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Historically accurate.
orangehenryviii11 March 2018
Sure it may seem ridiculous to modern audiences, but it is important to remember this film was made several years before the Geneva Convention outlawed the use of knives and hatchets by zombies, as well as such zombie subterfuge tactics as cutting phone lines and sneaking up on people and choking them with a bit of rope, and the implementation of spear-guns. This is actually all quite historically accurate.
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Well constructed horror trash
amesmonde26 May 2011
On an airfield a plane's door opens and bloodthirsty zombies burst out and begin to overrun the city. TV news reporter Dean Miller must find his wife and escape the city's crazed killers.

Nightmare City (Incubo Sulla Cittá Contaminata)is a crude mix of the Crazies, Let Sleeping Corpse Lie to name a few. It also has a slight ambiance of Shivers and Rabid.

As you'd expect it's suffers from the failings of most Italian gore pictures of the time, bad dialogue etc. Nightmare City is certainly a product of its time. Nevertheless, while the makeup is terrible, the leads are more than effective. Umberto Lenzi's camera work, direction and starkness of the city setting are appealing. It's fast paced - packed with comic –like violence of stabbings, biting, hacking and shootings as the zombie maniacs cause blood soaked havoc in the city and surrounding areas.

The ending twist is quiet refreshing and although a cliché you don't see the device used these days. While not a zombie film in the truest sense, they move fast, can weld machetes and fire guns it's a competent splatter film that is far better constructed and executed than Bruno Mattei's Zombie Creeping Flesh (1980) made the same year.

Overall, it's one of the better trash horrors out there.
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Surprisingly entertaining.
Ky-D22 April 2005
Better known for his jungle cannibal opus "Make Them Die Slowly", Lenzi has here a much more accomplished and entertaining gut muncher.

On an unassuming day, a nuclear scientist is supposed to arrive with important research. His plane breaks flight patterns and lands unannounced. When authorities go to investigate, they find all the people on board are infected with strange kind of radiation poisoning and have turned into violent, cannibalistic zombies. The zombies then begin attacking any and every one in sight; hacking, shooting and eating all they can. Escaping the city is the only hope.

Coming out in 1980, this was pretty late in the cannibal/zombie movie cycle. Fortunately, Lenzi changes up the formula just enough to keep things from being stale. The zombies are are fast, intelligent and have no problem utilizing tools and weapons. Lenzi also ad hears to just enough genre clichés to keep fans happy. There is blood and gore aplenty, random flashes of nudity and some wonderfully cheesy dialogue.

On the technical side, the film is right on par with other films in the same category. Acting ranges from to OK to plain bad, lighting and sound get the job done but never excel, and the writing works well enough to move from point A to point B. One nice element is the pacing, which is refreshingly brisk and free of clutter.

Over all, this is one of the better made and more amusing of the cannibal/zombie films from days gone by. Genre fans should check it out.

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The best of the best!! spectacularly entertaining and surprisingly original.
amazing_sincodek20 May 2009
disclaimer: obviously, if you don't have a pre-existing love for zero-budget Italian horror, this won't be your cup of tea.

But if you do! My, what a treat! I overlooked this film for years because I confused it with "City of the Living Dead." I otherwise exhausted the genre's offerings. When I realized I hadn't seen this one, I was very excited, but I didn't expect much. I was in for a pleasant surprise.

Ugh, I'm no good at paragraph format.

The Pros: 1. The title, "City of the Walking Dead," is appropriate. This really is a city-wide infestation. This is not a board-up-the-windows movie. The scale is epic. So often, low budget zombie films restrict themselves to a few characters on a farm or something to save money. This one doesn't. I can't imagine how he was able to use some of the locations. (Actually, I suppose the title isn't quite appropriate, because the antagonists are neither walking nor dead. They run, and they're sort of still alive.)

2. Breasts are present.

3. I usually don't like zombies that deviate from Romero's mold, but Lenzi takes a risk and scores. These creatures combine the hypnotic element of Romero's zombies with the overwhelming danger of running zombies. According to an interview on the DVD, Lenzi did not want to just do another Romero rip-off, and insisted on coming up with his own sort of creature. He did it well.

4. For the first 2/3 of the film, the characters are sufficiently believable for the viewer to care about them. For example, a reporter finds himself in the middle of the zombie outbreak, and desperately tries to get a hold of his wife, a doctor, who can't be reached because she's in surgery. This is a realistic, human element absent from most films in the genre.


1. 2/3 of the way through, it kind of falls apart. The characters who haven't died reveal themselves to be one dimensional after all.

2. The special effects are really inconsistent. Sometimes killings are mimed bloodlessly. In other scenes, heads explode.

