Zombi 3 (1988)
AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters 2
AKA The Beyond (See also Lucio Fulci's The Beyond)

(Release Date: July 29, 1988 [Italy])

What an Incredible DOG this was!

A Derivative, Plot-Free Resurrection of a Dead Series.

The should've-stayed-dead Critic!!!
J.C. Maçek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

When I was a Junior in High School I was featured in a movie shot by a senior on a Camcorder with no script to speak of, nonexistent special effects and the most exciting scene being a remake of the "Been Caught Stealing" video by Jane's Addiction filmed in a K-Mart during business hours.

That movie, I say without a trace of hyperbole or ego, was a better movie than Zombi 3! Look, the Penis Van Lesbian reunion special was better than Zombi 3 and more exciting too. Sly Stallone's Driven... was better... than Zombi... 3!

Director Lucio Fulci made Zombi 2 in 1979 as an unauthorized sequel to the original Dawn of the Dead (released in Italy under the title "Zombi"). Fulci waited nine years before revisiting the series personally. Nine years, and THIS is what he came up with! Not all the blame can rest on idea-man Claudio Fragasso (though un-credited co-director Bruno Mattei deserves some blame too)! Essentially Zombi 3 is a badly dubbed montage of stolen scenes from much better zombie movies without even the vaguest shame or timidity about the rip off. This might be pardonable if this was all stretched across a decent script and plot, but... there is no plot. Fox's reality soap opera Forever Eden told a more coherent story!

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A super-secret military chemical weapons research base that shares a south wall with a tropical resort hotel (!) is attacked and robbed by terrorists who end up releasing the same old dead-raising Virus we've seen in every third zombie film... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand mayhem ensues.

The rest of this movie is more predictable than a misunderstanding in an episode of Three's Company, and anyone who has seen more than one Zombie Film (and... I think I have) will meander between boredom and outrage as the plot-less story steals from superior-film after superior-film!

Clearly this was a hope for another Cash-In on the Romero-universe making me wonder if Fulci's mom needed an operation or something. Just who wanted to fund this one is beyond me (though "funds" seemed pretty piss-slim in this case) because, and I mean this, Zombi 2 was a very bad movie! Sure it rose above its hamster-cage-lining flaws with some interesting new Zombie ideas, exciting nudity and inventive special effects, but Zombi 3 has none of these required elements (most missed of all being the nudity).

In the nine years that had slithered by between Zombi 2 and this thing, a number of Zombie films had been released for Fulci to... ah... "pay tribute to". There are more rip-offs here than in the Velcro Strip Club in West Hollywood! Everything from Day of the Dead's military testing base to Dawn of the Dead's last-second zombie surrounded helicopter escape, to, damningly, Return Of The Living Dead's zombie-cremation sequence. Naturally, just like in Return Of The Living Dead, Zombie Cremation leads to a mass infection of undead that torment our unwitting and unmemorable cast (whom I can't even bring myself to list... they'll thank me for this). Look, if you're going to rip-off the spoofs of Zombie films you know you're in trouble.

It doesn't end there, though. Every Zombie Film cliché is in there like Prego right on down to the good guys nailing themselves into a building while the undead smash down the walls to get to them! The only Zombie movie in those nine years I can say that Zombi 3 has nothing to do with is Zombi 2! That's not a good thing, Homer! (_8^(|)

To give credit where due, though I have to point out that the Zombie Birthing sequence that appeared so new and innovative in 2004's Dawn of the Dead remake actually got its start right here in 1988's Zombi 3! The fact that Snyder and Gunn stooped low enough to rip this thing off endears them to me even less than before.

On top of being a collection of stolen goods equaling anything in Bonnie and Clyde's stash, this film is a ridiculous inclusion in an overall ridiculous sub-genre. The attack of Zombie Birds on hapless humans doesn't evoke the horror it probably was intended to, but it certainly warrants a reaction. Zombies that can talk ("I'm thirsty... for your Blooooooooooooooooooooooood!"), use machetes to kill people and even once employ martial arts assist the unintentional comedy like an infusion of silly adrenaline. In one scene a couple of "characters" even open a refrigerator and find a zombified severed head... that can fly!

Bad-dubbing of this Italian film by American cartoon voice actors over slow and over-enunciating Italian faces is more nauseating than any of the mid-range gore and creature effects. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the oral-surgery equivalent that Fucli called music. I haven't heard music this dandruff-poor since Lizzy Borden broke up! Zounds, man, this happy 1980's action sequence music is every bit as frightening as "Faith of the Heart", the chipper little theme song from Star Trek: Enterprise! Remember when Horror-Movie music was scary?

And now for a complete list of the good parts of this film:

  1. There's a four second scene in which a group of survivors led by two soldiers strut through the Motel they're holed up in guns-at-ready looking bad ass.
Thank you.

The buried environmentalist undertones (The Day After Tomorrow is less preachy), the DJ that narrates the whole thing before (and after) becoming a Zombie himself and the very fact that Rossella Drudi is listed in the credits without a trace of irony as the writer of the "Screenplay" all combine to make this an interminable film without enough humor (intentional or otherwise) to lift it above the outhouse floorboard that un-credited co-director Bruno Mattei not only installed, but stole from George Romero first!

Well, whomever is to blame, Fulci, Mattei, Drudi, Fragasso, Reaganomics, Zombi 3 gets a DOG! Man, we're talking BAD! It's not very horrifying or scary, but it does take the cake as one of the pig-butt-nastiest movies I've ever seen without a bit of gratuity. Producer Franco Gaudenzi can expect to hear from my lawyer for this thing! I deserve some compensation for enduring this, and maybe even some punitive damages! Please note... in some regions to combat the TRUTH that this all sprung from George Romero, Zombi 2 is known as Zombie Flesh Eaters and Zombi 3 is known as Zombie Flesh Eaters 2! It's like they don't even know their place. I'll no more on this non-core crap! It hath made me mad! Not a boobie in sight!

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Zombi 3 (1988) Reviewed by J.C. Maçek III
who is solely responsible for his own views and also for his portrait of a Burning Jack-O-Lantern
drawn yesterday during a business meeting he feigned attention to!
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No breasts in this one... not even a pair with one titty bigger than the other one!
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