Zombie exploitation films are films which take the concept of a normal zombie movie and change it to include more over-the-top gore and nudity. Though zombie films had existed since the early 1930s, it wasn't until the late 1970s that the exploitation angle was worked into the zombie film. Most zombie exploitation was made by Italian film makers, following the success of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead in its European release under the title Zombi. Around the same time of the release of Dawn of the Dead, Zombi 2, by Lucio Fulci, was in the works. Though the film was written before Dawn of the Dead's release in Europe, the film was renamed to Zombi 2 to share in the success of Romero's film.
Unlike Dawn of the Dead, Zombi 2 incorporated several elongated scenes of nudity and even more quantities of gore, thus the zombie exploitation film was born. Several imitators and spin offs followed (including a Zombi 3 and Zombi 4), bringing the European zombie craze to full steam (Fulci would again contribute with his films City of the Living Dead in 1980 and The Beyond in 1981). In the exploitation viewpoint, one of the more notable of the zombie exploitation films is Marino Girolami's 1980 film Zombi Holocaust, which combined the zombie movie with the cannibal movie.