3. The soldiers are pathetic.

In short, highly recommended.
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I love this movie!
BandSAboutMovies10 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Have you ever paused a movie and yelled aloud, "I LOVE THIS MOVIE!" and you're all alone in the room? If you've answered in the affirmative, you understand the pure joy that I felt while watching this movie.

Dean Miller, an American reporter, is waiting to interview a nuclear scientist when a military plane lands and mutated men emerge, killing everyone in their path. Even the worst wounds only slow them down as they hack their way through their victims, pausing to drink the blood of those they kill.

General Murchison (Mel Ferrer, The Visitor) shuts down any news stories about the attack. Meanwhile, the city is overrun with the killers and their victims, who soon join their ranks. Miller saves his wife at the hospital where she works as the city's power is shut down.

It turns out that they're fighting humans who have been contaminated by a leak in the nuclear power plant (that's why the scientist was meeting with Miller in the beginning) and now they have strength, speed and reflexes beyond the range of normal humans. However, because they can't regenerate red blood cells, they must consume blood. There's only one way to kill them, which will be familiar to zombie movie fans: shoot them in the head.

No one is safe - the general is looking for his daughter and her husband, but by the time they are discovered, they are infected and must be killed. And Major Holmes warns his artist wife to stay in the house when two infected men break in and kill her friend and almost murder her. By the time he gets to the house to save her she's been infected and he must kill his wife.

That's the theme of this movie - everyone gets turned into something horrible, even a priest at the church where Miller and Anna try to hide. Finally, they make a last stand in an amusement park, using submachine guns and grenades to keep the attacking horde at bay. Major Holmes tries to save them, but Anna can't hold the rope and falls to her death. This being an Italian movie, we see every moment of her demise.

Miller then wakes up. It was all a dream, except he goes back to the airport and the movie starts all over again!

Known as City of the Walking Dead in the U.S., this is a fast-moving, down and dirty gore packed film. Directed by Umberto Lenzi (Eaten Alive!, Cannibal Ferox), this film feels like it's out of control from the first scene. Once that plane opens and the mutated fiends emerge, it's an orgy of heads being opened up, breasts being eaten, gunshots galore and eyes being ripped from their sockets. In short, this is. a true crowd pleaser. How can you not love a movie where a studio full of disco dancers are mauled and murdered by an army of mutated killers?
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Awesome Zombie Flick
reverendtom10 December 2006
This one has it all, great soundtrack, toxic zombies running amock, groovy clothes and general madness and mayhem. The zombies aren't really zombies, per se, as they haven't died and come back to life, but they are infected with some bizarre radiation (or something) that makes them wanna eat humans. So, the "zombies" in this film can run, use weapons, etc. Makes for some fun entertainment. The "zombies" in this film look sort of like the Toxic Avenger. The ending is really bizarre and will leave you scratching your head, but again, overall this is a fun as hell gory romp. Its great, too, because the insanity starts very early in the film and doesn't let up right until the end. Highly recommended to lovers of Italian horror and zombies.
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Enjoyable gorefest has its "heart" in the right place.
gridoon26 December 2002
Despite the atrocious dubbing and the poor makeup effects, this is an extremely enjoyable zombie flick, with a unique "mood" that perhaps only an Italian production like this one could have captured. The mass attack sequences (which must have been great fun to shoot for the people involved, especially the "zombies") are all standouts. (***)
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Mike E Monster19 November 2002
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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Cheap gore...Great fun!
Coventry27 June 2004
Thank you George A. Romero!! If it wasn't for your zombiefilms like `Night of the Living Dead' and `Dawn of the Dead', we never would have received all these fun Italian rip-offs. Umberto Lenzi was the man responsible for this `Nightmare City'. Lenzi is an enthusiast schlock-director with an unhealthy obsession for blood and guts. Within a period of only two years, he made 3 Italian gore classics including this one, `Eaten Alive' and – top of the bill – the notorious `Cannibal Ferox'. The latter is shocking…this film is just fun! An apocalyptic horror film with non-stop action and an constantly growing army of superzombies! Zombies according to Lenzi are a bit more energetic than usual…They drive cars and use guns! Technically, they're aren't even zombies but radioactively contaminated victims of a nuclear accident. They arrive in an airplane and soon, the whole city is infested.

