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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Zombie 4: After Death (Blu-ray)
Zombie 4: After Death (Blu-ray)
Severin // Unrated // May 29, 2018 // Region A
List Price: $34.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted August 7, 2018 | E-mail the Author
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Zombie 4: After Death:

Claudio Fragasso had finally gotten the chance to direct his own zombie movie, free from the restraints of working with the likes of Lucio Fulci and Bruno Mattei. He and his wife, screenwriter Rosella Drudi were going to knock it out of the park with action-zombies, runners who could talk and shoot guns. (They claim to be the originators of the running-zombie genre, and those who'd ascribe that feat to Umberto Lenzi and his Nightmare City creeps will need to get into a war of semantics, I guess.) At any rate, Fragasso delivered ... something ... called After Death, which was packaged as a sequel to Zombie 3, which is a disservice in that the two movies share only the similarities of being filmed in the Phillipines, and not being very good.

The zombies are running right out the gate, metaphorically, as a pulsing disco-samba soundtrack finds a displaced voodoo priest opening a door to hell or something, the best way to get his funk-dancing female assistant in a demonic family way. (Not really pregnant, but she does get possessed, which isn't really zombification, but what do I know?) Some white folks are there exploring or investigating, with much talk about how the priest had established a 'colony of men and women' for some nefarious reason, when they encounter the now possessed woman. We know she's possessed because she spits up black goo with alarming regularity. At any rate, they become so terrified that the dude with the machine gun yells "c'mon, let's kill her" before basically dropping his gun and throwing himself into her waiting arms. Which is OK because the action enables her to pluck out his eye and rip off his face in wonderful detail.

But that's where the fun ends, as we'll need to wait for the final reel to see any more fun, fun carnage. (Which is not to say there isn't a whole lot of machine gun shooting and zombie biting going on, it's just that most of the bites rely on zombies pressing their mouths against someone's neck while a person off-screen pumps a bunch of blood into the general vicinity.)

Somehow the movie rolls on for another plotless hour or so, in this fashion: Zombie/demons appear. Zombie/demons spit out large quantities of black goo. Zombies get shot. Rinse and repeat. The frantic action attempts to balance the ineptitude, tedium and lack of logic on display, but as the final reel of gore finally washes in to make up for it, veteran horror fans may find it's too little, too late.

Exemplary of the justifiably maligned Filipino-Zombie-Action sub-genre, Zombie 4: After Death bookends tedious zombies-versus-mercenaries set-pieces and confusing mania with some nice, over-the-top gore, in this nice Severin Films Blu-ray release. The rewards won't outweigh the pain for most horror or action fans, but director Claudio Fragasso's whacked-out passion piece will serve nicely for you maniacs who need to see the best version of every nutso vintage sleaze-festival. We'll weigh both sides and pronounce this release worthy if you want to Rent It, (although the hardcore among you may want to add it to your shelf).


The DVD

Video:
Severin delivers a 1.85:1 ratio, AVC encoded 1080p transfer on this delightful Blu-ray. This woebegone movie looks woebegone on your screen, with some damage here and there, a whole lot of grain, a generally soft image, and merely functional detail levels. Colors are garish at times, and murky at others, and overall, the presentation is nothing to write home about, though likely as good as it gets, or deserves. One hopes viewers aren't expecting reference quality, but beware all the same.

Sound:
Your trusty DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono mix does what it has to do, presenting the score and sound effects with punch, and delivering clear and clean dialog that barely goes along with the mouths that are attempting to enunciate.

Extras:
Severin packs this release with the usual bunch of interviews, including director Claudio Fragasso and Rosella Drudi defending the film for 30 minutes. Actor Chuck Peyton (AKA Jeff Stryker from his porn days) gets 9 minutes to talk about zombies and porn. (Who doesn't love zombies and porn?) Actress Candace Daly delivers a poignant 2 minutes of an archival interview, while 3-minutes of Behind The Scenes footage, the Trailer and, most notably, the Soundtrack CD round out the package.

Final Thoughts:
Exemplary of the justifiably maligned Filipino-Zombie-Action sub-genre, Zombie 4: After Death bookends tedious zombies-versus-mercenaries set-pieces and confusing mania with some nice, over-the-top gore, in this nice Severin Films Blu-ray release. The rewards won't outweigh the pain for most horror or action fans, but director Claudio Fragasso's whacked-out passion piece will serve nicely for you maniacs who need to see the best version of every nutso vintage sleaze-festival. We'll weigh both sides and pronounce this release worthy if you want to Rent It, (although the hardcore among you may want to add it to your shelf).

- Kurt Dahlke

~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com

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