*** ½ Out of 5
Tagline- He’s a Depraved, Homicidal Killer and He Makes House Calls!
Release Date- March 28th, 1980
Running Time- 84-Minutes
Screenplay- Romano Scandariato
Director- Marino Girolami (as Frank Martin)
Starring- Ian McCulloch, Alexandra Delli Colli, Sherry Buchanan, Peter O’Neal, Dakar and Donald O’Brien as Dr. Obrero
Released in 1980 in Italy and the States in 1982, Dr. Butcher M.D. goes under quite a few different titles including Zombi 3 to make it seem like a sequel to Fulci’s Zombi 2, which was given that title so people would think it was a sequel to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, which was titled Zombi in Italy and Dr. Butcher also goes under the title Zombie Holocaust, which has become the more common title for the movie. If anyone has seen the trailer for Dr. Butcher it makes it seem like a twisted doctor is stalking the streets of New York killing people and taking their body parts and the poster art even dubs him a rapist and there is no rape scene in the film and no crazy doctor stalking the streets of New York, talk about a very mis-leading poster and trailer. The trailer just might be the most misleading trailer ever created for a film or at least from what I’ve seen it sure is. I suppose if the movie has no real plot and you have no idea how to market the movie just make things up as you go along and just throw on any tagline and create one of the most misleading advertisements for any film.
Zombie Holocaust starts off in New York, but for the majority of the running time the setting is the same as Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2 and even uses some of the same sets. At the time zombie flicks were popular and cannibal flicks were semi popular; the same year as Zombie Holocaust came out Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust was released, but there were still quite a few popular cannibal themed movies such as Lenzi’s Man From Deep River and Ruggero Deodato’s Jungle Holocaust so Dr. Butcher/Zombie Holocaust mixes both zombies and cannibal tribes and the mad doctor in for good measure and we get one of the ultimate so bad its good movies. Dr. Butcher is the more fitting title since the zombies play a rather small role in the film and don’t show up until the 50-minute mark and none of the deaths in the film are by the zombies; they just sort of show up and make funny noises and scare off the cannibals.
The script by Romano Scandariato is filled with silly dialogue and a rather weak plot, but the script actually works well due to how silly it was. If you’re an inspiring writer I don’t think this is the movie to seek out and learn, but if you wanna be a hack writer I suppose Scandariato’s script is the perfect one to follow. It’s fairly tough to really rate the script seeing as it’s so silly and poorly plotted, but with that said the script is so much in how bad it was.
Director Marino Girolami going under the name Frank Martin delivers an extremely idiotic, but yet so much fun film. The pacing starts off rather well with each scene high on camp value and very high on fun, but once the setting changes to the island it does start to slightly drag in some spots and despite the brief 84-minute running time Dr. Butcher can at times feel a little overly long. For the most part Girolami delivers a really fun movie with some nice gore scenes. Dr. Butcher is no doubt hack filmmaking and is easily one of the so bad its good movies.
Overall Dr. Butcher, MD (Zombie Holocaust) is a really fun and trashy film. Loaded with nudity, gore and silly dialogue fans of cult cinema should very much enjoy this trashy low budget romp.