Embracing only the zombies-on-an-island theme of its predecessor, Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 takes the dubious film series in a different direction tonally, embracing all that is entertainingly awful about B-movies. When a power plant in South East Asia accidentally lets loose a toxic virus which inadvertently reanimates the dead, a group of American soldiers stationed nearby are the first to experience the effects. Not that they notice yet, they’re too busy chasing tourist skirt. After some brief cavorting and flirting, the zombies make their appearance, chasing the excitable young group to an abandoned hotel into which they barricade themselves, partly for safety, partly for privacy. A couple of ghoulish encounters chase them back out of the building, and soon all hope is lost... or is it?
Provided one knows what to expect from a film with such a title, it really is quite an entertaining jaunt. Despite the messy production details – credited director Lucio Fulci left the project early on, leaving comparative-hack Bruno Mattei to finish it – the story is pretty simple to follow, allowing the gruesome, imaginative effects to take focus (flying zombie head, anyone?). Acting, as expected, isn’t superb, but there are a few likable characters, in particular the suave radio DJ. The zombies themselves seem to have taken lead from Michael Jackson’s Thriller, shifting around the sets with uncharacteristic determination. And suspense-filled tension comes courtesy of a beautifully-dated soundtrack by one Stefano Mainetti, also responsible for scoring such classic titles as Ratman and The Convent of Sinners.