Zombi 2 is considered one of the classic, early zombie films, and also one of Lucio Fulci's more notable works, but after viewing it I could not tell you why. It does have many of Fulci's trademarks, like a suitable level of gore and characters who stand around waiting to get killed, when they could easily escape their deaths. These devices may have worked in The Beyond, which was a random but unsettling film, but they're not enough to rescue this steaming lavatory trip.
***SPOILERS FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE***
With the exception of a surreal underwater scene in which a topless diver is assaulted by a zombie, which then goes hand to hand against a shark...the first hour of this film is a complete fucking waste of time. There is nothing entertaining going on. Boat floats into New York City, with a zombie on board, which proceeds to bite a local cop and begin the infestation of the city...which we do not see...until one scene at the very end that shows a line of zombies crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. The rest of the film is based around a woman who travels to the island of Matool to find her father, a researcher. On the way, she meets up with some Nordic looking Italian dudes and beautiful women who are our zombie fodder.
After an hour of dull exposition and character development that went absolutely nowhere for me, I was finally treated to some zombies and death. There's a memorable scene where a woman gets her eye impaled. Most of the other deaths involve the characters standing there while a zombie bites them, but there are a few gruesome moments, and the makeup is pretty good in true Fulci style. Then again, there are other deaths which lack any real visceral impact, so the last half hour is truly a mixed bag.
One highlight of the film is the soundtrack of Fabio Frizzi, with some creepy synthesizer work that is a characteristic of most memorable Italian horror of its day. It really pops out at you, especially when we finally cut to the chase and Matool 'comes alive' with all its zombies. Though I tend to loathe 99% of all horror remakes, this film has a plot which might be well served by a revisitation. Or perhaps just a new, better film with a similar script. This is not one of the better Fulci films I've seen, frustrating in the way I felt about City of the Living Dead (though that had some admittedly creepy scenes). I'd recommend The Beyond or perhaps House by the Cemetery over this.
Verdict: Fail [4/10]