Bruno Mattei has proven himself a relentless purveyor of orgasmically ecstatic gore encrusted camp hackery. Titties and torture and zombies out the wazoo, Mattei is damn near the textbook definition for spaghetti bad cinema, though by bad here we so clearly mean “so bad it’s good.” Thanks to Intervision (you can take this as credit or blame as you see fit), we stateside have been able to consume some latter day Bruno like gutmunchers munching guts in, well, a Bruno Mattei film. He is know most, perhaps arguably, for his eye-popping (or fist-through-mouth-popping), insanely lowbrow zombie opus Hell of the Living Dead (aka Zombie Creeping Flesh) in which bad actors suffer zombies, creepy natives, incongruent stock footage and terrible dubbing, all in an attempt to catch up to George Romero. Or something like that. Rats: Night of Terror was just as inane but far less interesting, at least to me, but if you like your post apoc affairs or simply feel that Willard wasn’t enough or, even worse, you’ve secretly dreamed of Mad Max Vs. Ben (with soundtrack by Michael Jackson, remixed by somebody mean), then you’ve got it, made to order (minus the soundtrack – we were just kidding about that). Well, Intervision has proven that there was more from Mattei than just his glory years. Oh yes, they proved it. Once again. This time it’s in the form of … well, the same sort of thing he’s been doing all this time: throwing cheap (but oddly effective at times) zombies at people to bother them when they’re not busy being harried by footage swiped from elsewhere to pad time and substitute for production values. B-flick insanity and inanity rear their heads – or, rather, in the case of Mattei’s career, continue to keep their heads in sight – when Mattei unleashes the whole shebang, kitchen sink included and bidet too (not really). With undead gutmunching midgets, appropriated footage, explosive body parts, “borrowed” footage, zombie midwifing (in a way), stock footage, a plot that manages to rip off Alien in the middle of this maelstrom of WTF, absconded with footage and … and you get the point. That’s ZOMBIE: THE BEGINNING, whose title and cover art strongly imply a prequel relationship with Hell of the Living Dead. ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD is the other batch of Mattei madness freshly freed from the gates of the Intervision stable. Absurdity abounds as this slings a bunch of zombies into the midst of some jungle adventurers, or perhaps they get slung into the zombies since they’re out there fucking around in the goddamn jungle. At any rate, the only thing more horrific here than the blanket absurdity, silly plotting, more footage filching, and gonzo gore is the dancing. No comment.
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