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Zombie Holocaust

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    87
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Severin's release pleases cultists with content & quality yet faces mixed critiques.

    Zombie Holocaust 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    80
  • Severin Films' 4K release of Zombie Holocaust and Doctor Butcher M.D. offers a vivid yet gritty viewing experience, maintaining technical fidelity and enhanced details despite some source wear.

  • Audio
    80
  • Both films offer DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono tracks with clean dialogue and music, particularly noting Zombie Holocaust's fuller Italian version, despite a slight brightness in effects. Subtitles included.

  • Extra
    80
  • Severin's release includes a mix of 4K and HD features, enriched with interviews, tours, cheeky extras like a barf bag, reversing years of Italian horror film lore with exhaustive detail and nostalgia.

  • Movie
    67
  • Severin Films' release of Zombi Holocaust & Doctor Butcher M.D. in 1080 & 4K offers unique content & a collector's edition with matching gore and excitement.

    Video: 80

    Severin Films presents "Zombie Holocaust" and "Doctor Butcher M.D." with a meticulously crafted 4K UHD release, sourced from original vault elements discovered in Manhattan and Rome, offering an HEVC / H.265 encoded 2160p transfer that maintains the films' original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This release diverges from the 88 Films version, which was noted for being sourced from a 4K restoration of the original 2 perf Techniscope negative. Severin opts for a darker, grittier presentation that enhances the vintage, low-budget feel of these cult classics. While there's a marked improvement in terms of emulsion and print damage resolution over previous versions, this rendition comes with its own share of age-related wear, including scratches, nicks, and occasional image instability, especially noticeable in early scenes.

    The overall visual quality benefits substantially from the use of Dolby Vision HDR, ensuring that colors are rich yet not overly vivid, displaying a restraint that respects the films’ original aesthetic. This is particularly evident in day scenes set in NYC and specific segments such as the pit scene from "Doctor Butcher M.D.", which was painstakingly restored and integrated into "Zombie Holocaust". The darker presentation and grain field contribute to a heavily atmospheric experience that is both authentic and immersive. Despite the presence of film damage and wear, black levels are finely calibrated, enhancing night exteriors and contributing to a consistently engaging viewing experience that never falters, even when presenting damaged source material.

    The technical prowess of Severin Films is on full display with this release, showcasing an adept balancing act between honoring the original material and leveraging modern technology to optimize video quality. Bit rates remain steady, avoiding any compromise during complex scenes, with Dolby Vision HDR accentuating details without exacerbating the inherent signs of aging in the film elements. This release not only surpasses Severin’s previous efforts but also offers a compelling alternative to the 88 Films version, providing a distinct visual experience that will certainly appeal to both new audiences and devoted fans looking for an authentic representation of these horror cult classics.

    Audio: 80

    The audio component of the 4K UHD Blu-ray for "Zombie Holocaust" presents an interesting dichotomy between its Italian and English language versions, both of which are delivered in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono. The Italian track notably offers a more robust listening experience, particularly evident when indulging in Nico Fidenco's evocative and synth-heavy score. This nuanced auditory depth makes the Italian version a preferable choice for fans of Fidenco’s work, despite the English track's clear and understandable dialogue delivery, which benefits from the fact that primary actors, such as Ian McCullough, originally performed in English.

    However, when it comes to the overall audio presentation, including "Doctor Butcher M.D.," which only features an English DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono track, listeners can anticipate a uniformly decent quality across all versions. While these tracks won’t astound listeners in comparison to the visual enhancements of the 4K UHD format, especially considering their dubbed nature, both films' audio is commendably balanced. Dialogue clarity and music integration are handled with care, ensuring no aspect overwhelms the other. Furthermore, efforts have been made to significantly reduce any audio hiss, thereby providing a cleaner and more immersive listening experience.

    Optional English subtitles supplement these audio tracks well, enhancing accessibility for all viewers. Although some electronic effects may come across as somewhat bright and potentially overbearing in both language tracks, this minor quibble does not detract substantially from the overall quality. Whether choosing between the more full-bodied Italian track for its rich musical experience or opting for the solid and well-restored English track, viewers are assured of solid audio work throughout their viewing experience of "Zombie Holocaust.

    Extra: 80

    The extra presentation of the "Zombie Holocaust" 4K UHD Blu-ray offers a comprehensive delve into the making and legacy of this cult classic, courtesy of Severin Films. The special features skillfully weave a tapestry of niche cinema history, with standout elements including detailed interviews with key figures, such as Aquarius Releasing's Terry Levene and effects maestro Rosario Prestopino, alongside an insightful tour of New York filming locations led by Michael Gingold of Rue Morgue. The inclusion of unfinished anthology segments and an audio bonus featuring Ian McCullough highlight the diverse and eccentric supplementary materials. This release not only enhances the appreciation of "Zombie Holocaust" but also serves as a treasure trove for enthusiasts of Italian horror and exploitation cinema. The packaging includes a unique touch with a barf bag, accentuating the film's grindhouse allure.

