Zombies: The Beginning (2007) (DVD Review)
Directed By: Bruno Mattei
Starring: Yvette Yzon, Alvin Anson, Paul Holme
Rated: UR/Region: 0/Widescreen/Number of disc: 1
Available from Intervision Picture Corp
For his final film, the late sleaze maestro Bruno Mattei – notorious director of MONDO CANNIBAL, RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR and HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD – delivers his ultimate over-the-top masterpiece: In this insane rip-off of ALIENS, Mattei (aka ‘Vincent Dawn’) packs the screen with shredding flesh, munching guts, exploding heads, undead births, borrowed footage, stolen plots, zombie midgets and more. Yvette Yzon (ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD), Alvin Anson (THE GREAT RAID) and Diana Croyston (THE JAIL: THE WOMEN’S HELL) star in this mind-blowing mash-up from the producer of IN THE LAND OF THE CANNIBALS, now presented uncut and uncensored for the first time ever in America!
You never do know what you are going to get with a Bruno Mattei film. This was one of the last two films he made before he sadly passed and while this one came first, it oddly stars the same lead and picks up where the one that technically follows next leaves off. I’m not sure what type of matrix stuff Bruno (going by Vincent Dawn again here) was running on here, but it is pretty odd, unless IMDB has the release order wrong, or maybe they both came out at the same time. Either way, while the other one was a none-stop “borrowing” (to put it nicely) of just about every zombie film you had ever seen before it, this one feels more like Aliens (Clearly, seeing how Bruno has even done this before), only with zombies. Perhaps it is more original in that way, unless I’m missing something here that I’m not aware of. It also seems to have a bigger budget than the other film as well, even if the film it self still seems just above video in the looks and quality, it at least a little more above video here than before. I give the movie credit for being interesting in spots, but I also think it drags a little too much as well in the start and middle, before having a pretty cool ending. I’ve always been told it is at least good to have a strong finish, but I’m not sure how much it works when what you have before is this weird and bizarre. Heck, one of the main themes for the movie is the very same theme music that former WCW and WWE World Champion Bill Goldberg use to have back in his WCW days.
Apparently this movie is famous (or infamous) for using stock footage of Crimson Tide! That’s an Italian trademark in film-making if you didn’t know. It is also a reason that some of these Italian films like this sadly can’t see the light of day, but that is how it goes. Just use what you can and just hope you don’t get sued! The film, as noted above, does do a whole heck of a lot that Aliens did and you can’t overlook that while watching, it is just too darn obvious to ignore. The movie really (REALLY!) gets weird in the finale (Hope he didn’t steal that idea as well). The movie already has some good gore and effects, but the ending is what makes you take notice overall. Does the film do enough until it gets to that point? Well, that might be a more complicated situation, because there are times when I did feel rather bored with the whole thing and just waiting for more blood, because up until the ending, that had been the only real highlight. You have zombies, you have a knock-off of Aliens, and you have a very strange ending. You probably shouldn’t expect anything other than weird from such the great director that is Bruno Mattei and if that is what you want, you will be happy to know that you get that and more here with this.
– Zombie Genisys – Featurette with Screenwriter Antonio Tentori
– Original Trailer