Robert Miles is a psychic that can communicate with the dead. He also has the ability to control the mind of his cat (who incidentally is black). He uses the cat to take vengeance upon his ... See full summary »
When a terrorist's body, infected with a stolen chemical, is recovered by the US military, the corpse is cremated, unintentionally releasing the virus/bacteria into the atmosphere over a ... See full summary »
A Canadian archaeological team in Sicily accidentally unleashes vengeful ghosts of five demonic nuns whom were murdered 500 years earlier and the ghosts now set out to kill the group and townspeople alike.
In New York, Dr. Norman Boyle assumes the research about Dr. Freudstein of his colleague Dr. Petersen, who committed suicide after killing his mistress. Norman heads to Boston with his wife... See full summary »
The members of an expedition in search for the last faithful of Kito, the cannibal god, land on a small island in the Moluccas (East Indies) and are soon hunted by cannibals and zombies, ... See full summary »
Alexandra Delli Colli,
In the small New England town of Dunwich, a priest commits suicide by hanging himself in the church cemetery which somehow opens the gates of hell allowing the dead to rise. Peter, a New York City reporter, teams up with a young psychic, named Mary, to travel to the town where they team up with another couple, psychiatrist Jerry and patient Sandra, to find a way to close the gates before All Saints Day or the dead all over the world will rise up and kill the living. Written by
The character "Bob", played by Giovanni Lombardo Radice, was originally intended to be a hunchback. However, Radice decided against wearing the hump that was made for him, and instead portrayed the character having a stiff, lurching gait. See more »
When the Peter Bell character is talking to the policeman he refers to Sgt. Clay twice in the conversation. The first time he correctly calls him Sgt. Clay. The second time he incorrectly calls him Sgt. Bell. See more »
"Bodies don't just get up and walk by themselves."
By some margin the best of Fulci's four zombie movies, Paura nella città dei morti viventi succeeds because it has a denser text than the others.
Okay, the dubbing is still chronic and detracts from the piece, but there's more of an arty feel to this one, rather than just a crass sub-Romero exploitation.
It's a relatively complex narrative, made up of psychics, religious texts and an overriding fear of mortality. These undead are not tenpins to be knocked down, as in Zombi 3, but are a mirror image of our own inevitable demise. One particularly unsettling sequence sees a girl buried alive, fighting to get out of her coffin.
The pacing works, too, because even though this suffers from the usual clunky dialogue, there's a slow build-up, adding tension to proceedings. Mind you, a Priest whose party trick is being seen as a hanged apparition is bound to put the willies up anyone. Figuratively speaking, obviously. In fact, it's a touch of genius that sees phantoms mixed with the zombie set-up. Zombies that appear and disappear in your bedroom are far scarier than ones that just amble around like Albert Tatlock on Mogadons.
There are concessions to Fulci's juvenile gore, of course - one girl bleeds tears and then regurgitates her own internal organs before snatching out her boyfriend's brains. And, of course, we get the obligatory impaling scene, this time with an electric drill. It's amazing what Fulci puts his actors through, actually - whether it's showering them with maggots, pushing worms into their face or making an actress swallow and regurgitate freshly slaughtered lamb tripe, he always makes them suffer for their art.
However, there is a slight tendency to imply, not show, here, such as the corpse biting the man's wrist. Okay, we see the blood after the event, but the actual action is played out as a close-up in the man's anguished face. We never even get to see what the three zombies do to the bar owner. Fabio Frizzi's music also adds much to the film in its dated synth-drum machine type way, though its inability to continue from scene to scene does jar somewhat.
The new skills Fulci brought to this project pace, characterisation, an actual plot, of sorts were themes he continued with in his third zombie flick, E tu vivrai nel terrore L'aldilà. Sadly, however, this learning curve was all forgotten when he got behind atrocious sequel Zombi 3 in 1988. Yes, Paura nella città dei morti viventi is more Hammer's Plague of Zombies than Night of the Living Dead, with characterisation and gothic sets taking the place of modern context and visceral thrills. Perhaps the only way it disappoints is in lacking a big pay-off. Instead it opts for a nonsensical conclusion that defies logic.
15 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?