Zombi Holocaust - 4K review

88 Films deliver another must buy

James Whittington
Thursday, March 7, 2024

Zombi Holocaust

88 Films

Certificate 18

Cannibal and zombie movies are always limited in scope, its rare something new can be added to the plot to make them stand out. Stand forward Zombi Holocaust which dared to combine the two. Whether it did it successfully has been debated since it was released some forty plus years ago, but viewed now it can be enjoyed as a huge piece of hokum that tried to resurrect both genres but missed the mark.

The plot is a mad mix of horror genres where Ian McCulloch, fresh from Zombie Flesh Eaters battles with the living dead, the local 'anthropophagi' and an especially demented scientist!

Often overlooked by snobby horror fans as a cheap looking cash-in and a mad mix of horror genres, Zombi Holocaust is a fun, blood-splattered shocker which ticks all the right boxes even though its budget limitations are quite evident. Talking of which, the effects aren’t that special, the often talked about “zombie face meets boat motor” scene isn’t as well realised as you want it to be, and the colour of the blood is the kind of red you’d normally find in a can of tomato soup. None of these points take away the fun of this movie.

Released under a number of titles including Queen of the Zombies and re-edited into Doctor Butcher M.D., the movie is light on plot but huge fun. The inclusion of the “mad scientist” character leads to plenty of scenery chewing from Donald O'Brien who as Dr. Obrero has some of the best scenes and Ian McCulloch is his old, reliable self being all stiff upper lip and man of action.

As this is from 88 Films you know how good the transfer will be and the team has done an amazing job here. The image is solid throughout the duration with some fine detail in the darker moments. There is grain but that’s due to the stock used and never deters from the on-screen action. The soundtrack too is clear with voices clear without pitching.

Extras wise, well apart from the superb audio commentary from David Flint and Adrian Smith which is on both discs, the main extras are on the Blu-ray. The jewel here is an 85-minute documentary charting the rise and fall of the Italian cannibal movie genre called Eaten Alive! It covers all the major titles and ends up being a sort of shopping list for those new to the genre.

88 Films has given Zombi Holocaust as superb release, from transfer to extras this is a great jumping in point for people who want easing into the cannibal or zombie movie genres.