Following the success of Zombie-Flesh Eaters (aka. Zombi II) in 1979 and Joe D'Amatoe's Emmanuelle and the last cannibals in 1977 , producer Fabrizio De Angelis came up with the idea of cashing in on the subjects at the same time. By taking the basic plot of Zombi II and adding elements of cannibal films, Zombie Holocaust - a film about zombies and cannibals clashing on a south-east Asian island - was born.
The film starts off in New York, where a hospital worker is found to have been devouring bodies in the morgue. It turns out that he was originally a native of one of the Asian Molucca islands, and similar corpse mutilations have occurred in other city hospitals, where immigrants from this region are also working.Led by Dr. Peter Chandler (Ian McCulloch), an expedition is organized to the islands to find out the reason behind the terrible happenings. However, on the Moluccas (East Indies) the crew are soon hunted by cannibals and zombies, the latter being created by the sinister Doctor O'Brien who is experimenting with corpses. Lori (Alexandra Delli Colli), an attractive lady in the expedition team, is accepted as queen of the cannibals, and sends them off against the mad scientist and his zombie army.
Similarities to Zombi II
- Zombie Holocaust uses Zombi II cast members (most notably Ian McCulloch and Dakkar) in nearly identical roles.
- Both movies are set in New York and on a tropical island location.
- In both movies, a group of people sets off to a tropical island where a mad scientist is experimenting on resurrecting the dead.
- The climax in both movies features the zombies perishing in a hospital/church fire.
- Some shooting locations are the same (especially the church).
- Zombie Holocaust uses footage from Zombi II, like the burning church and the camera panning across the lake with the landrover driving along the side of it.
- In some markets, Zombie Holocaust was released as Zombie 3.
- Both movies feature a main character named Peter.
- Ian McCulloch - Dr. Peter Chandler
- Alexandra Cole (Delli Colli) - Lori Ridgeway
- Sherry Buchanan - Susan Kelly
- Peter O'Neal - George Harper
- Donald O'Brien - Dr. Obrero/Dr. Butcher (US version)
- Dakkar - Molotto
- Walter Patriarca - Dr. Dreylock
The DVD was release on May 21, 2002 by Shriek Show. It can be purchased separately or in a triple feature package. The Zombie Pack, Vol. 2 contains Zombie Holocaust, Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, and Flesheater.