scalp like a toupee.Meanwhile, the scalpless Susan is about to have her jugular vein opened by Obrero, who's been secretly creating an army of mindless zombies by placing the brains of the living into the bodies of the recently dead all the while.It figures, man.When Susan's incessant screams annoy the good doctor, he removes her vocal cords(!!).His mad dreams of playing God are rudely interrupted by the cannibals, who have declared Lori their queen after stripping her naked and painting juvenile hippie flowers all over her and placing her naked ass in a primitive stone spreadagle-contoured fuck table, descending upon the doctor and his zombies in a climactic orgy of bad makeup and cheap ultraviolence as flames engulf his crazed work and credits roll.
Wop's diagnosis:Wind knocked out.
For years I made do with the German Dragon dvd release, which includes a nifty inlay card with meaty collage and 53 movie filmography for Girolami spanning 30 years (layed out over a shot of Delli Colli in the fuck table, mind you), extended/deleted scenes, and a trailer, until I stumbled upon the recent Media Blasters/Shriek Show disc(superior transfer for such a piece of shit, bravo, boys!) for less than what I'd pay for a pack of smokes in Manhattan, at a video clearance outlet.That's really what tonight's movie is, folks, eight bucks worth of Italian exploitative goodness that's sure to please gorehounds and genre nuts alike.If you're going in for substance or quality, you're bound to be highly disappointed.Still, the American one sheet has to be considered one of the best of the fabled era, so give yourself +2 if you've got it framed on the walls of your digs.On the scale, of course, Holocaust is another one Wopper, but when has that ever stopped you from checking it out?Track it down...
Don't worry, sweetheart, it only hurts sliding in the first time...


Kev D. said...

Ian McCulloch. 'Nuff said.

beedubelhue said...

Absolutely, brother.


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