At Fantastic Fest, one of the just plain fun highlights for me that had nothing to do with immediate coverage was attending a midnight screening of Lucio Fulci's "Zombie." I was especially pleased because Eric D. Snider, Portland's greatest bearded hilarious film critic, had never seen the film and agreed to join me for the screening.
I'm not an across-the-board fan of Fulci's. I think he's got his moments, and any short list of the things he got right has to include "Zombie," if only for one of the greatest things ever captured by a motion picture camera.
Yes, I'm talking about zombie versus shark.
If you haven't seen the film, I'm not giving away a plot point, since it's sort of a random moment of madness in the middle of a totally wackadoo movie. A woman is scuba diving and sees a shark, and as she tries to hide from it, a zombie comes strolling along at the bottom of the ocean and starts to fight the shark.
It's a crazy idea for a moment, but what makes it so wonderful is that it appears Lucio Fulci just hired an actual zombie and told it to fight an actual shark. I can't figure any other way for this footage to exist. A zombie starts to fight a shark, the shark takes a piece or two off the zombie, and the entire time I watch the scene every time I watch the scene, I just keep thinking "THERE IS NO RATIONAL WAY FOR THIS FOOTAGE TO EXIST!"
And now, thanks to Blue Underground, you'll have a chance to see the same pristine new print of the film that we saw at Fantastic Fest if you want to, and not just on the Blu-ray that Blue Underground is about to release. Nope, they're going to give you a chance to see it theatrically as well.
Here are the full details that Blue Underground sent over, along with the new one-sheet for this limited release:
Blue Underground is bringing its digitally restored and remastered version of Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE to theaters across the U.S. and Canada this month. The exclusive midnight screenings give fans the chance to experience Fulci’s horror classic as it’s never been seen or heard before in advance of Blue Underground’s release of ZOMBIE on Blu-ray disc.
See the new trailer for ZOMBIE:
The late, great Lucio Fulci is known to horror fans for such wildly imaginative and outrageously gory films as THE BEYOND, HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, and CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD; his influence continues to be felt in the work of contemporary genre directors including Eli Roth (HOSTEL, CABIN FEVER) and Guillermo del Toro (HELLBOY, PAN’S LABYRINTH).
Originally released in Italy as an unofficial sequel to DAWN OF THE DEAD, Fulci’s ZOMBIE is arguably the director’s most popular movie and remains one of the most eye-skewering, skin-ripping, gore-gushingly graphic horror hits of all time! ZOMBIE stars Tisa Farrow (THE GRIM REAPER), Ian McCulloch (CONTAMINATION), Al Cliver (CANNIBALS), and Richard Johnson (THE HAUNTING).
Blue Underground is proud to present ZOMBIE in a new 2K High Definition transfer from the original uncut and uncensored camera negative. Each frame has been lovingly restored to perfection under the supervision of cinematographer Sergio Salvati (THE BEYOND), and the soundtrack has been remastered in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound to create the most pristine, mind-blowing version of the movie ever seen.?
“We are very excited about this theatrical release of ZOMBIE,” says Blue Underground founder and president William Lustig. “We spent hundreds of hours working by hand to restore every frame of the movie. When we premiered our restoration of the film at Fantastic Fest in Austin, fans told us that ZOMBIE looks like it was made yesterday!”
For a look at how Blue Underground meticulously restored Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE, check this out:
Blue Underground’s Ultimate Edition of ZOMBIE will be released as a 2-Disc Blu-ray and 2-Disc DVD on October 25, 2011.
“When I first saw ZOMBIE, my mind exploded! After the movie ended, I didn't know if I had dreamed it, because surely such movies didn't exist! You are about to see a movie that is created by one of the most brilliant minds in the genre, that is full of ‘Oh, my God!’ moments that you will not believe....visceral satisfaction fully guaranteed! Fulci was a ferocious mind, and ZOMBIE is his most savage movie.”
– Guillermo del Toro, director of Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth
“One of the all-time great horror classics, Fulci's ZOMBIE contains the greatest scene ever committed to celluloid, and that is a zombie fighting a shark. Fulci put a stuntman dressed as a zombie in a tank with a live shark and made them fight - it's one of the craziest, most insane and irresponsible scenes ever put on film. This was 1980, years before CG. And the zombie wins! To this day, nobody knows how in the hell he did it, it's simply jaw-dropping. There's nothing you will see in any modern zombie movie that comes close to what Fulci did in 1980. Viva Fulci!”
– Eli Roth, director of Hostel and Cabin Fever
Come on… you know you're curious if you haven't seen it, and if you have seen it, then you know how glorious it is. I know I'll own the Blu-ray eventually, but I strongly encourage you to experience this on the bigscreen. Here are the dates and the theaters where it's playing. Unless otherwise noted, all screenings are at midnight on October 21 and 22:
Guild Cinema (Oct. 28 & 29)
Alamo The Ritz (Oct. 24 & 31)
Alamo S. Lamar (Oct. 30)
Coolidge Corner Theatre
Music Box Theatre (also Oct. 28 & 29)
Capitol Theatre (Oct. 15)
Landmark Inwood Theatre
Landmark Main Art
Landmark River Oaks
5 Points Theatre
Theatre 7 (Oct. 31)
Liberty Hall (Oct. 21 only)
New Beverly Cinema
Landmark Uptown (Nov. 4 & 5)
NEW YORK CITY
The Oaks Theater
Landmark Ken Cinema
Roxie Theater (Oct. 29 – 31)
ST. PETE BEACH, FL
The Beach Theatre
The Revue Cinema (Oct. 22 & Oct. 31)
The Loft Cinema
Landmark E Street Cinema
Warren Old Town Theater (Oct. 24 & 25)
Alamo Drafthouse Winchester
Park Theatre Café (Oct. 13)
YELLOW SPRINGS, OH
Little Art Theatre (Oct. 22)
If you do go, enjoy that print. I can honestly say that I didn't think "Zombie" could look that good, and I'm shocked at how great the restoration is.