And that's exactly what you get with Zombie Holocaust. It's the Nisa version of Zombie Flesh Eaters. That's not to say that it's without its merits. There are some half decent gore moments, the highlight is a zombie being given a nice, close shave with an outboard motor. And due to the cannibal contingent, there has to be a bamboo type trap spike incident followed by disembowelment and a spot of light lunch. Although, I was very grateful that there was no animal cruelty, unlike other cannibal films of the time.
Ian McCulloch isn't given much to do, but is still a joy to watch. But the top performance has to be by Donald O'Brien as the mad doctor. He delivers some absolute pearlers, all with a straight face. A straight face that is hamming it up like no-one's business, but a straight face nonetheless. Watch the trailer for some of his words of wisdom. As for Alexandra Delli Colli, she gets subjects to some severe Barbie-ism of the privities. (As did Linnea Quiggley in The Return of the Living Dead.)
In fact the American trailer, where the film's title was Dr. Butcher M.D., is an absolute cracker. It bears little relation to the film but if I hadn't already seen the film, this trailer would convince me. One of my favourite trailers ever.
The zombies are of a similar ilk to the early Fulci zombies, crusty and no doubt stinky too. They manage to reach iconic status in parts. At one point the appearance of the zombies scare away all of the cannibals. And you'd be forgiven for thinking that these zombies were going to be pretty nasty if cannibals leg it from them. Sadly, they are used more as low quality henchmen rather than proper zombies, their flesh eating powers reduced to a spine-tingling ability to link arms with our hero and restrain him. It's as if they've been on a manual handling course. Great.
Nowhere near as good as Zombie Flesh Eaters then, and nowhere near as well made. But it's enjoyable enough. It just falls a bit short of the initial promise of cannibals vs zombies. Mid-table zombie fodder. But great trailer.
If you like this you could also try:
Zombie Flesh Eaters, Nightmare City.