We all know by now that the cannibal-zombie apocalypse is nigh. Fortunately, the Italians have been preparing for this moment for decades, and they’ve created a wealth of emergency-preparedness videos to help us deal with the oncoming crisis.
June 3: Zombi 3 (1988) — Don’t worry about the title—like most Italian zombie films of the 1980s, the “3” is no indicator of this being the third in a series; you won’t have missed anything. Some scientists accidentally create cannibalistic zombies when they cremate the body of an infected terrorist, releasing the virus into the atmosphere over a small island in the Phillipines and leading to the age-old dilemma: try to find a cure or just wipe ’em all out? Directed mostly by Bruno Mattei. (Lucio Fulci was involved early on, but apparently bowed out due to illness.)
June 10: Nightmare City (1980) — When an aircraft is forced to make an emergency landing near the site of a radioactive spill, the passengers are transformed into ultraviolent, flesh-eating zombies who emerge from the hatch and set off on a feeding frenzy across the city. Directed by Umberto Lenzi.
June 17: Hell of the Living Dead (1981) — Another Bruno Mattei masterpiece! When a chemical leak at a remote research lab in Papua New Guinea transforms the staff into zombies with a taste for human flesh, the contagion spreads and threatens to overtake the rest of the world. (AKA Zombie Creeping Flesh and Night of the Zombies.)
June 24: Doctor Butcher, M.D. (1980) — OK, so this movie is better known as Zombie Holocaust, but come on — which title are you going to remember? (P.S.: The “M.D.” stands for “Medical Deviate.”Also, there is not a character named “Doctor Butcher” in this movie.) This is a total rip-off of Lucio Fulci’s Zombi II, so much so that it re-uses actors, shooting locations, makeup style, plot points, and even some footage from the earlier film.