Doctor Butcher M.D./Zombie Holocaust 4K UHD/Blu-ray Review (Severin Films)

AKA Alexandra Delli Colli Nude: The Movie

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Doctor Butcher M.D. sounds like a slasher thriller about a doctor who butchers his victims in violent fashion while passing himself off as a normal everyday physician, but it’s really more of a zombie/cannibal film in the popular style of Italian films from the late 1970s like The Mountain of the Cannibal GodEmmanuelle and the Last Cannibals, and Zombie. And that makes sense when you take into account the original title of the film, Zombi(e) Holocaust, before production edits were made; while Zombi Holocaust has been the main version of the film for years, Severin Films has provided a double-disc Blu-Ray of both Doctor Butcher M.D. and Zombi Holocaust restored in 2K from original film elements, uncut for the first time. While the differences between both of the films are minuscule (see below), the new edition of Doctor Butcher M.D. is the highlight of this package, and this review will focus specifically on that version of the film.

The film follows Lori Ridgeway (Alexandra Delli Colli), Dr. Peter Chandler (Ian McCulloch), Susan Kelly (Sherry Buchanan), and George Happer (Peter O’Neal) as they set out to find an island full of cannibals who worship Kito, a god that Lori seems to know a lot about considering her work in anatomy class. Doctor Butcher M.D. initially takes place in New York City, but after cannibals begin stealing and eating body parts from the local morgues, it becomes apparent that these researchers need to enlist the help of Dr. Obrero (Donald O’Brien) to find why the Kito cannibals seem to be targeting Lori specifically.

Marino Girolami’s film is a bit of a mess, and it certainly shows in the Doctor Butcher M.D. cut of the film, especially because the one-sheet and tagline make little sense when compared to the movie’s content. Despite that, however, Doctor Butcher M.D. is the better-edited film, cutting down a few minutes of footage that add little to the plot; specifically, some walking and driving scenes have been removed for better pacing. There’s also a complete overhaul of Zombi Holocaust‘s soundtrack, adding a synthesizer score that’s a lot more noodling and entertaining than Zombi Holocaust‘s overly plain offering.

That makes Doctor Butcher M.D. more enjoyable than Zombi Holocaust, and if viewers can overcome some rather lackluster and – to be blunt – horribly muddled plot lines, then there’s actually quite a bit to like about the film itself. Romano Scandariato’s screenplay channels the same themes as better known (and, honestly, better-made) films like Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox, with vaguely racist stereotypes of cannibals attacking innocent victims; these moments highlight the excellent practical effects created by Maurizio Trani, utilizing real pig innards combined with clay and latex props. Doctor Butcher M.D. boasts some authentic visuals, including an autopsy scene, head surgery, and a courter stuck in an unfortunate spike trap. This one is good for fans of Italian nasties, though there are better offerings out there.


Much like their previous Blu-ray release in 2016, Severin Films has packaged both Doctor Butcher M.D. and Zombie Holocaust together with a 4-disc UHD release, each version of the film getting their own separate discs along with bonus features. Previously, Severin had listed a high-definition scan of the original vault elements; for this release, they’ve noted both have been scanned in 4K from presumably those same elements. While both films are most likely never going to look stellar – in particular Doctor Butcher M.D. due to its inserts – Severin has managed to do a good service to both cuts of the film by improving on some of the high-density grain that was apparent in the previous release, allowing for additional details to shine throughout the film. The transfers still maintain a lot of the damage and debris present in the Blu-ray versions including splotches, lines, and a few burns here and there; however, the overall presentation is not marred by these moments. The most notable change from the previous release – besides the alternate Doctor Butcher M.D. title card seen in our screenshot comparisons – is the color grading, which has vastly improved on the previous transfer’s overly yellowed tones to present a darker, more nuanced and overall more realistic palette. This release does feature Dolby Vision and HDR 10, and although the film doesn’t make remarkable use of those elements since it features few varied color or dark sequences, the results are still strong thanks to the consistent color grading and visceral red hues. While some viewers may not see a huge step up from the previous Blu-ray release, Severin Films has done a great job upgrading Doctor Butcher M.D./Zombie Holocaust from the sources they have, most likely leaving us with the best visual presentation we’ll see.

Audio is presented with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono English track for Doctor Butcher M.D. – since it was only released for English audiences – and both a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono English and Italian option for Zombie Holocaust. Both sound strong, especially Doctor Butcher M.D.‘s zany synthesizer score. There is some apparent muffling here and there but nothing overtly noticeable, and other than that there are really no problems with any of the audio options. English subtitles are included, both for the English tracks and translated Italian.

