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Zombie Holocaust

Year: 1980
Director: Marino Girolami
Marketed by the Australia DVD distributor by its lesser-known name (Zombie Holocaust), this is one of the Italian schlock horror zombie flicks of the 1970's in the finest tradition. Stern-jawed hero, frequently naked heroine, inexplicable plot devices and a dastardly villain (who looks so much like Harvey Keitel it's genuinely scary).

Investigations about a flesh-eating cult in New York lead a small team (consisting of the blonde Amazon research assistant, the feisty but annoying reporter, the steel-jawed, safari-suit wearing health department official and his assistant) to the southeast Asian island of Keto, where a reclusive local and formerly brilliant surgeon helps them on their quest.

When it becomes clear they've landed on the wrong island with their black guide and two Asian helpers, they start getting attacked and picked off one by one in scenes that will genuinely disturb you as full frontal stabbings, neck slittings and eye gougings abound.

Otherwise, it's mostly comical schlock horror as horrible zombies come into the fray and it becomes apparent that they've been sent to the wrong island to begin with, have unwittingly landed on the right island, and that everything is being done to get them away, leading the steel-jawed hero to suspect that the good doctor is hiding something.

Too late – ie, when they're captive – they learn the truth; that he is in fact (dum dum duuuuuuum!) Dr Butcher, MD; Medical Deviate, the film's original title,).

What's most comical is the original trailer that came with the DVD release; the overly dramatic voice telling all about Dr Butcher – and showing all, thereby spoiling the surprise of his identity – about how he likes to operate on beautiful women, and about how he makes house calls!

Disgusting, campy, and an absolute hoot.

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