Really. This one is something else. And by that I mean there is good and then there is “something else.” Its not unwatchable, nor does it defy sequential narrative. But that is about all it does not do, because it commits a lot of bad movie crimes – namely crimes against the impossible. Aside from the assumed suspensions of disbelief required for any horror movie, there are some things that are just impossible to disbelieve.
For instance, the terrorist who steals the secret formula – Death One – first runs toward the get away van, thinks better of it, ignores the running helicopter to instead flee into the grass. He, literally, runs away from the police/army who are unable to shoot him. But they should not feel too bad, because the terrorist crook proves too hard to hit from a hovering helicopter as he runs very slowly along some trees.
Once the police do finally manage to hit him, they report back to HQ – “I think we got him, but he got away.”
Then there is the science versus military subplot. Who will be able to contain the outbreak best? The military who opt to shoot everyone in a certain area and then burn the bodies. OR the really stupid science guys who think they can still find a vaccine by staring a pieces of paper. The head of this think tank is a part that would have been played by Jeffery Combs if this had been an HP Lovecraft adaptation. He utters profoundly stupid dialogue like – “A contaminated man, of course, can infect other persons through breath, saliva, blood or any other body to body transmission.”
Why is there a blind dj named Blue Heart in this movie? Simply to play the track – “PEPPY SATAN!”
Of course, the infection turns everyone into decaying zombies in a matter of seconds and spreads so fast that entire villages are turned into creeps in a matter of minutes. Of course, this leads to problems for everyone in the movie. But luckily there are guns and ammo everywhere! Hurray!
Take for example the hotel where the terrorist hides out. He turns into a flesh eating monster and attacks some of the badly dubbed hotel cleaning staff. Then the army people show up and kill everyone. But in a matter of hours, after all this, when our heroes arrive at the abandoned hotel, it is completely overgrown by vines. Maybe, it has been a few hours, but still, that is one aggressive ecosystem. That sort of scary nature could really help us out once global warming takes over the Earth.
There is one great scene in Zombi 3. When Horny Army Dude and his potential girlfriend break down in the middle of that previously mentioned abandoned town, they end up getting chased around by a bunch of kung pow zombies in Chinese gentleman shoes. Girlfriend is thrown over the balcony into a swimming pool. Hero Man Army dives in after her, which was very dangerous and violated at least one of the major rules of pool etiquette, as he did not know the depth of the pool and risked serious injury. ANYWAY. After girlfriend loses both her legs, because, I guess, there was a shark in the water as well as zombies, Mr. Hero Army Action Man is chased by a group of bald headed water zombies! Who knew there were such things?
I should probably mention here something about the zombie birds that attack some motorists. Again, when the birds attack, peeling at some guy’s face, the effect is achieved with a hand puppet. Not very convincingly. I think there may have been a bird attack in the sexy party bus too, but really, who cares?
Meanwhile, back at the abanonded hotel, things are not going as well. There is a bitten nerd who is slowly groaning and moaning and turning into “one of those things!” Which seems to happen in every zombie movie, right? So some other stuff happens, then before you know it all the survivors are nailing balsa wood planks over the windows and doors and construct the single worst barricade in the history of fortress zombie movie barricades. It surprises no one when the zombies push through it. Luckily, one of the Action Army Guys has a flamethrower. Yeah. A flamethrower. Not as cool as it sounds. Sorry.
Once the horde breaks into the overgrown hotel, a lot of zombies climb into the rafters so they can drop down on our heroes. What ensues can best be described as stupid. Why? Because there is considerable time spent fist fighting zombies. Yes, you heard that right.
Meanwhile, back at the lab…Dr. Death One is really upset and concerned now, he just took his glasses off, again. The army is equipped with hazmat suits and sent into the region to kill everything that moves. Whether it is infected or not. Oh no, what about our HEROES?!!
Well, not only are they fighting the infected undead, but now they get to shoot at the white jumper suited soldiers. This leads to one really incomprehensible scene where the military confronts two of the Hero Action Army Dudes. Instead of just shooting them dead, they opt to fight them hand-to-hand. They lose. The good guys escape, blow up a bunch of stuff and get away in a helicopter.
I think, maybe, some other stuff happened? Oh yeah, there was a zombie baby birth that was kinda sweet. Even though the nurse got her face squeezed in before she is attacked by a zombie hand that pushes up through the baby bump. I can’t even really describe it. And come to think of it, the whole scene isn’t really that sweet at all.
All in all, I rather liked this one.
Another straight forward Fulci masterpiece. And by masterpiece, I actually just mean competently plotted, interestingly locations and not horribly dubbed.
Without spoiling the highly predictable plot, this is a silly story of a rich lady who thinks she can see into the past, but can really see into the future. Her future…bum bum baaaaaa.
Having said that, there is not really much suspense. But the movie tries. As the plot reveals the various aspects of O’Neill’s trance like vision, the audience is meant to react in horror and interest. But it is very difficult to care about where the crime is going since there is no real mystery here.
And the cast of colorful characters are not as flamboyant as other gaillis – there is the ditzy secretary who’s brilliant research solves many of the movie’s potential holes, for instance, she just happens to have tracked down all the cab drivers who where driving a yellow cab 8 years ago. Okay, good job. There is O’Neill’s sister-in-law who has some new outrageous courture get-up in each scene. There are the bumbling cops, a lot of suspicious looking red herrings, and basically a whole lot of filler. Then there is the paranormal therapist, who might have been in love with O’Neill’s character, or something.
There is a hilarious chase scene and very light gore, which is surprising for a Fulci. There is only the mommy-off-the-cliff suicide that opens the movie, supposedly establishing the “psychic” ability of the title. And the smooshed head of the old lady. Oh yeah, and that other guy falls down. No eye popping. No skin failure. No streams of goopy blood.
This boils down to another retelling of Tell-Tale Heart. But at least, Jennifer O’Neill gets to wear some great outfits.