.Talk about an utter piece of garbage, even by trashy Italian living dead standards. Bruno Mattei's 1980 Night of the Zombies (Virus, Hell of the Living Dead, Zombie Creeping Flesh) is definitely one of the worst zombie flicks ever. A waste of 35mm film stock so rancid, so full retard, that it surpasses personal preference into a realm of condemnation usually only reserved for Nazi propaganda. Sure, we all have our own dislikes others would be puzzled by, but I'd hope for the sake of horrordom we could all ban together in unison and let out a big "what the fuck?!?" at this pinnacle of bad zombo pictures.
This is coming from someone who fancies himself some Mattei every now-and-again. The director honed his own "unique" bad filmmaking style over the years and while never making a true great like some of his Italian brethren, shit dude, he made Strike Commando. There's plenty to appreciate and laugh along with in his filmography, but Night of the Zombies is mind-grindingly tepid.
It's not just the fact Goblin's iconic music from Dawn of the Dead and Contamination is lifted wholesale for use as the soundtrack. For that, this is the ultimate motivator to re-watch Romero's masterpiece as a way of cleansing the dog shit taste out of your mouth afterward. It's the distinct impression that no one cared at all about what's on-screen; from Mattei, the three writers, the actors, and the effects crew. Might as well shoot continuity in the face five minutes in as we agonize with unsympathetic characters bouncing around through jungle stock footage. Oh boy, bland titties amongst stereotypical Mountain of the Cannibal God natives and more stock footage of tree monkeys and water diving cranes. More badly-executed gore, everyone seemingly making it up with each scene (hey, let's have a SWAT member dawn a tutu!), and an uninspired apocalyptic ending.
I'm understating how terrible the whole experience really is and this abomination to all that is undead has the gall to exist for an entire 101 minutes. To be honest, I got to about the thirty minute mark before mostly fast forwarding to the end. I can't see how I survived through it all years ago with Anchor Bay's DVD. The nearest film in spirit to Mattei's dreck is Umberto's Lenzi's Nightmare City, but that would be a insult to Lenzi's roving encrusted radioactive maniac epic. Either see that one instead or seek out superior Mattei product in the aforementioned Strike Commando, Robowar, Cruel Jaws, or hell even Zombi 3.
The picture quality of Vestron Video's VHS is extremely rough and noisy despite being produced a mere four years after Night of the Zombies's ungodly birth. Colors are rich and the sound is serviceable, but the framing is a dead center full screen crop that never pans to accommodate the action on-screen. The film appears to be uncut, and it probably is, since the studio was usually quite reliable at providing full versions of their horror titles.