‘Zombie Holocaust‘ is another slice of Italian zombie craziness for the early 1980s. The film was directed by Marino Girolami, and starred Italian zombie favorite Ian McCulloch.
This is another one of those horror films that has had a number of titles and over the world it has also been released as ‘Zombi Holocaust‘, ‘Zombie 3‘ and ‘Doctor Butcher, M.D‘.
Riding alongside other video nasties of the era, this film throws everything at the viewer; claustrophobic jungles, blood and guts, zombies, and cannibals….in fact to be honest, this is more of a cannibal film than a pure zombie film, and it is the cannibals that actually provide the greater danger and consume the flesh in this movie.
The soundtrack was composed by Italian movie soundtrack maestro Nico Fidenco.
Nico Fidenco was born in Rome in 1933, and found early fame as a singer. Hi real name was Domenico Colarossi, but he adopted Nico Fidenco as his stage and performing name. He went on to score a number of films during his career including exploitation movies like ‘Porno Holocaust‘, ‘Black Emanuelle‘, and ‘Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals‘.
In contrast to the sleazy and gory action on the screen, the soundtrack to ‘Zombie Holocaust‘ is a thing of beauty and great depth, with captivating musicianship on display. It is a constant amazement to us that many of these Italian horror films that were churned out so quickly and cheaply, managed to give such free-reign and creative independence for some composers to create such fantastic soundtracks that would stand up on their own. And let’s face it, some of these soundtracks were better than the films and have aged far more gracefully.
Despite being wonderful, there is a touch of ‘recycling’ about this soundtrack as Nico Fidenco revisited and used many of the musical signatures and rhythms from his previous soundtrack for ‘Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals‘ (1977).
The soundtrack is a rich blend of electronic/synthesizer tracks, experimental electronics, soaring acoustic and orchestral numbers with tinges of Spaghetti Western soundtracks, frenetic drumming coupled with woodwind instruments, and chants and manipulated wordless vocals. This eclectic blend is skillfully woven together to create a soundtrack that is unique, richly textured, and one that can stand side by side with the best works of other great Italian soundtrack composers.
The film opens with the track called ‘Fascinating Horror’ which features a dark synthesizer that drones and growls as a slow burning electronic beat gets louder and more prominent. It manages to sound totally modern and wouldn’t be out of place or raise any eyebrows if a DJ dropped into the middle of their club set. Listen to it below.
Nico Fidenco – Fascinating Horror
The theme for the film (which was also used in the ‘Black Emanuelle‘ series) is another standout track from the score. It is featured part-way through the movie and also during the end credits and it is a sumptuous piece of music that features soaring, wordless vocals. It is this track, more than any other on the soundtrack, that reveals the Italian heritage – one listen to this, and even the most casual fan would be able to pin this down as an Italian film soundtrack and hazard a pretty accurate guess at the era. It could easily stand next to any of the best Ennio Morricone work and not look out of place. Listen to it below:
Nico Fidenco ‘Theme from Zombi Holocaust’ (aka ‘Make Love on the Wing’):
Tracks like this are what Dangermouse tried to capture and pay homage to in his ‘Rome’ project with Daniele Luppi (Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk) where they created a soundtrack for a fictional film, in the style of Morricone and the great Spaghetti Western soundtrack composers of the 70s and 80s.
Listen to more from the Zombie Holocaust soundtrack in the playlist below:
Over the years there have been a number of releases that have made large portions of the soundtrack available, but on the whole the soundtrack has had a potted release history and fans have only recently been treated to a dedicated release that brings together all 29 tracks that Fidenco made for it.
The soundtrack was released in 1996 on the German label called Lucertola Media, which paired some of the tracks from the film with tracks from Fidenco’s soundtrack for ‘Emanuelle E Gli Ultimi Cannibali‘. The release was titled ‘Emanuelle E Gli Ultimi Cannibali / Zombi Holocaust’ and was released on CD only, which is now out of print.
A more recent release in 2014 on the Beat Records Company compiled 30 tracks on to one CD release, and the artwork and track listing can be seen below.
1 Fascinating Horror 2:05
2 Make Love On The Wing 4:02
3 Fascinating Horror 2:39
4 From The Beyond 1:40
5 Living In The Past 1:47
6 A Dive Into The Past 2:02
7 Living In The Future 0:46
8 The Magic Is In Progress 1:36
9 Dee Doom Bee Boom 1:42
10 Resurrection 3:00
11 Make Love On The Wing 2:20
12 A Dive Into The Past 4:13
13 Resurrection 1:36
14 A Dive Into The Past 2:31
15 From Another World 0:45
16 A Dive Into The Past 2:18
17 The Magic Is In Progress 1:22
18 A Dive Into The Past 1:59
19 Zombie Parade 1:13
20 From The Beyond 1:21
21 A Dive Into The Past 0:52
22 From The Beyond 2:32
23 Living In The Past 1:34
24 From The Beyond 2:25
25 Make Love On The Wing 2:03
26 From The Beyond 2:10
27 Zombie Parade 1:50
28 From The Beyond 3:16
29 Fascinating Horror 2:06
30 A Dive Into The Past 4:12
The definitive release of the soundtrack came in 2015 from Death Waltz Records who pressed a limited edition vinyl release that featured new artwork by Corlen Kruger and had extensive sleeve-notes by Ian McCulloch, Stephen Thrower & Fabio Bambini.
Check the artwork below for the Death Waltz release of ‘Zombi Holocaust’:
Buy Zombie Holocaust soundtrack at Amazon
See more soundtracks by Nico Fidenco at Amazon.com
See more soundtracks by Nico Fidenco at Amazon.co.uk
Watch Zombie Holocaust at The Zombie Site