Arrow's new restoration of Fulci's controversial horror is a sight for sore eyes
A poster boy for the video nasties furore in the UK, Lucio Fulci's 1979 zombie film may be available uncut on these shores these days, but that doesn't mean that it no longer packs a punch. Whether it's the memorable sight of a zombie wrestling a shark or the unforgettable close-up of an eyeball being speared by a wooden splinter, Zombie Flesh-Eaters is a horror triumph that always delivers the goods.
Picture: Arrow's track record with Italian horror films of this vintage has been a little patchy in the past. But Zombie Flesh-Eaters shows what the company can deliver when it's allowed to oversee its own restoration rather than being given a pre-existing hi-def master by an Italian distributor. The new AVC 2.40:1 1080p is remarkable, with pin-sharp details and solid colours finally allowing fans to savour the gorgeous widescreen photography.
Picture rating: 4.5/5
Audio: Zombie Flesh-Eaters shuffles onto Blu-ray with LPCM 2.0 versions of the film's English and Italian dubs (both with their own slightly different subtitle tracks). Frequency range is pretty good in both mixes, although things can get a little pitchy in the high-end of the film's score. This is endemic of the original recording rather than any kind of technical inadequacy of this release.
Audio rating: 3.5/5
Extras: As well as its impressive AV quality, this double-disc Blu-ray set boasts a comprehensive collection of bonus goodies (there's even the option to watch with a choice of three title cards – Zombie Flesh Eaters, Zombi 2 or Zombie – depending on your preference). Present on the first disc are a video intro by actor Ian McCulloch, two audio commentaries (the first pairing frequent contributor Calum Waddell and screenwriter Elisa Briganti, the other by genre experts Stephen Thrower and Alan Jones), an hour-long documentary about Italian zombie films, plus trailers and radio spots.
Meanwhile, over on the second disc there's a 46-minute chat with McCulloch about the three Italian horror films he made, a quick look at the film's script (mainly the notorious, censor-baiting eyeball scene), a 29-minute Q&A with composer Fabio Frizzi and a 27-minute natter with special effects supremo Gino De Rossi.
Extra rating: 4.5/5
We say: Arrow's spectacular double-disc Blu-ray release is a must-own for all splatter fans
Arrow Video, Region B BD, £22 Approx, On sale now
HCC VERDICT: 4.5/5
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