My Favorite Zombie: Zombie vs. Shark: Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2 Genius

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To celebrate the premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC this Sunday, we here at Techland will be picking out our favorite formerly deceased monsters across comics, games, film and other media. The zombie myth’s been around for centuries and has been reinterpreted almost as much as vampire lore. At their most basic, though, zombies represent us and everything that can go wrong (or right?) on the dark side of human nature. We’ll be trying to show off some of the most intriguing examples of that symbolism as My Favorite Zombie rolls out.

See everyone else’s favorite zombies here.

I guess you could say it was a bit of a knock-off. Italian horror filmmaker Lucio Fulci created Zombi 2 as an unauthorized sequel to Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead, or Zombi, as it was known in Italy. You’ll know it because of the shark.

Remembered for some top-notch gore gags, Zombi 2 subscribes to the Romero lore of zombism: Definitely dead. Definitely decomposing. Definitely trying to eat you for lunch. Aside from a few heightened “ick”s or “eek”s, the film isn’t far superior to Romero, though don’t misunderstand, it’s highly enjoyable. And though this is my “My Favorite Zombie” post, I have to admit that I’m not sure I have a favorite zombie. I’m not a fan of the genre because of the zombies themselves, but because of the psychological panic they incite in humans. Romero always says that zombie films aren’t about zombies, they’re about people. And he’s right. (More on See a Q&A with The Walking Dead’s Frank Darabont and Robert Kirkman)

I take pleasure in the chaos, in the lab rat maze because I like to compare notes with those being chase around by decaying corpses. It’s the ultimate ‘what would you do?’ scenario because of a terrorizing evil that doesn’t stop. Its desire to rip open your cranium is instinctive. … But back to the point.

Fulci also took the genre and pushed it. How disgusting can I make this? How daring can we be? And he nailed it during a fight sequence between a zombie and a real tiger shark. Rumor has it that on the day the scene was set to be shot, the actor on call didn’t appear, leaving the shark’s trainer to be make-upped and cast into the role of the shark-fighting undead. Is he a superior zombified creature in anyway? No. But he is in the water fighting a shark, and that in and of itself is a zombie moment that has made an impression.

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