The make-up effects are so cheap and nasty it almost becomes hilarious. It seems like the zombies' heads are covered in mud and you can almost smell their rotting flesh. Lots of heads are being shot off and multiple throats are being slit…perfect entertainment if you're a horror lover in other words. Don't bother if you're an opinionated horror-hater or an amateur-critic, though. I'll spare you the effort: the script of `Nightmare City' is as weak as they come (with a very disappointing ending) and the acting is atrocious. If you're a diehard horror-freak with a soft spot for Italian cult, however, this will be one of the most pleasing films you'll ever see.
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Weird Horror Movie
claudio_carvalho15 February 2009
The reporter Dean Miller (Hugo Stiglitz) is assigned with his cameraman to interview a scientist that is arriving in the local airport. While waiting for the arrival, an unidentified Hercules makes an emergency landing and is surrounded by a military force. When the doors open, a legion of blood thirsty creatures commanded by the scientist attack the soldiers, killing them with hatchets and drinking their blood. Dean tries to warn the population about the happening but is censored by General Murchison (Mel Ferrer). Later the military leaders discover that the creatures have not come from the outer space, but are human beings contaminated by radiation and needing to drink blood to stay undead. Dean unsuccessfully calls his wife Dr. Anna Miller (Laura Trotter) and heads to the hospital where she works, trying to escape from the city crowded of the increasing walking dead creatures.

The trash "Incubo Sulla Città Contaminate" a.k.a. "City of the Walking Dead" or "Nightmare City" is a weird horror movie that could be better and better with a best selection of the lead couple. The uptight Hugo Stiglitz is not tailored for the role of hero and is an awful selection from the producers, and Laura Trotter is too stupid for a doctor, recalling those women from the 40's or 50's that used to scream in every dangerous situation and run to the arms of the hero. The killers are not zombies like in "The Last Man on Earth" or the way George A. Romero has become famous in "Night of the Living Dead", with slow and gruesome movements, but actually a kind of unbeatable "warrior vampire" with appearance of zombie. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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Incubo sulla città contaminata: A weak link in Italian zombie cinema
Platypuschow19 September 2017
Once upon a time Italy was infamous for it's zombie movies, they became the stuff of legends and generally were of the highest quality especially considering the age. Sadly the 90's hit and they rapidly faded away.

Nightmare City is an odd one because the creatures featured aren't actually zombies, in fact it never truly establishes what they are.

With a zombie appearance but vampire thirst, they have a clear consciousness and desire for the use of weapons they weren't very appealing.

Thankfully the usual Italian tropes were there including the fitting soundtrack, but these creatures just didn't make entertaining antagonists.

Nightmare City is watchable but is highly anti-climatic next to the greats. Only to be viewed with the realization this is not a zombie film.

The Good:


The Bad:

Standard 60's-80's red paint blood

Simply not very likable

Awful finale, just why would they do that?
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One of the best and certainly the fastest moving of the Italian zombie epics.
Bill3572 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
If you were lucky enough to have walked through a video rental shop in the eighties, one of the most memorable sights was the over-sized video box for City Of The Walking Dead, featuring a grainy blown-up still from the movie of a dead woman, her breast fully exposed with blood dripping down it and (if I remember correctly) her eye gouged out! It was usually located a few feet away from another over-sized video of Color Me Blood Red with a full color photo of the main character's disemboweled wife!

This is one of the greats, one of the faster-paced of all the early eighties Italian zombie pictures and the perfect movie for gore loving twelve-year-olds, of which I was.

The parts that stuck with me the time I first saw it were the scenes where the irradiated freaks crashed a live broadcast featuring a performance from the Italian version of the Solid Gold dancers, massacring the leotard clad women as the video-cameras rolled and the end where Hugo Stiglitz wakes up and begins the story all over again. Maybe this was the inspiration for Groundhog Day!
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Amazing!! Why haven't more people seen this film?
charliecbc9 August 2007
I am awestruck by this movie. Fast zombies that can use weapons, even guns, and are capable of intelligent thought. They plot a strategic offensive to take over the city, hitting the airport, then the TV stations and the power plant. If you love horror, gory, and violent movies and don't mind a little bad acting, then you will LOVE this movie. It is exciting and even a bit suspenseful. It starts out fast and hard and maintains a steady pace of mayhem and carnage.

I can't believe more people haven't seen this film. I have yet to meet a horror movie buff that has seen this film before. It is a true gemstone of European horror and exploitation, definitely up to par with the classics of the genre such as Zombi 2, Demons, House by the Cemetery, etc. And it's even readily available uncut (92 minutes) on DVD from Anchor Bay (under the title "Nightmare City") and on VHS under the title "City of the Walking Dead." Super gory and violent, a must for fans of Italian grind house flicks.
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Goofy and amateurish
Jtalledo2 December 2001
You can't honestly give any excuses for this movie; it's just plain cheesy. You could say that it's just a horror movie and it shouldn't be taken seriously, but that's a lame excuse. This movie is just not good at all. From the terrible makeup fx to the hokey dialogue, there's not much of redeeming value in this movie.

The plot itself is pretty humdrum. Hordes of the dead terrorize a big city while spreading their walking-dead disease to others.

