(THE NIGHTS OF TERROR, ZOMBIE 3)
Directed by Andrea Bianchi
Produced by Gabriele Crisanti
Written by Piero Regnoli
Cast: Peter Bark, Renato Barbieri, Roberto Caporali, Maria Angela Giordano, Antonella Antinori & Simone Mattioli
1980/85 mins/Color/2.0 Dolby Surround
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/Italy/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Media Blasters/Shriek Show DVD
This epic film starts with Professor Ayres (Barbieri), a beared archaeologist, doing research in a catacomb. He is about to remove a carved stone from a wall. He seems to have make a stunning discovery but before he can live to tell others about it he is attacked by an horde of flesh eating zombies... at one time he even tries to be friend with them (!) but not surprisingly ends up dead... then again, zombies aren't really known to be negociators aren't they?!
We are now taken outside where a group of friends are gathering themselves to a villa in the deep countryside for a weekend of debauchery. George (Caporali), his wife Evelyn (Giordano) and their incestuous son Michael (played by Bark who's supposedly a kid but looks more a "Mini-me" version of Dario Argento!) are the first to arrived. Leslie (Antinori) and her boyfriend James (Mattioli) are soon to follow.
It doesn't take long for the couples to have some "fun" and it takes even less time for the Etruscan decaying maggot-and-worm ridden zombies to kill everyone. Even though this film was made due to the immense success of George A. Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD and Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE, the living dead in BURIAL GROUND a looking more like the ones in Amando De Ossorio's Blind Dead serie.
While this film is no masterpiece it by by far one of the coolest, oddess and funniest Italian zombie film ever. Bianchi's mix of horror and sex made this oddity more interesting then it has any rights to be. We get some of the funniest line in movie history. One is when little Michael express his feeling for his mom: "When I was a baby I loved your breasts so much, mama." Later on the film he literally feeds on them! There's also the hilarious: "You look just like a little whore, but i like that."
Everyone in the cast is over acting, making useless huge facial expressions, clearing away any seriousness the film could have hoped for. Bianchi's direction is rather poor and the film lack enormously of a good pacing... even at only 85 minutes it seems like it goes on forever!
The film is also quite gory with a servant girl getting her head decapitated by a scythe, a woman getting her face pulled in a broken window, the legendary breast-ripping i've talked above and a crucifixion. Another thing the film really has for it is Peter Bark... once you'll see his ugly mug onscreen you won't be able to stop yourself from laughing! The poor guy was only 16 when the film was made, they used him 'cause it wasn't allowed in Italy to have a child in a horror/porno flick. Along with everyone's little blond bastard that is Giovanni (Bob) Frezza, Bark gives the performance of a lifetime!
Shriek Show's edition present the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and it is enhanced for 16x9 television. Even though the colors are a little too soft, the image looks good. There is no sign of artifacts or compression. This is surely the best this film will ever look anyway. The 2.0 Dolby Surround audio track sounds good. Its nothing spectacular but it gives the film all the audiophonic atmosphere it needs making the score all the more interesting.
We get a couple of extras; first off is an interview with the producer, Gabriele Crisanti, who recalls a lot about the film but simply doesn't seem to care for the interview. Maria Angela Giordano is also interviewed and seems very enthusiastic about the film and the whole horror movie genre. There's the theatrical trailer as THE NIGHTS OF TERROR, 'Gallery of the Undead' features lots of cool artwork from posters,VHS, lobby cards and promo booklet for the film from around the world. We also get trailers for other films released on DVD by Shriek Show; ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST, HOUSE BY THE EDGE OF THE PARK, SPASMO, EATEN ALIVE. The film is separated in 14 chapters, the menus are static but with some background music for the main one, the disc comes in a keep case with a nice 4 pages booklet.
Bianchi's film has been released on DVD many times already, in Italy as LE NOTTI DEL TERRORE, in Holland as ZOMBIE 3 and in the UK by Vipco as ZOMBIE DEAD (which you should avoid at all cost!). Only the US and Italian edition feature an anamorphic transfer. And surprisingly all editions are missing 4 seconds of footage that were present in a French VHS from ages ago!
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2004. ©
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