Arnold and Natalie are off to Pennsylvania for the Doctor of the Dead’s birthday, and chat about more Halloween shopping as well as three films: The Italian zombie “classic,” HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980); the recent Netflix documentary, HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE (2017); and MATILDA (1996)! It’s Sweet Death and more in this all-new DOCTOR OF THE DEAD podcast!
100! This epic-length landmark episode provides the list that YOU and many other listeners demanded! Listen as Arnold and Natalie take on the Herculean task of talking about 100 zombie movies you need to see, covering the entire history of the genre with sections covering everything from all-out gorefests to Voodoo-themed chillers to romantic romps. There’s something for every kind of zombie fan, and maybe a few things that you’ll want to seek out and see for yourself, as we celebrate 100 episodes of the DOCTOR OF THE DEAD podcast!
…And see below for two lists: All the previous episodes of the show that delved more into some of the films we only mention briefly here as well as three feature-length audio commentaries, and an EPIC list of Amazon affiliate links to as many of the 100 films as we could find that are readily available. If you click through to get any of them, you’re helping to support this podcast too!
Publisher: Eibon Press
Script/Layout/Letters/Editor: Stephen Romano
Pencils/Covers: Michael Broom
Inks/Additional Art: Derek Rook
Inks: Gerry Coffey
The legendary Lucio Fulci film ZOMBIE (ZOMBI 2/ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS) gets the graphic novel treatment, and I do mean “graphic!” In the first issue of this adaptation – which will then continue beyond the confines of the film’s plot – the carnage begins on page one as a horrific Voodoo ritual on the island of Matool unleashes a nightmarish horde of living dead. Meanwhile, reporter Peter West teams up with a distraught young woman seeking information about her missing father. Could they find their answers on that accursed, windswept isle?
It’s always a delight to have a reason to write a comic book review again, having written hundreds of them over the years during my time in the comics industry. In the past, I always strived to highlight aspects of a comic not often discussed in a review, and in the case of Eibon Press’ ZOMBIE, it’s absolutely essential to praise the entire package – not just the sharp scriptwriting and art, but the evocative lettering, lavish coloring, and stunning graphic design; even the quality of the paper and printing is exceptional. This is a premium release intended for fans that want to collect a truly special tribute to a horror classic.
As Eibon Press’ Stephen Romano explains in a detailed and illuminating essay in the back of the first issue, this adaptation originally appeared in 2000 in an extremely limited black-and-white edition that failed to capture the attention it deserved. But now, it has risen from the grave like a Spanish Conquistador with all the lush, lurid color that Lucio himself would have greatly appreciated.
The morgue sequence gets a substantial uplift via extended dialogue and even more grotesque action.
But rest assured, it’s not just a slavish beat-for-beat retelling. Although the comic faithfully adapts the film for the most part (its only real omission during this issue is a short bit set on a docked boat), there are a few significant and brilliant additions that enhance the story at every turn. Insight into the thoughts of many of the characters via narration gives us added perspective on numerous scenes in the story, while the morgue sequence in particular gets a substantial uplift via extended dialogue and even more grotesque action. Perhaps my favorite new material provides a confirmation of a theory I’ve often shared, as recently as on the latest DOCTOR OF THE DEAD episode about this very film – that the spread of the zombies happened on two fronts, via the reanimated morgue doctors and the boat zombie. Great minds!
But the biggest elaboration here is a new prologue that finally gives fans a glimpse of the terrifying Voodoo ritual that brought about the reanimation of the dead. It’s appropriate that this prologue and thus the entire comic starts on a close-up of an eye, not just because of the film’s iconic eye-stabbing scene but because later zombie films like 28 DAYS LATER and RESIDENT EVIL made it a reliable way into an apocalyptic story through a literal point of view. The connections to zombie stories past and present don’t end there, since the visual of a spiritual Voodoo presence also recalls Murder Legendre’s eyes from WHITE ZOMBIE. There are also some cute jokes centered on the Anne Bowles character played by Tisa Farrow in the film. For one thing, her name is repeatedly and presumably deliberately misspelled “Bowels” (zombies sure are interested in internal anatomy), and at one point Peter muses on her resemblance to a certain ROSEMARY’S BABY star.
The artistic style is loose, capturing the general look of the characters as we know them from the movie but with a quality that suggests everything can spiral into madness.
The artistic style is loose, capturing the general look of the characters as we know them from the movie but with a quality that suggests any moment everything can spiral out of control into madness. The coloring, as noted already, is rich and blood-drenched in all the right places, and the panel layouts are dynamic and inventive, rapidly propelling you through the pages. Pretty much the only thing you don’t get from this otherwise amazing adaptation is the film’s Fabio Frizzi score, so fire up iTunes or whatever music app you have (or if you’re old school, get out your soundtrack CD and player), and let it play along as you read!
This first issue ends as our heroes team up with a couple offering them a boat ride to Matool. The best is clearly yet to come, and I for one can’t wait to see what Eibon Press does with the rest of this iconic Italian zombie film. I highly recommend visiting the Eibon Press website for more on this debut issue, #2 arriving in October, and their plans for other Fulci Comics like GATES OF HELL (also known as CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD) as well as their VHS Comics imprint featuring LASERBLAST!
Arnold and Scott are back, sharing e-mails and news and then turning to one of the macabre milestones of horror film, an essential stepping stone in the shambling journey of the flesh-eating pop culture zombie from US notoriety to Italian fame! Zombie Vs. Shark! Eye-Gouging Scene! Ol’ Worm-Eye! What else could this be but the Lucio Fulci cult classic, ZOMBIE from 1979/1980 (or ZOMBI 2 or ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS or…)! In this special tribute episode, the guys talk all about those iconic moments and why Fulci’s film is a must-see for any zombie fan. It’s time to head to Matool, so grab your luggage, because “the boat can leave now. Tell the crew!”
Arnold and Scott welcome Stephen Romano of EIBON PRESS to discuss the new line of prestige limited edition FULCI COMICS launching in June that will include adaptations of classic Fulci fare like ZOMBIE, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, and much more, including plans to take those terrifying tales far beyond the screen!
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