Ranking as the best Lucio Fulci film of all time, Zombie is the quintessential Fulci experience. We have gory scenes of dismemberment, grotesque-looking zombies, a fantastic soundtrack, and a setting that embodies a creepy voodoo atmosphere. I could go on and on about how amazing this movie is, and list a few issues about it (seriously, the characters are incredibly dumb, seeing how the zombies are the slowest things ever yet they still end up dying), but why waste your time when you can easily read the full breakdown of the film and Blu-ray thanks to Ryne. What I want to do is take a look at the different releases and why this new release from Blue Underground is the best release of Zombie ever.
Let’s go all the way back to the first real worthy collectors release from Anchor Bay, released in a clamshell case housing a beautiful VHS.
Anchor Bay released Zombie on VHS in 1998 which was digitally remastered in widescreen and remixed in Dolby Surround. Theatrical, TV, and Radio spots were included after the end credits. Obviously, with it being VHS, the video quality is not the greatest.
When we jump to the DVD format, we had more choices to choose from, but the most significant release for Zombie was actually from Blue Underground, in a 2-Disc Ultimate Edition released in 2011. Loaded with features, if you wanted to stick with DVD, this would be the release to purchase.
Now we get to Blu-ray, and we are edging closer to the ultimate release, but before Blue Underground released their amazing feature-packed Blu, we had a couple of choices. We could purchase Blue Underground’s original Blu-ray release, which was the DVD release but with upgraded video and audio. For Region B fans, we had the option to buy Arrow Video’s Blu-ray release, which also featured some substantial extras.
However, with Blue Underground’s latest 4K remaster release, all the other releases are a moot point when you look at the absolutely stunning video transfer.
In the following comparisons, I used the awesome site caps-a-holic for the screengrabs. We are comparing the original Blue Underground release, Arrow Video release, and finally the new 4K remastered release.
Hover mouse over image to first compare the UK Arrow Release against the new 4K remastered Blue Underground. Then hover over the second image to compare the 4K remaster against Blue Underground’s original Blu-ray release.
As you can see in the above photos, the 4K remastered release provides an absolutely stunning picture, with deep blacks, even grain and fantastic colour representation. The best thing I can say about the picture is that my wife saw the film on our TV and thought it was a newly shot film made to look like it was shot in the 70s. The quality is so good it makes Zombie look like it just came out yesterday.
It seems Blue Underground spent most of their time on the video transfer, as there aren’t a lot of new extra features. But don’t fret, as what is new is worthwhile. We get a new audio commentary with Troy Howarth, Author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films, and a new sit down with Fulci expert Stephen Thrower, which runs about 30 minutes. Also provided is the soundtrack by Fabio Frizzi on a separate CD, and a Collectable Booklet with a new essay by author Stephen Thrower. Don’t forget, everything included on the previous Blu-ray release is also included. Finally, you can choose from three different lenticular covers!
Disc 1 (Blu-ray) Feature Film + Extras:
NEW! Audio Commentary #1 with Troy Howarth, Author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films
Audio Commentary #2 with Star Ian McCulloch and Diabolik Magazine Editor Jason J. Slater
NEW! When The Earth Spits Out The Dead – Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
Poster & Still Gallery
Guillermo del Toro Intro
Disc 2 (Blu-ray) Extras:
Zombie Wasteland – Interviews with Stars Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson & Al Cliver, and Actor/Stuntman Ottaviano Dell’Acqua
Flesh Eaters on Film – Interview with Co-Producer Fabrizio De Angelis
Deadtime Stories – Interviews with Co-Writers Elisa Briganti and (Uncredited) Dardano Sacchetti
World of the Dead – Interviews with Cinematographer Sergio Salvati and Production & Costume Designer Walter Patriarca
Zombi Italiano – Interviews with Special Make-Up Effects Artists Gianetto De Rossi & Maurizio Trani and Special Effects Artist Gino De Rossi
Notes on a Headstone – Interview with Composer Fabio Frizzi
All in the Family – Interview with Antonella Fulci
Zombie Lover – Award-Winning Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro talks about one of his favorite films
BONUS! ZOMBIE Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD by Fabio Frizzi
BONUS! Collectable Booklet with new essay by Stephen Thrower
I hope I’ve convinced you that Blue Underground’s newest release of Zombie and is the be all end all for this Fulci classic. There is no option but this one. Even if you already own the other releases, this latest Blu-ray is worth plunking your hard earned money down. GET IT!
Blue Underground has released the definitive version of Zombie on Blu-ray. This version is a no brainer pick up!
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