The Merits of Sin: Zombies: The Beginning (2007) (Italy)

In May of 2007 the trash horror community lost a legend. Not as popular as Argento or as talented as Fulci, Bruno Mattei shuffled off this mortal coil without much fanfare. It’s understandable, the man was lacking in many of the qualities respected filmmakers exhibit. He excelled at rush jobs and ripoffs. The majority of his career is filled with forehead slapping failures and the kind of wonderful crap most low budget movie makers wish they could harness. But Mattei kept at it and the trash gods blessed him with a gift. As a lover of garbage cinema I can’t say that I enjoy any purveyor of crap more than Bruno Mattei (or any Italian filmmaker). Mattei passed away nearly half way through the year of 2007 but he had one last gift to share and it’s only fitting that his final film would be a cheap ass ripoff of the Hollywood blockbuster Aliens.

Marines on a budget

Picking up where 2006’s Island of the Living Dead left off, lone survivor Sharon (Yvette Yzon) is found floating on what remains of her blown up salvage ship. After a brief recovery in the hospital, she is forced to answer for the millions of dollars lost in the explosion of the ship and materials aboard by the Tyler INC company. Needless to say, her story about an island of flesh eating zombies is not being bought by anyone. She gets shit canned and becomes a monk, hoping she’ll find some inner peace and escape from her constant nightmares of her time on that awful island. Well, Tyler INC has other plans.

Prognosis negative

A big wig from the company tracks her down looking for her assistance. Apparently they checked up on her story, found it to be true and transported some of the living dead to a research facility on a different island. Now, they’ve lost contact with their team and could use the help of someone who has dealt with the undead before just in case shit has hit the fan. Hesitant at first, Sharon decides to confront her fears and join the rescue mission. Faster than you can say “copyright infringement” her, the Tyler INC company man and a team of soldiers are off to the island.

This won’t end well

If you’ve seen Aliens, you know where this is going. Just replace xenomorphs with some shoddy and lumpy zombies and you’ve hit the nail on the head. But you must remember, this is a Bruno Mattei film so you’re not just getting a by the numbers rip off. Instead you get mutant children, chest bursting babies, a giant mutant baby with an eyeball on its head, a possible Sasquatch cameo and (in the piece de resistance) instead of an alien queen we get an English speaking papier-mâché giant brain.

My Mattei is tingling

It almost seems purposeful just how bad the film is but if that were so I’d enjoy it a hell of a lot less. It’s the reason I’ve never really enjoyed Troma films. It’s different when the creators actually set out to fail. Charmless actors, low budget sfx, the shocking use of the Game of Thrones theme and dialogue written by a brain damaged monkey (when its not being outright stolen) all litter the run time. There is nothing wrong with loving the masters of their craft and Italy had a shit ton of experts. On the fringes of Italian cinema that rascal Mattei built himself a little home made of garbage and I’d much rather spend time there than anywhere else. Ciao Bruno. 7/10


2 thoughts on “The Merits of Sin: Zombies: The Beginning (2007) (Italy)

  1. I’ve never liked Troma films either. They try too hard to be edgy and campy. The best bad movies come about when fundamentally weird people try to make normal movies, not the other way around.

    Huh, I thought Island of the Living Dead was Mattei’s last movie. Didn’t he already make an Aliens rip-off in the 80s? Why do it again 20 years later? Why ask why?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For flicks with so much going on they just feel so damn empty. The Beginning was the sequel to Island and I love this one a whole bunch more than his weird Terminator/Aliens ripoff Shocking Dark. Money is money I suppose! I also love his rip off of The Mummy, The Tomb. Actual footage from The Mummy pops in on that one!

      Liked by 1 person

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