Zombie 4 - Zombie 4( Blu Ray+ CD) [Severin - 2018]Zombie 4 appeared at the end of the 1980ís- offering up a more action-focused take on the Italian zombie cycle. Here from Severin is the double disc CD soundtrack & Blu Ray release of the film.
Released in 1989 Zombie 4 (Aka After Death, Zombie Flesh Eaters 3, Return Of The Living Dead 3) was directed by Claudio Fragasso( as Clyde Anderson), who is known to most as the director & writer of cult classic so-bad-itís-great movie Troll 2. And while Zombie 4 goes no-where near the heights of over the top badness of Troll 2, itís a rewarding if a fairly gore-less slice of 80ís zombie fun.
Plot wise the film follows a fairly standard path of a zombie movie-with a infested island, on which are stranded a series of unfortunate non-living dead folk. The confusion comes in the way character suddenly appear/ disappear at will, which happens on more than a few occasions throughout the film. We get a wide selection of victims, and they taking in husband, wife & daughter, a gang of bikers with big-haired girlfriends, scientists, and treasure hunters- it all begins with the scientist shooting dead the island male voodoo priest & his zombie wife going on a rampage, then later (and unexplainable) we get another group reading a dead rising passage from a dusty book. The zombie themselves are a mix of black slim dripping ones & big razor teeth ones(ala Demons)- though we do let a blend of active/ running/ fighting zombies & more crusty lumbering dead- for the most part they just seem to bite peoples necks, and the gore is fairly tame really.
Where the film does excel is in its campy/ trashy dialogue, tacky shooting scenes, the rather neat looking jungle setting, and enough candles, dry ice, and coloured filtered lights to fill a hundred tacky 1980ís pop rock videos.
Another thing that is most effective is the soundtrack- that goes from the tacky light 80ís synth fired rock of the title track.Through to playful ethnic/ tribal rhythmic electro work-outs, onto moody-yet- upbeat 80ís electronica. The first disc in the set is a CD, and this takes in the eighteen tracks & fifty-two minutes runtime- and I must say itís a rather neat, and fairly varied late 80ís score- which I guess feels more thriller/ action focused in its cues than creepy/ dread-soaked horror- but of course it very much fits the film's pace.
The new 2k scan looks good, and it nicely enhances the lush greens of the jungle and the abundance of dry ice/ coloured lights. Extras wise on the Blu Ray we get a half-an-hour interview with Claudio Fragasso- this is a lot of fun, seeing him discussing the concept behind making an action-focused zombie film, the films main shooting location in the Philippines jungles, and great stories of drinking liquor & doing magic mushrooms with the natives. Next, we get a nine-minute interview with one of the male leads- US actor Jeff Stryker- who is more known for his roles in adult cinema. Thereís a few minute interview with America actress Candice Daly, five or so minute archive footage from the films set, and a trailer.
Iíd say that Zombie 4 would appeal more to those looking for a cheesy jungle action movie with elements of horror in it, as the effects & the horror elements do play second fiddle to the gunplay, explosions, and macho men. Not sure if Iíll return the film itís self that often myself due to this, but Iíll certainly be spinning the soundtrack again.Roger Batty