City of the Living Dead (1980)
"Paura nella città dei morti viventi" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Horror  |  6 May 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 11,056 users  
Reviews: 215 user | 138 critic

A reporter and a psychic race to close the Gates of Hell after the suicide of a clergyman caused them to open, allowing the dead to rise from the grave.



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Complete credited cast:
Peter Bell
Catriona MacColl ...
Mary Woodhouse (as Katriona MacColl)
Carlo De Mejo ...
Antonella Interlenghi ...
Emily Robbins
Giovanni Lombardo Radice ...
Daniela Doria ...
Rosie Kelvin
Fabrizio Jovine ...
Father William Thomas
Luca Venantini ...
John-John Robbins (as Luca Paisner)
Michele Soavi ...
Tommy Fisher
Venantino Venantini ...
Mr. Ross
Enzo D'Ausilio ...
Sheriff Russell's deputy
Adelaide Aste ...
Luciano Rossi ...
Policeman in apartment
Robert Sampson ...
Sheriff Russell
Janet Agren ...


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 matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From the bowels of the earth they came to collect the living... See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

6 May 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City of the Living Dead  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Each German release was banned over the course of over 20 years. The movie was first released on video with the title "Ein Zombie hing am Glockenseil" (A zombie hung on the bell rope) in 1982. It was banned in 1986 and a second video with the title "Ein Toter hing am Glockenseil" (A dead body hung on the bell rope) was released, with several cuts. Even that version was banned in 1988 and a final version was released with the title "Eine Leiche hing am Glockenseil" (A corpse hung on the bell rope), heavily cut without any gory scenes left. Rumors say the video distributors actually designed a new video release called "Ein Kadaver hing am Glockenseil" (A cadaver hung on the bell rope) in case this third version will get banned again. Surprisingly, this third version was also banned in 2001. See more »


Three minutes in, a noose is slung over a tree branch. The noose is shown dangling no more than 1ft below the branch. The noose swings back and forth but visibly stays at the same height in comparison with a branch directly behind it. The branch is far away. In the next shot the branches are much much closer to the noose. A priest climbs up onto something, approximately the height of a chair, to put the noose around his neck then steps of of what he is standing on (he does not jump) and drops out of frame farther than he climbed up into view. The shot pans up a good two to three feet and fails to show the branch that is previously established as being not more than 1ft above the priests head. This implies that there at least 3 feet of rope should be between the priest and the point of suspension. In the next scene the priest is revealed as being not substantially more than three feet down the rope and hanging near a low brick wall. The brick wall is more than two feet below the priest and there is nothing else for the priest to have climbed onto in frame. To hang himself the priest must have levitated as he ends up hanging higher than a chair could account for (even if a chair realistically fell out of shot behind the low wall). See more »


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See more »


Followed by The House by the Cemetery (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

maybe Fulci's best
22 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

The Beyond somehow gets more acclaim from the self-proclaimed "artsy" crowd, but this essentially has the same formula, with the same juxtaposition of weak plot & characters and superb disgusting imagery, except with a more consistently oppressive tone and with less meandering, dull parts.

For those who are unfamiliar with Fulci and are just going by the title, there are zombies, but this isn't exactly a zombie flick, per se. It's more like a series of grotesque, surreal events that suggest Lovecraftian cosmic horror. Zombies teleport and make people vomit out their innards, by the way. I guess they're closer to zombie-like apparitions. Anyway...

It's a B-movie with rubbish acting, rubbish plot and all kinds of unintentionally hilarious stuff, so you can have a fun time watching this with friends, but at the same time you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. You'd have a hard time finding many other movies with such a doomed, godless atmosphere. Take the famous drill scene, for example. By now we've well established that humans are at the mercy of otherworldly forces, but there's nothing supernatural happening in this scene; it's a random act of extreme violence stemming from human malice, and this marriage of brutality and nonsense is one of the things that elevates Fulci from high camp into (potentially) genuinely scary, if you want it to be.

It plods a bit near the end, but good luck finding an Italian horror movie with perfect pacing. See it if you dig Fulci, it's just as good as The Beyond.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Drilling the'd they do it? Metalshed
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Weakest installment of the Gates of Hell trilogy? bilttd_biscoi
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Fulci's masterpiece bems_1001
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