Nightmare City (1980)
"Incubo sulla città contaminata" (original title)

 |  Horror  |  18 November 1983 (USA)
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Reviews: 117 user | 101 critic

An airplane exposed to radiation lands, and blood drinking zombies emerge armed with knives, guns and teeth! They go on a rampage slicing, dicing, and biting their way across the Italian countryside.


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Cast overview:
Hugo Stiglitz ...
Laura Trotter ...
Maria Rosaria Omaggio ...
Francisco Rabal ...
Sonia Viviani ...
Eduardo Fajardo ...
Stefania D'Amario ...
Ugo Bologna ...
Sara Franchetti ...
Manuel Zarzo ...
Tom Felleghy ...
Pierangelo Civera ...
Achille Belletti ...


In a nameless European city, a local reporter and his doctor wife try to escape from hordes of blood thirsty zombies, undead people exposed to nuclear radioactivity, while the military leaders fight a losing war of attrition against the relentless atomic zombies. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Nightmare Becomes Reality See more »




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Release Date:

18 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City of the Walking Dead  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remake of Umberto Lenzi's original will be released 2016 Directed by Tom Savini See more »


When the airport workers call the police, the car is marked police. However since the movie was films in Spain it should be policia (or since Italian movie, polizia). See more »


Dr. Anna Miller: I'm tired. Really tired. And I'm frightened. We'll never get away from these... these monsters. What are we going to do?
Dean Miller: Alright. Nothing is going to happen as long as we stay together I promise you. What we've got to do now is get away from here as fast as we can.
Dr. Anna Miller: Let go of me. Why don't you face it. There's no place for us to go. They're we too will be killed. I don't want us to die I don't want us to but there's nothing we can do. They're everywhere...
Dean Miller: [...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The message "THE NIGHTMARE BECOMES REALITY..." just before the end credits See more »


References Hell of the Living Dead (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

19 November 2002 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

While not to be entirely dismissed as drivel, Lenzi's would-be zombiefest known as NIGHTMARE CITY nonetheless comes off as trying to be too different, too "off-the-beaten-zombie-path", and as result, ends up falling flat in an unsatisfying mix of missed opportunities.

Instead of going with "living dead"-style zombies (i.e. lumbering oafs) Lenzi - against producers wishes who wanted basically a Romero-style-clone - instead argued for and got his wish of the 'zombies' simply being victims of a nuclear radiation accident. All the 'creatures' become supermen of sorts - with heightened strength etc. - not to mention retaining their human faculties of running, driving, being able to fight with weapons etc.

As a result though - pretty much all suspense is thrown out the window, as the movie quickly bogs down into a violent and graphic game of hide and seek. The action is intense (and the blood and gore plentiful) but the 'creatures' or victims simply look like poorly-designed Halloween costume party attendees, who - after realizing they are late for their scheduled gathering - grabbed whatever they could out of their fridge and slapped it on their faces. The result is an unconvincing and inconsistent mess of effects that underwhelms the viewer. Some victims have little makeup, others are nearly indistinguishable under piles of green and red facial clay, (yet ALL sneer menacingly at the camera) and ALL are out for the blood of their next human victim (the creatures need blood to regenerate their cells to keep living. As a result, their victims in turn become creatures as well).

While I applaud Lenzi for at least attempting something different (in an interview on the disk, he explains how he wanted the film to be viewed as an environmental warning etc.) it comes down to the simple fact that the movie ends up failing - the zombies move too fast to be truly creepy and come off as poorly-dressed terrorists from a bad Chuck Norris movie - and basically plays out as a b-level gore bore, weaker on the gore, heavier on the B-bore.

While NIGHTMARE CITY may not be totally rank, let's say ya might wanna drink that milk today - know what I mean?? As in, it smells a little funny - not totally spoiled, but nowhere near fresh-enough to serve to guests. Feelin' lucky??

Recommended for genre completists only.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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