5.6/10
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137 user 136 critic

Nightmare City (1980)

Incubo sulla città contaminata (original title)
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.

Director:

Umberto Lenzi

Writers:

Antonio Cesare Corti (as Tony Corti), Luis María Delgado (as José Luis Delgado) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Hugo Stiglitz ... Dean Miller
Laura Trotter ... Dr. Anna Miller
Maria Rosaria Omaggio ... Sheila Holmes
Francisco Rabal ... Major Warren Holmes
Sonia Viviani Sonia Viviani ... Cindy
Eduardo Fajardo ... Dr. Kramer
Stefania D'Amario ... Jessica Murchison
Ugo Bologna ... Mr. Desmond
Sara Franchetti Sara Franchetti ... Liz the Maid
Manuel Zarzo ... Colonel Donahue (as Manolo Zarzo)
Tom Felleghy Tom Felleghy ... Lieutenant Reedman (as Tom Felleghi)
Pierangelo Civera Pierangelo Civera ... Bob
Achille Belletti Achille Belletti ... TV Station Technician
Mel Ferrer ... General Murchison
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Now They Are Everywhere! There Is No Escape! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Umberto Lenzi, both Franco Nero and Fabio Testi were considered for the lead in the film, but the producer insisted on a Mexican leading man to appeal to Mexican audiences. Hence, the role went to Hugo Stiglitz. See more »

Goofs

Although the movie is an Italian movie filmed in Spain, the military officers in dress uniforms are wearing upside down patches on their left sleeve from the U.S. Army's 7th Army Training Command in Germany. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Alternate Versions

The 1986 UK Stablecane video version was cut by 3 minutes 5 secs by the BBFC to heavily edit shots of exploding heads, neck bitings, a woman's eye and breast being stabbed with a spike, an arm removal, the elevator attack, shots of bloody wounds, and a woman's breast being sliced off with a knife. All the cuts were fully waived for the 2003 Anchor Bay DVD release. See more »

Connections

Remade as Nightmare City See more »

User Reviews

Gore-Bore
19 November 2002 | by Mike E MonsterSee 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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Italy | Spain | Mexico

Language:

Spanish | Italian

Release Date:

18 November 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City of the Walking Dead See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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