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L'Isola dei Morti Viventi

Island of the Living Dead

USA 2006
produced by
Giovanni Paolucci for Perla Nera/Film Export Group
directed by Bruno Mattei (as Vincent Dawn)
starring Yvette Yzon, Alvin Anson, Gaetano Russo, Ydalia Suarez, Jim Gaines, Miguel Franco, Thomas Wallwort
story by Antonio Tentori, screenplay by Antonio Tentori, Bruno Mattei, Giovanni Paolucci, music by Flipper, special effects makeup by Cecille S. Baun, special effects by Dick S.Domingo

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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On their quest to find the sunken treasure of the Natividad, a group of treasure hunters reach an uncharted island - and soon find themselves at the mercy of zombies, zombies who like nothing better than to kill and eat them. Turns out the castle on the island has been a secret breeding place for black magic some 400 years ago, and has eventually been overrun by zombies. And with our treasure hunters soon enough losing their boat in an explosion, guess whom the zombies intend to eat next?

On the plus side of course, our heroes find the treasure of the Natividad, but that only leads to more complications because now their mind is clouded by the gold and makes it more difficult for them to make up an escape plan. It takes our treasure hunters quite a bit to decide to build a raft and try and make it off the island, and in the meantime they are killed off one by one, until only Sharon (Yvette Yzon) and Kirk (Gaetano Russo) are left alive, but while Sharon does her best to blow the place to kingdom comes before their escape, Kirk starts to act weird, and eventually it turns out he has already been taken over by the zombies. Sharon manages to fight him off though and make it off the island only just.

Later, Sharon's raft is found on the open sea, but she's already dead (don't ask why), only to return as a zombie ...


To a degree, Island of the Living Dead is a perfect throwback to Italian zombie movies from the early 1980's, it's weak on story, excessive in gore, most of its cast are just cannonfodder, and the whole thing is predictable as hell - especially Lucio Fulci's Zombie Flesh Eaters readily comes to mind (though there are also hints of the Blind Dead-films and a hommage to Night of the Living Dead's graveyard scene). But while Island of the Living Dead is strongly reminiscent of these films of old, I would not exactly call it an hommage film, for this it lacks any and all insight into the genre, any reflectiveness. Actually, Island of the Living Dead is nothing more than just another zombie flick, differing surprisingly little from the films of the early 1980's (of which director Bruno Mattei has made some), and featuring some especially silly scenes, like a flamenco dancing zombie, a zombie having a nice quiet chat with one of our treasure hunters, or a zombie hiding in a treasure chest amidst tons of gold coins. Well, at least Bruno Mattei has assembled one of the better casts he has ever worked with, and Yvette Yzon, almost a regular in his later films, makes a solid lead.

In all, if you're into zombies, you'll probably not hate this film, but you'll probably not love it, either.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.


There's No Such Thing as Zombies
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry


directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke


now streaming at


Amazon UK





Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from