"Zombi Holocaust" is a rather fun cheesy zombie film.
During a routine autopsy, medical student Lori Ridgeway, (Alexandra Delli Colli) notices that the cadaver is incomplete, despite being in excellent condition the night before. As this trend continues, she finally goes to her boss, Dr. Dreylock, (Walter Patriarca) who refers her to Dr. Peter Chandler, (Ian McCulloch) a member of an investigating board for similar such incidents. As they continue, she notices a sign on one that resembles a sign from a small Southeast Asian island and convinces him to put together a team to investigate. Gathering his assistant George Harper, (Peter O'Neal) and girlfriend Susan Kelly, (Sherry Buchanan) to go along, and head to the island. There, they find the place is full of cannibals from a long-lost tribe, and a strange doctor performing strange operations on the locals. When they become the next targets for the experiment, they try to get off the island alive.
The Good News: This was a pretty pleasant surprise. It's big plus is that it feels like a great mixture of two big genres, namely the cannibal and zombie sub-genres. That it uses the tale-tell signs of the two, and convincingly, makes this one a really entertaining and clever entry. The cannibals, surprisingly, get the majority of the screen-time spent, as it's going to their home-place based on speculation of their existence, and that in turn reveals the truth about the zombies in a not-exactly-new twist revealed towards the end. There's also plenty of gore in the film, as this one has some pretty nice kills in it. There's a really impressive one where a victim is impaled from a trap that shoots up from behind to impale through the body rather than the other way around, with a severe series of dismemberments and skin devouring to follow, some really great impalements, surgical amputations and a rather shocking scene where one gets their face torn up by a rotating motorboat engine. That's not to include all the really wicked surgeries done in the film, which are also quite impressive and really bloody. That there's also some really juicy skin-devouring really helps to make this one bloody and gory. The fact that it remains watchable all the way through to the end is another big plus, as this one doesn't really get boring and features enough action spots to stay interesting, and only without a big taste for cheese will this one fail. These all make it quite entertaining.
The Bad News: There isn't a whole lot wrong with this one. One of the big ones is it's incredibly high cheese factor. There's a lot of that in the film, which can be evidenced by the general plot description. This also has marks for it in that category for it's gore and general atmosphere, which is a mark as it's not all that well received by most. That this one revels so heavily in it makes it something to be avoided by those who aren't that into that style. This one also has the problem in that it doesn't really do the big points from it's meshed styles. For a zombie film, these don't really feel like zombies most of the time, as they rarely do anything more than stand around and take orders, and aren't in the film very long to begin with. They're involved in the last twenty minutes of the film, and it doesn't really feature them a whole lot in that time-span. As well, there isn't a lot of time spent on the cannibal tribe getting to know them. All that's known about them is the name and island where they live, which is basically it. This here needed more information on them. Otherwise, the cheesiness is the main problem with this one.
The Final Verdict: While not the greatest entry in either the Italian cannibal or zombie genres, this one does have enough to like about it that fans of both will be happy. See this one if you're a fan of either of those two genres, or are just in the mood for a quick, cheesy time, while those not in the mood for such a film or aren't fans altogether should seek caution.
Rated UR/R: Graphic Violence, Full Nudity and Language