Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Making Monsters #22: Zombie
Zombie is perhaps the quintessential Fulci movie. Released in 1979 and marketed in Europe as a sequel to Dawn of the Dead, the film has none of Dawn's satire or use of zombies as a way of examining bigger ideas. It's clear that Fulci is primarily interested in using zombies as a way of examining maggot-infested eyesockets, horrible flesh wounds and, in one mind-blowingly awesome scene, a zombie fighting a shark. Fulci's gift for realistic gore resulted in Zombie being banned in Great Britain; classified in the 1980s as a "video nasty," it wasn't released uncut in England until 2005. The film's most sickening moment occurs when a zombie attacks Paola (Olga Karlatos) and forces her head against a large splinter in a broken doorframe, puncturing her eyeball in a sickening close-up. To create the effect, makeup artist Gianetto De Rossi created a dummy head and slowly pushed it into the splinter, making sure to fill the eye with realistically squishy fluids. The impossible-to-forget scene doesn't really signify much about horror as a genre in a larger sense. But man, it sure is disgusting.