Reviews
Inferno dei Morti-Viventi (1981) 1 brain
(Italy)

Alternate Titles:

Virus
Cannibal Virus
Hell of the Living Dead
Night of the Zombies
Zombi 5: Ultimate Nightmare
Zombie Creeping Flesh
Zombie Inferno
Zombie of the Savanna


This movie was released in the US as Night of the Zombies, among various other titles. Apparently I had watched this movie a long time ago before watching it again recently, and had forgotten. After watching it again, I can only say "small wonder." Actually, it is rather surprising that I forgot this film, since it was so bad.

It's directed by Bruno Mattei, who also took over the reins of Zombi 3 after Lucio Fulci abandoned it. Interestingly, Inferno dei Morti-Viventi was also released as Zombi 5 in Italy in 1981, whereas Zombi 3 was released in 1988. This seems to indicate at least two series of movies just called "Zombi X".

Anyway, the plot of this movie is about a couple of reporters and a strike team that run into each other in a zombie-infested jungle. The strike team is on the way to investigate the site of a chemical accident, the result of experiments by the government. The reporters just happen to be vacationing in the jungle with a family that gets killed early on.

One thing that annoyed me about this film is the puking. When a character in this film, and in some other Italian zombie films as well, sees a zombie eating someone for the first time, there's a pretty good chance he's going to toss his cookies. I think it's just a cheap way for the director to gross out the audience some more, and it never really adds anything to the story. I'm usually thinking, OK, stop throwing up so we can get back to the movie. If a director really wanted to gross the audience out, and he could find a reason for it, he should make the zombies throw up. I think a good title would be The Pissed-off, Puking Zombies.

Anyway, when the characters in this film confront zombies, they are usually doing one of two things:
  1. They stand frozen with horror for a good 10 or 20 seconds, doing absolutely nothing while their friends are being attacked and/or the zombies get closer.

  2. They fire crazily into the bodies of the zombies, even though they have all been told repeatedly that the only way to stop a zombie is to shoot it in the head. Once in a while the characters manage to remember this, just enough to allow the movie to continue for another torturous 10 minutes.
As if this weren't bad enough, a good chunk of the movie is stock footage, mostly of animals and natives, to convince the audience that this really is happening in a jungle somewhere. The movie would be a lot shorter without it, but that would be a good thing.

Add to this big plot holes and nonsensical dialogue. For instance, in the scene where the heroes are going into the chemical plant where it all began, one of them says, "Remember, it's very important that we all stick together," or something like that. Another one looks at him and says, "Well... yeah." Then, as soon as they're inside, they split up!

I found this movie to be terrible. There are a few gory scenes for die-hard gore fans, but you should only watch this if you have the ability to enjoy really bad movies. I used to think I was one of those people, but this movie made me unsure.