As film history tells it, Lucio Fulci’s enormously badass Zombi 2 was made in 1979 as a blatant way to cash-in on the walking corpse hype triggered by George A. Romero’s ’78 zombie masterpiece Dawn Of The Dead. It’s right there in the title; Zombi 2 isn’t a sequel to anything.
Yet, Fulci’s film is so much more extreme than Romero’s that it ironically adheres to the horror sequel formula of more gore plus more nausea-inducing set-pieces equals success. And that’s what the gleefully nasty Zombi 2 is: an insane triumph.
There’s barely a plot at work, only one unbelievably demented sequence after another. Zombies brawl with sharks and treat ripped-open human stomachs like all-you-can-eat buffets; Fulci, meanwhile, dares the viewer to look away. The movie’s most infamous scene is a ridiculously drawn-out shot of a woman's head slowly being pulled into a long wooden spike until it pushes its way into her eyeball, which the director shows up close and personal.
Like all of Fulci’s horror joints, Zombi 2’s sole purpose is to brutally entertain, and it does that with ease.