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Tales of the Contaminated City (2002)

Director Umberto Lenzi reflects back on the making of Nightmare City (1980).




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Umberto Lenzi ...


Director Umberto Lenzi reflects back on the making of Nightmare City (1980).

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Documentary | Short





Release Date:

6 August 2002 (USA)  »

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References Eaten Alive! (1980) See more »

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"It's a film totally based on reality." Umberto Lenzi's words, definitely not mine!

Tales of the Contaminated City is a short 13 minute documentary that was produced by Blue Underground for the Anchor Bay DVD of Nightmare City, it appears on both the UK & US DVD's. The only interviewee is the films director Umberto Lenzi, he speaks in Italian & he is subtitled throughout so if you don't like reading subtitles forget it. I don't know what Lenzi was on while conducting this interview or whether he actually believes the stuff he comes out with but it's hard to give him much credibility. He, on at least two occasions, stresses that he feels Nightmare City is a very realistic film! For some reason Lenzi compares the contamination in his film with the spread of AIDs throughout America. Straight away we're in trouble as I cannot believe anyone would think that & it's just a ridiculous thing to say or even suggest. He also talks a little bit about the production, Lenzi says he was hired after the script was completed & that he hated it, hey Lenzi your not the only one. Lenzi also comes clean & confesses that he was responsible for that truly awful ending & convinced the producers that it would be a good idea. Lenzi also says he had various run-ins with a female producer who wanted to take the film in a different direction & imitate the success of Romero's & Fulci's zombie films. He says that he didn't want Hugo Stiglitz as the leading man & Lenzi also describes Stiglitz as 'stiff', well we both agree on that one Umberto. The only other bit of vaguely interesting information Lenzi relays is that while filming his cannibal film Eaten Alive (1980) with Mel Ferrer in New York they met Martin Scorsese & his crew filming Raging Bull across the corridor in the same hotel... Tales of the Contaminated City has plenty of short clips from the film thrown in but no behind-the-scenes footage or photo's. As a whole I didn't think too much of this, don't get me wrong it's an OK watch considering that it's a free extra on a DVD but I didn't learn anything significant, Lenzi's views are just bizarre & I don't agree with them particularly. Not something I'd watch again anytime soon & it makes me dislike Nightmare City as a film even more.

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