    Extras included in this disc:

    Doctor Butcher M.D. (4K UHD)

    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Video Release Trailer
    • TV Spot

    Zombie Holocaust (4K UHD)

    • Trailer

    Doctor Butcher M.D. (1080)

    • Butchery & Ballyhoo
    • The Four Boroughs of Blood
    • Down on the Deuce
    • Tales That Tore Our Hearts Out
    • Roy Frumkes' Segment of Unfinished Anthology Film
    • The Butcher Mobile
    • Cutting Doctor Butcher
    • Illustrated Essay: Experiments with a Male Caucasian Brain (...and Other Memories of 42nd Street)
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Video Release Trailer
    • TV Spot

    Zombie Holocaust (1080)

    • Voodoo Man
    • Blood of the Zombies
    • Filmmaker Enzo G. Castellari Remembers His Father, Director Marino Girolami
    • Neurosurgery Italian Style
    • Sherry Holocaust
    • New York Filming Locations: 1980 & 2015
    • Audio Bonus: Ian McCullough Sings "Down By the River"
    • Trailer

    Movie: 67

    Severin Films' latest venture into the cult classic realm brings us a double dose of horror and exploitation with their release of "Zombie Holocaust" on 4K UHD Blu-ray. This edition, notably different from its Region B counterpart by 88 Films, presents both "Zombie Holocaust" and its American re-edit, "Doctor Butcher M.D." in stunning 1080 and 4K UHD formats. Fans of the genre will appreciate the care taken in distinguishing this release from its UK market predecessor, offering a fresh visual experience that does justice to the film's grisly and outrageous content. While each release boasts an impressive array of supplements, it's worth highlighting the exclusivity of their content, ensuring collectors have new material to dive into regardless of the version they own.

    "Zombie Holocaust" itself, a notorious blend of the cannibal and zombie subgenres, owes its existence to the success of earlier exploitative forays such as Lucio Fulci’s "Zombie" and Ruggero Deodato’s "Cannibal Holocaust." This 1980 film, released in the US in 1982 under the altered title "Doctor Butcher M.D.," offers an absurd yet entertaining narrative filled with the obligatory blood, gore, and over-the-top horror elements fans of the genre crave. The differences between both cuts are pronounced, not just in terms of edited footage but also in their musical scores, reflecting the regional adjustments made to better suit American audiences. While the filmmaking might be critiqued for its haphazard approach and narrative flimsiness, its unabashed reliance on gore and shock value, coupled with a newly restored infamous pit sequence by Severin, ensures a rollicking, if not entirely coherent, viewing experience.

    At the core of this release is an unapologetic celebration of exploitation cinema’s more outrageous moments. The seamless integration of cannibalistic islanders and mad science experiments gone awry punctuate a film experience that's as bewildering as it is enthralling. Severin Films not only delivers both cuts of this cult classic in superior quality but enhances the viewing experience with thoughtful additions like branded barf bags, acknowledging the film's gross-out appeal. With each version of the film nestled within a package that includes two BD66 4K feature discs and two BD50s for standard Blu-ray features and supplements, enthusiasts are treated to a comprehensive and immersive horror spectacle that stands as a testament to the enduring allure of genre excesses.

    Total: 87

    In the realm of horror and exploitation cinema, Severin Films' recent release of "Zombie Holocaust" and "Doctor Butcher M.D." on 4K UHD Blu-ray has certainly stirred the cauldron of fandom. This four-disc set not only offers the films in stunning 4K, embellishing the gore and grime characteristic of these cult classics but also includes a treasure trove of new and compelling special features. While having both versions of the film is a definitive advantage, inviting comparisons with prior releases, notably 88 Films' rendition, some aficionados might find the video quality to be slightly underwhelming in comparison. However, this release seems to distinguish itself with an array of outstanding supplementary materials, which might tip the scales for completists avid for an exhaustive collection.

    The restoration effort extends beyond mere visual enhancement, seemingly resurrecting the films from their grindhouse graves to thrive in the modern age of high-definition displays. The added dimensions of detail and texture to both "Zombie Holocaust" and "Doctor Butcher M.D." offer a new way to experience these quintessentially Italian horror flicks. Reminiscent of 42nd Street's glory days, the release caters to a specific taste - blending sleaze, gore, and that unmistakable Eurotrash flavor into something that's both nostalgically familiar and refreshingly new. Despite some criticisms regarding visual fidelity, especially in comparison to previous releases, this set stands out for its completeness and the quality of its additional content.

    In conclusion, while the Severin Films 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Zombie Holocaust" and "Doctor Butcher M.D." may not surpass every expectation, particularly regarding video presentation compared to its 88 Films counterpart, it undeniably compensates with its extensive supplementary features and the inclusion of both film versions. This release is tailored for the connoisseur who values depth and breadth in their collection. Offering a novel way to delve into these gory narratives with its meticulously curated extras and superior restoration, it's a recommended acquisition for enthusiasts eager to explore the depths of horror’s exploitation era in unparalleled detail.