This release ports over all previous extras from Severin’s Blu-ray; however, no new bonus features are added. The UHDs get trailers  and TV spots, while the majority of the content is added to the Blu-ray discs. There are a number of featurettes included on both discs. One of the best is a half-hour interview with Aquarius Releasing’s Terry Levine, who documents his time in the grindhouse/adult film industry and 42nd Street era along with his work on Doctor Butcher M.D. A walk down 42nd Street with Chris Pogialli and Roy Frumkes is included, where Frumkes discusses his involvement in that time period as well.

A portion of the unfinished “Tales That Will Tear Your Heart Out” is also included, featuring Roy Frumkes’ short with commentary. A featurette on the Butcher Mobile highlights that very odd press junket. Finally, an illustrated essay from Gary Hertz closes out the first disc’s extras.

Cast and crew interviews add an additional hour of specials. Ian McCulloch documents his time working on Doctor Butcher M.D.; Sherry Buchanan talks about her work on the film, her many experiences in Italian horror film, and how she got into the business in the first place (and why she left); Enzo Castellari gives a history of his father, director Marino Girolami; Maurizio Trani gives a very brief (4 minute) interview about his work on the special effects; Rosario Prestopino gives an interview (before his passing in 2008) about his contribution to the FX; and finally, there’s a brief location-spotting guide, with footage from the film’s New York City setting compared to the same settings today.

The release also gets reversible cover artwork, a slipcover box with artwork for both film cuts, and a barf bag that was also included in the original Blu-ray release.

Disc 1: 4K UHD (DOCTOR BUTCHER M.D. Feature + Special Features)

  • NEW 4K scan from original vault elements with Dolby Vision
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 2:48)
  • Video Release Trailer (1080p; 1:16) 
  • TV Spot (1080p; 0:34)

Disc 2: 4K UHD (ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST Feature + Special Feature)

  • Trailer (1080p; 4:17)

Disc 3: Blu-ray (DOCTOR BUTCHER M.D. Feature + Special Features)

  • “Butchery & Ballyhoo” – Interview With Aquarius Releasing’s Terry Levene (1080p; 31:17)

  • “The Four Boroughs Of Blood” – Rue Morgue’s Michael Gingold Tours New York Locations Of Italian Horror (1080p; 46:01)
  • “Down On The Deuce” – Nostalgic Tour Of 42nd Street With Temple Of Schlock’s Chris Poggiali and Filmmaker Roy Frumkes (1080p; 21:55)
  • “Tales That Tore Our Heart Out” – Filmmakers Frank Farel And Brendan Faulkner Discuss Unfinished Anthology Film (1080p; 18:17)
  • Roy Frumkes’ Segment Of Unfinished Anthology Film TALES THAT WILL TEAR YOUR HEART OUT With Accompanying Director Commentary (1080i; 8:07)
  • “The Butcher Mobile” – Interview With Gore Gazette Editor And Butcher Mobile Barker Rick Sullivan (1080p; 12:27)
  • “Cutting Doctor Butcher” – Interview With Editor Jim Markovic (1080p; 10:12)
  • Illustrated Essay: “Experiments With A Male Caucasian Brain (…And Other Memories Of 42nd Street)” By Gary Hertz (1080p; 0:13)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 2:48)
  • Video Release Trailer (1080p; 1:16) 
  • TV Spot (1080p; 0:34)

Disc 4: Blu-ray (ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST Feature + Special Features)

  • Voodoo Man – Interview With Star Ian McCulloch (1080p; 8:14)
  • Blood Of The Zombies – Interview With SFX Master Rosario Prestopino (1080p; 23:03)
  • Filmmaker Enzo G. Castellari Remembers His Father, Director Marino Girolami (1080p; 7:46) 
  • Neurosurgery Italian Style – Interview With SFX Artist Maurizio Trani (1080p; 4:36)
  • Sherry Holocaust – Interview With Actress Sherry Buchanan (1080p; 24:04)
  • New York Filming Locations: 1980 & 2015 (1080p; 3:03)
  • Audio Bonus: Ian McCulloch Sings “Down By The River” (2:40)
  • Trailer (1080p; 4:17)


For Italian gore-fiends, Doctor Butcher M.D./Zombie Holocaust is a must-see at least once to round out the genre. Severin Films have done a serviceable upgrade from their previous Blu-ray with a video transfer that improves color grading and grain scale while preserving all of the same extras. Especially worthwhile if one does not already own the previous Blu-ray.

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