Fresh from the Planet: Mattei-sterpieces!

We may not have a bag check here anymore, but we can still make sure you check your brain at the door! Looking for some good ol’ mindless entertainment? Forbidden Planet has got your back… as usual.

You may have noticed our movie section has expanded like The Blob on a good day. We’ve seriously upped our game and focused our selection on some of the sleaziest cult, horror, kung-fu and exploitation available. A browse through our shelves of films is like a walk down 42nd St. during it’s pre-Disney Grindhouse heyday.

But with so much to choose from, what should you watch? Or, better yet, what should you avoid? Well that depends entirely on your perspective. Personally, when someone tells me they’ve “seen the worst movie ever” though, my interest is piqued.

I mean how could anything be worse than BLOODSUCKING NAZI ZOMBIES, MAC and ME, or SHOWGIRLS2 2? Okay, I do like all of those movies and, if I was to make a list of worst movies, it would probably read more like IMDB’s highest rated films. Tastes vary and art is relative, so there is no definite best or worst in any of this. But if, let’s say, “the best of the worst” sounds right up your alley then, bud, have we got some killer trash in just for you!

So lets dig into two films by super-schlockmeister, Bruno Mattei! To give you a reasonable summary of a man with such a vast body of work in a single Weekly Planet column would be impossible. So I’ll give you the quick, cheapie version – the Mattei version, if you will.

Born in Italy to a father who owned an editing studio, a future in film was inevitable for Mattei. He has worked on over 200 films in every capacity from editing to directing. My guess is most of you can’t even name one of them but, in the same turn, I probably couldn’t name a single Oscar winner from the past 10 years.

His work may not always be original but its usually entertaining. Put it this way, his films are so inept he’s been dubbed “the Italian Ed Wood”. We unfortunately lost this underachieving auteur in 2007 but, hot damn, did he make sure to go out with a bang!

Mattei wraps up his career with a duo of zany zombie flicks that are now available in America (and right here at FP) for the first time ever thanks to the mentally ill minds at Intervision. Filmed back to back in the Philippines, ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD and its sequel, ZOMBIES THE BEGINNING, are best viewed back to back, if you can handle that much Mattei at once!

Just like Halloween, Back To The Future or Army of Darkness, Zombies the Beginning picks up exactly where Island of the Living Dead leaves you off. Now take a second and reflect on that… Zombies the BEGINNING takes place right AFTER Island of the Living Dead, if that doesn’t help set the stage for what we’re working with here just stop… no seriously… STOP READING.

For those of you still with us, giving you any kind of plot descriptions would be hard for even Mattei himself, so let me just run down a list of the highlights… of both films. Like I’m really gonna waste my time telling you what scene is from which film. That my friend, you will have to find out on your own.

If you drop these discs into your player, you will be treated to inept pirates, characters named after their t-shirt designs, underachieving overdubs, head-shots gorelore, alien abortions, stupid SWAT teams, freaky flambéd friends, and a bevy of zombies. And as for zombies, well… get fanged zombies, regenerating zombies, voodoo zombies, kung-fu zombies, conquistador zombies, you get the point.

Mattei didn’t mind homage. Maybe that’s too nice… he straight up rips off scenes from Aliens, Robocop, and Fulci’s Zombie. I’m sure there are even more, but I was having a hard time getting my brain to function during most of what I was watching.

So if you’re looking for some brainless zombie fun, snag these two Mattei-sterpieces from our ever growing selection of schlock.

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