Ian McCulloch, Zombie Slayer, Part 2 - Zombie Holocaust

In the second of our looks back at the Italian B-movie work of the great Mr Ian McCulloch, this week, we're examining Zombie Holocaust, a follow up to last week's Zombie Flesh Eaters.

The film has the same ideas, basic plot and even some of the same actors as Flesh Eaters, yet is a very different creature. Hit the jump to find out why:

Yaargh! Here be spoilers!
The titles of last week and this week's films are unusual, in that each would be a better name for the other. Flesh Eaters could run in to the apocalypse of Dawn of The Dead, while Holocaust is actually a film about cannibals.

Once again, we have McCulloch and his love interest teaming up to investigate strange occurrences that are emanating from a mysterious, tropical island. This time the love interest is Alexandra Delli Colli, a woman who enjoys getting slowly undressed and doesn't care who knows it. She's some sort of doctor/archeologist who is besieged by a group of native cannibals who, for reasons best known to themselves have travelled to New York to eat the remains of research cadavers. New York Deli style anyone?

Once one of these are caught, they fling themselves from a hospital window, are mysteriously replaced mid air by a mannequin that smashes into several pieces, then put back in the place of the mannequin on the ground, dead with all their limbs attached. Tracing the immigrant cannibal back to his home, they set off with a plucky young reporter and her boyfriend to find out what's going on... for some reason.

There they find a tribe of cannibals who capture them, eat the reporter and her boyfriend, and are about to eat our heroes, when, suddenly, they are rescued... by a zombie. Yes, it does seem like those darn Italians were halfway through the script when they were told this had to be a zombie flick and they didn't have time to start over.

The zombies are the creation of a mad scientist who looks somewhat like Harvey Keitel has been stretched. He's been transplanting living people's brains into corpses and re-animating them, which somehow involves cannibals, because... well, he's lanky Harvey Keitel and he can do what he wants.

Harvey captures our heroes and decides to zombify McCulloch and give Delli Colli to the cannibals. The cannibals paint Delli Colli's naked body with flowers, which is also something she seems to enjoy, and pop her on a slab with legs akimbo so they can all get a good look. Apparently, they then all become hypnotised by her unmentionables and decide to turn against Harvey, setting our heroes free.... and then it ends... no, really.

Of course, while Holocaust retains the nonsensical plotting of Fulci's work, it cannot match the effects, the setpieces or the direction of Flesh Eaters. It is, however, a lot more blood thirsty. For all its reputation, Flesh Eaters is actually rather tame, both in terms of gore and of nudity, while Holocaust goes all the way with both, if that's your thing. Otherwise, it is an entertaining-enough romp and works perfectly as a companion piece to Flesh Eaters; and, of course, it's another rousing adventure for our hero McCulloch.

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