Zombie Holocaust film poster
|Directed by||Marino Girolami|
|Music by||Nico Fidenco|
|Edited by||Alberto Moriani|
In New York City a hospital worker is found to have been devouring bodies in the morgue. Morgue assistant and anthropology expert Lori (Alexandra Delli Colli) discovers he was from the Asian Molucca islands where she grew up. Dr. Peter Chandler (Ian McCulloch) investigates, and he and Lori discover that similar corpse mutilations have occurred in other city hospitals, where immigrants from this region are working.
Peter leads an expedition to the islands to investigate, where he liaises with Doctor Obrero. Included are his assistant George, George’s eager journalist girlfriend Susan, Lori, local boatsman Molotto assigned by Obrero, and three guides. The crew are hunted by cannibals and zombies, the latter created by the sinister Doctor Obrero who is experimenting with corpses.
Lori is accepted as queen of the cannibals, and sends them off against the mad scientist and his zombie army.
- Ian McCulloch as Dr. Peter Chandler
- Alexandra Delli Colli as Lori Ridgeway
- Sherry Buchanan as Susan Kelly
- Peter O’Neal as George Harper
- Donald O’Brien as Dr. Obrero/Dr. Butcher (US version)
- Dakar as Molotto
- Walter Patriarca as Dr. Dreylock
Following the success of Zombi 2 (1979) and Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977), producer Fabrizio De Angelis came up with the idea of cashing in on both films’ subjects at the same time. He reused the basic story of Zombi 2 and added elements of cannibal films to come up with Zombie Holocaust. The film depicted zombies and cannibals clashing on a south-east Asian island. The zombies of this film physically resemble those of Zombi 2 but they do not consume flesh, being more in line with the zombies from Haitian folklore. In this film, it is the island native people that hunt, kill, and consume humans.
Zombi Holocaust was re-edited for U.S. release as Doctor Butcher, M.D. This version contained a 2½ minute sequence from an unfinished American film that was to be called Tales That’ll Tear Your Heart Out, and a different music score. Certain scenes were also re-edited for pacing reasons. This version also contains a 5 minute sequence presented on Shriek Show’s DVD as a deleted scene. The deleted scene also appears in certain foreign prints, one of which runs 86 minutes.
The DVD was released on May 21, 2002, by Shriek Show. It can be purchased separately or in a triple feature package. The Zombie Pack, Vol. 2 contains Zombie Holocaust, Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, and Flesheater. It was released on Blu-ray for the first time by Shriek Show on June 28, 2011, in the US.
A new US edition containing both cuts will arrive on DVD and Blu-ray from Severin Films on July 26th, 2016.
The film was released uncut on UK DVD and VHS on January 29, 2001, by Stonevision. It was reissued on the Dead of Night label in 2004 and again in 2010 by Beyond Terror. A Blu-ray edition was released by 88 Films as part of their Italian Collection line on July 20th, 2015.
In The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, academic Peter Dendle wrote, “Some of the gore effects are quite good, but other than that the movie is a stock accumulation of familiar motifs.” Bloody Disgusting rated it 5/5 stars and recommended it to fans of Italian gore films.