BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Zombies: The Beginning (2007)

You have to give Bruno Mattei credit for sheer force of will. At a time when most filmmakers retire — he was 76 when making it and died the very same year — he was hitting. the Philippines and making a zombie movie on digital video when the rest of his Italian exploitation filmmaking contemporaries were dead, retired or no longer relevant.

Dr. Sharon Dimao (Yvette Yzon, who was also put through the Mattei ringer in the first film in Mattei’s zombie saga, Island of the Living Dead, as well as The Jail: The Women’s Hell; she’ll return to play this role again in Dustin Ferguson’s Hell of the Screaming Undead) has already survived one zombie attack and spent years recuperating in Buddhist temple, hiding from the bosses that fired her from the Tyler Corporation.

Oh, you didn’t realize that Mattei was going to turn a zombie movie into Aliens? Let me remind you that this is the very same man who turned an Aliens movie into Terminator 2 with Shocking Dark.

Somehow, a member of the company named Paul Barker convinces her to head back to the island, along with a team of mercenaries who get to use Goldberg’s entrance music when they fight the walking undead. Somehow, there are also zombie little people, which thrilled me to no end, along with a plot stolen from Resident Evil and actual footage lifted from Crimson Tide. As if that wasn’t enough, the poster is an exact Xerox of Fulci’s City of the Living Dead.

Sadly, this was Bruno’s last movie. Everyone has to die some time, but if anyone could have lived forever, making scumtastic movies that cashed in on the latest trend, I wish that it could have been Vincent Dawn.

Many people have been credited with saying “Talent borrows, genius steals.”

They were talking about Bruno.

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