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John’s Horror Corner: Zombies: The Beginning (2007; aka, Zombi: La creazione), yet another blatant Aliens rip-off applied to a terrible zombie movie.

February 19, 2021

MY CALL: This movie is a dumpster fire… but it’s not without some amusement for those who enjoy a dash of immoral, disgusting exploitation in their low budget classic Sci-Fi rip-off cinema. But even as a lower budget B-Alien rip, you could do much better. MORE MOVIES LIKE Zombies: The Beginning: For more low budget Alien/Aliens (1979/1986) rip-offs, check out Contamination (1980; aka Alien Contamination), Alien 2: On Earth (1980), Scared to Death (1980; aka Syngenor), Galaxy of Terror (1981), Forbidden World (1982; aka Mutant), Inseminoid (1982; aka Horror Planet), Parasite (1982), Biohazard (1985), Creature (1985; aka Titan Find), Star Crystal (1986), Creepazoids (1987), Blue Monkey (1987), Evil Spawn (1987), Nightflyers (1987), Deep Space (1988), Transformations (1988; aka Alien Transformations), The Terror Within (1989), Shocking Dark (1989; aka Terminator 2, aka Aliennators), The Rift (1990), Syngenor (1990) and Xtro 2: The Second Encounter (1991).

This movie is a terrible slog… that’s kind of deliciously bad. Clearly this is only to be enjoyed in the company of friends who intend to share in ridiculing it with you. Director Bruno Mattei (Shocking Dark) is no maestro filmmaker, but he occasionally strikes B-movie gold.

The only survivor of a team stranded on an island of zombies, Doctor Dimao (Yvette Yzon; Island of the Living Dead) is recruited as a Ripley character to accompany a military team to this uncharted island as a consultant. The team is composed of soldier contracted by the Tyler Corporation (a la Weyland Yutani) and, like with Ripley and her colonial marines, the soldiers don’t believe her about what lies in store on this uncharted, zombie-infested island in the south Pacific.

Visuals of zombies are not impressive—more comparable to a Halloween Haunted House. Some chalky skin and veins, some vomitous green slime, and mangled Demons (1985) teeth. They are really cheaply done. Showcasing the craptastic budget, we see the exact same footage of some writhing zombies in a cave three times. Thankfully the flesh wounds and latex work are better than the zombies biting them.

Our team discovers that strange, macabre experiments were being conducted on people. And speaking of strange, we see a lot of dead babies in this weird movie. They come across many a bloody dead mutant fetus and apparently dead mutilated naked women on operating tables. But when they witness a horrendously gross monster baby birth scene with the bursting zest of a chestburster, they realize they’re in over their heads. The soldiers are attacked by a monstrous mutant dwarf zombie, crusty naked zombies, and (for no reason I can explain) even giant gorilla-bigfoot monster that rips someone in half.

As we lumber from one scene to another, I’m increasingly bored. This is a slog. Even when the action amps up, it’s still boring. Crass and antiquated, the zombies are ill-acted with rigid arms held forward as they walk. There’s a lot of blood, headshots with exit wounds, some exploding heads and the like. But even this isn’t very entertaining as far as mowing down a zombie horde can go. But I’d be lying if I denied that I had a few giggles.

Numerous scenes of Doctor Dimao and the military team replay Ripley and the colonial marines’ action in Aliens (1986). Some of the lines and character interactions seem nearly verbatim, even if poorly aped. The Berger character is a clear reflection of Burke (Aliens); as Taylor (Alvin Anson; Island of the Living Dead) is to Hudson, etcetera. From the doctor’s rescue in the very beginning (Ripley’s cryopod), it’s like Mattei was going scene by scene recreating his own hideous Frankenstein copy of the Sci-Horror classic. Someone even dissects a dead baby as in the facehugger autopsy scene. So, yeah, you’ll have a few laughs at this.

The visuals in the last 10 minutes get yet weirder—and just might have made it worth watching this movie. There are naked kid zombies who move like wobbling dancers. But is there a Queen Zombie awaiting our Ripley at the end? Well, some analogous concepts are to be found. There are writhing pregnant female zombies with tubes going into their abdomens and they’re encrusted into the wall with bloody flaps of flesh. The tubes rip unborn babies from their wombs! I said it before and I’ll say it again: we see a lot of dead babies in this movie! Really gross. It turns out an alien creature shaped like a brain and brain stem was behind it all. Thinking it can talk some reason into her, the brain talks and taunts our Ripley, then gets burned. The ending even reminded me a bit of Alien Contamination (1980).

So, in summary, this movie is a dumpster fire… but it’s not without amusement for those who enjoy a dash of immoral, disgusting exploitation in their classic Sci-Fi rip-off cinema.

One Comment leave one →
  1. rdfranciswriter permalink
    June 22, 2021 11:28 am

    The first thing that hits the brain, because of the poster: Starship Troopers. And I love what Bruno does with the conduit!

    Makes me think of what Sergio Martino did with conduit in Hands of Steel: Get a present day, ’80s Pontiac Firebird. Stick some conduit on the roof and into the trunk. POOF! A turbo-charged, futuristic car ready for the acid rain. Hey, it’s not a plexidome on an old ’70s Camero, ala Warriors of the Wasteland, aka, The New Barbarians, but the conduit gets the job done. Come to think of it: Scorpion’s Cam had conduit!! Bonus!

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