Eating Italian: The Italian Cannibal and Zombie Film, 1979-1980

The success of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead spawned several Italian imitators, some also hybridising with the domestic cannibal film. With this season we present a representative cross-section of these cannibal-zombie gut crunchers.

Buon appetito!

Zombie AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters

Lucio Fulci | Italy | 1979 | 91 minutes
A zombie is found aboard a boat off the New York coast which belongs to do a famous scientist. Peter West, a journalist, travels to the Antilles with Ann, the daughter of the scientist. When they arrive at Matul Island, they find Dr. Menard, and discover a terrifying disease which is turning the islanders into horrifying zombies which devour human flesh….


Zombie Holocaust AKA Doctor Butcher MD (Medical Deviate)

Marino Girolami | Italy | 1980 | 84 minutes
The members of an expedition in search for the last faithful of Kito, the cannibal god, land on a small island in the East Indies and are soon hunted by cannibals and zombies…

Zombie Holocaust

Cannibal Apocalypse

Antonio Margheriti | Italy | 1980 | 96 minutes
Drawing upon Dawn of the Dead and Apocalypse Now, Margheriti’s film neatly inverts the dynamics of the former film by having four cannibals as the audience identification figures and the ones being pursued by the mass of normal humans.

Cannibal Apocalypse

Nightmare City

Umberto Lenzi | Italy/Spain | 1980 | 92 minutes
An airplane exposed to radiation lands, and blood drinking zombies emerge armed with knives, guns and teeth! They go on a rampage slicing, dicing, and biting their way across the city.

Zombie Creeping Flesh

Zombie Creeping Flesh AKA Hell of the Living Dead

Bruno Mattei | Italy/Spain | 1980 |101 minutes
Directed under the pseudonym Vincent Dawn, partially scored with Goblin cues, featuring a SWAT team, and making extensive use of poorly matched stock footage, this film presents the cannibal-zombie film cannibalising itself.