“Zombie 3″: Big bloody buckets of goo-spewing mayhem that must be seen to be believed

By on May 30, 2019

Here at Night Flight HQ, we’re always looking to expand our collection of zombie films, which is why we’re happy to announce we’ve added Godfather of Gore Lucio Fulci‘s final film in the popular horror sub-genre, Zombie 3 (1988).

Watch the movie Severin Films said was highlighted by “Fulci’s signature extreme violence, Mattei/Fragasso-style surreal logic, and big bloody buckets of goo-spewing mayhem that must be seen to be believed” now on Night Flight Plus.

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On a remote jungle-covered island, scientists at a military-funded research facility have created a deadly serum called Death One, which the military believes can be used as a bio-weapon because it mutates and kills the living.

Unfortunately, it also reanimates the dead.

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A concerned “Dr. Holder” (Robert Marius) decides to hand over Death One to military representatives who’ve choppered in, but then they’re attacked by armed commando rebels, who kill nearly everyone.

One rebel steals the case containing sample vials of Death One and escapes through the jungle.

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The case is damaged by gunfire, though, and infects the rebel with a green goo goo muck, so he checks into a local hotel.

There, he begins to fall apart, quite literally, and he ends up chopping off his own hand to keep the infection from spreading further.

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Unfortunately, some of the hotel staff are exposed to Death One, and soon thereafter soldiers in white bio-hazard suits begin showing up.

“General Morton” (Mike Monty) orders soldiers “Tracey” (Bruno Mattei) and “Cheney” (Claudio Fragasso) to sequester everyone exposed in the contaminated hotel.

They also cremate the dead rebel’s body, but then an ash cloud forms over the island, introducing Death One into the atmosphere.

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It’s at this point that the story shifts, and the very next day we’re introduced to three vacationing U.S. Army GIs: “Kenny” (Deran Serafian), “Roger” (Ottaviano Dell’Aqua, billed as “Richard Raymond”) and “Bo” (Massimo Vanni, billed as “Alex McBride”).

On the road, they encounter a party bus and three flirty gals: “Nancy” (Ulli Reinthaler), “Carole” (Marina Loi)” and “Lia” (Deborah Bergamini).

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Not too far away, a young couple — “Patricia” (Beatrice Ring) and “Glenn” (no idea) — are seeing dead birds on the road too, and things get a little crazy when the birds become zombi-fied.

After they escape, they’re soon attacked by machete-wielding zombie-fied humans at an unused garage, which Patricia sets on fire so they can escape.

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The GIs and the party bus/bus party all end up at the now-abandoned hotel, and they’re soon dealing with even more zombies infected by Death One.

Zombie 3 continues on from there, but you’ll have to discover what happens next for yourself.

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Italian SFX great Franco Di Girolamo handled all the gore effects, which includes a zombie deejay, a legless zombie attacking her ex-boyfriend in a swimming pool, and a zombie baby ripping itself from its mother’s womb, Alien-style, to tear off a victim’s face.

Read more about Zombie 3 below.

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If you’re already familiar with Zombie 3, you probably know about its difficult production history, dating back to its very inception.

Fulci was reluctant to return to the zombie sub-genre again after his 1981 film The House by the Cemetery (Quella villa accanto al cimitero) grossed the equivalent of about US $230,000, making it his least successful zombie film.

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Some seven years later or so, screenwriter Rossella Drudi began developing the screenplay for Zombie 3, but in the end only her husband, Claudio Fragasso, was credited onscreen.

Fulci thought their script — which combined an island-based zombie story with elements already found in movies like George Romero‘s 1972 bio-terror film, The Crazies – was “dreadful,” and it had no connection to his much-admired film Zombie 2 (1979).

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When Fulci couldn’t get their script changed, he “modified” it along with his daughter, Camilla Fulci, who’d accompanied him to the Philippines, where Zombie 3 was filmed.

Fulci is said to have spent six weeks on the production before suffering a stroke and having to leave the production.

However, it turns out his sudden illness may have been a cover story for having disputes with the film’s producer, Franco Gaudenzi.

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Gaudenzi brought in the film’s second unit director, Bruno Mattei — he was in the Philippines at the time, filming Strike Commando 2 (1988) — to complete Zombie 3, with help from Claudio Fragasso.

They viewed what Fulci had already shot (Gaudenzi  was apparently “shocked” at what Fulci had shot), but because so many of the main actors had left the project when Fulci did, they had to create new subplots with new actors in order to finish the film.

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In the end, Fulci was the only director credited on Zombie 3. He later said his leaving the project had nothing to do with illness, and also admitted there’d been arguments on the set.

If we’ve done our math correctly — and we were told there would be no math —  about fifty minutes of Zombie 3 was shot by Fulci, and forty minutes was shot by Mattei and/or Fragasso.

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Originally, it was announced that Zombie 3 would be released in 3D, but that didn’t happen when the film opened in Italy in late July of 1988.

“I don’t repudiate any of my movies,” said Fulci later, “except Zombie 3. But that movie’s not mine. It’s the most foolish of my productions. It has been done by a group of idiots.”

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Fulci suffered from various health issues during much of the 1980s — hepatitis, cirrhosis and diabetes — but the Godfather of Gore continued making films right up until his death in 1996.

Watch Zombie 3 and other zombie films on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.