Retro Review: Zombie Holocaust (1980)

My feeble attempt in seeing 500 horror movies in the 365 days of 2019 has brought the cannibal horror films to my attention.  I have been burning through a few of them, Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferrox and Green Inferno.  But, I have been looking for more, my brother in-law turned me on to Nightmare City, which I plan to review as well, but I then found Zombie Holocaust on Shudder and said…what the hell?

I was told by Jared of the Horror Syndicate to check this one out as well, but he called it by another name, Doctor Butcher MD.  Which, I hate to say is a complete spoiler to the movie, but what are you going to do, because, guess what…it is also known as, Zombie 3, yep one of about 5 movies known as Zombie 3.


An anthropologist (Donald O’Brien) and her scientist friend (Ian McCulloch) visit an island of cannibals and find a mad doctor (Alexandra Delli Colli) creating zombies.

I mean, this kick I have been going on with Italian horror has been a strange one.  Zombie Holocaust ended up being a lot better than I expected.  It was nice seeing Ian McCulloch from Lucio Fulci’s Zombie and he was badass!  This movie even has a decent enough story with a bit of a twist, if you don’t go in knowing the alternate title, Doctor Butcher MD.  It is a mix of zombie film and cannibal film and super weird.  But that is what makes it great.

The effects were pretty great, some of the make-up effects were rough, but not terrible, not as bad as some of the masks in Burial Ground.  But the gore is there!  Honestly, the gore is there, the music is wonderful and damn it if the characters are not amazing.  One of favorites, takes me back to the show friends.  Let me exlplain, Chandler Bing, his father comes out as gay on Thankgiving and the pool boy, who his father is sleeping with offers more turkey and says, “More turkey mr. chandler” with an accent.  Molotto, the guide always calls Ian McCulloch’s character, Mr. Chandler…I Died when I heard it the first time.

I think Zombie Holocaust is right up there with most Italian horror, well the gore, nasty style, Argento and Bava are in a different place.  But, I could watch this with any of the Fulci zombie movies or really any of the cannibal movies.  Zombie Holocaust really kind has both worlds and can work as a bridge to both sub genres.

I think anyone who hasn’t seen Zombie Holocaust is missing out and guess what, it is on Shudder!  So, get finished reading this, watch the trailer, get on Shudder or go sign up and watch this movie!  You can also check out The Beyond, Zombie, Cannibal Ferox while you’re at it and make it an I-Talian horror night! has a rating of 5.3, which I thought was high for this type of movie

I give Zombie Holocaust a rating of 6.7, I dig it!


About Ray Marek III 697 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)