The only interesting part of this movie is how it tries to follow several groups of people and their encounters with the zombies. Among the people whose stories are followed are a military major and his wife, General and his daughter and son-in-law and last but not least, a reporter and his wife. The best sub-story is that of the reporter who witnesses the start of the mayhem firsthand and attempts to break the story of the walking dead, while people turn a deaf ear to his reports. The reporter tries to stay alive and rescue his wife from the chaos. Hugo Stiglitz is great as the reporter kicks some major butt, especially near the movie's end. The rest of the substories that the movie oscillates between are boring and pedestrian though.

The "zombies" in this movie are decidedly some of the more active ones in movie history. They run, jump and even use weapons. Some of them actually look like living humans, except they have some ghastly scare. "City of the Walking Dead" was a badly chosen title; "City of the Running, Jumping and Scampering Dead" sounds more apt. You could argue that they are far more lifelike that the people in this movie, especially the military guys, who apparently are too damn stupid to follow the advice of their superiors and shoot the zombies in the head.

The movie isn't too scary at all. There are some genuinely creepy moments, such as when the reporter's wife fumbles around in the dark in a hospital and encounters one of the walking dead. That was one of the only chilling parts of the movie. The scene where the major finds his wife is also pretty creepy, although it was predictable. For the most part, the gore was nothing that hasn't been done better in other movies, although the lively zombies did make them considerably more vicious.

The makeup was really terrible. Most of the zombies look like normal humans, except for a little blood here and there and a crazed look in their eyes. It would have been best if the filmmakers went with that look for the whole movie, as the makeup jobs usually consisted of a few cheesy cast-like extensions and mud-like molds being added to creature faces.

City of the Walking Dead is a decent movie to watch if you aren't took picky with your horror movies. It has some decent action and some novel concepts that were extremely flawed in implementation. Otherwise, stay far away from this one. Furthermore, a word of warning: you will groan at the movie?s ending.
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Entertaining, but for the genre lovers only
m_chubbs5 August 2010
Okay, so, it's better than your standard zombie fair, I mean, running zombies, that can drive, shoot and stab people, how awesome's that! Even though they look like hopefuls for a Toxic Avenger contest, there's some that look fairly human still and genuinely quite manic. Also, they are super human, so, bullets don't hurt them, only in the head, MMM, original, but still, they beat the infected for me from 28 Day's Later. Their smart, can drive cars, pilot planes.

Acting is a shoddy as it always is in these films, typical European boobs for no reason style, weird mix of mimed deaths and full on gore shots, that makes it out of place in some parts that some people have been smashed over the head and fall to the ground or sliced open, then others are spraying blood from their throats or loosing limbs.

Ah well, who can really complain, a fun film, but one for a genre fan's, keep it a guilty pleasure
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Entertaining gore flick, not strictly a zombie movie
jadavix16 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Nightmare City" is a movie that hasn't held up over the years as well as I'd hoped, but it's still leagues ahead of 99% of other Italian horror movies.

It's not technically a zombie movie. While it does feature hordes of bad guys, who do look like zombies, outnumbering the good guys, they don't behave like zombies. For one, they use weapons. They also motion to each other, suggesting a coordination separate from the average crowd of flesh eaters. Speaking of coordination, they move a lot faster. They also do not each flesh, but rather, drink blood, generally from the chests of women they have just exposed with knives.

The "nightmare" begins when an airplane touches down on a runway after a radiation leak is reported on the news. The plane door opens and out spills a horde of hideously mutated, violent freaks. They soon invade an aerobics studio where breasts are hacked off and eaten.

The military in this movie is pathetic. The only time they display any acumen for combat is when, in one memorable scene, one soldier is gunned down by his teammate for going crazy and thinking they're mutants, too.

The only character with any nouse is, improbably, a scientist, the hero of our story, who also happens to be ugly, balding and bearded. This is the kind of movie where scores of soldiers are killed, and then the hero gets away simply by unbelievable luck; eg. when he throws a TV at the group of mutants and it explodes as if there was a molotov cocktail inside. He later makes an actual molotov cocktail, throws it at a car, which also explodes, roasting several mutants.

He carts a lady around - his wife - and it gets a bit tiresome seeing her do absolutely nothing of value while the old man saves the day.

Aside from this the only real problem for the movie is that it falls apart toward the end and I lost interest. The characters are one dimensional, and spending so much time with them becomes a chore. There are still highlights at the end, though, and "Nightmare City" is certainly entertaining enough to be worth checking out.
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Passable , entertaining but cheap Italian/Spanish Zombie movie co-production filmed in Madrid
ma-cortes23 January 2016
TV news reporter named Dean Miller (Hugo Stiglitz) along with his cameraman (Antonio Mayans) waits at the airport for the arrival of a scientific that he is about to interview . Then , a Hercules C 1330 lands, and soon enough quick footed zombie types are piling out of the plane, shooting, biting and knifing absolutely everyone in sight . Miller records and reports on these horrific events . They go on a criminal spree , slicing , dicing , and biting their way across the city and countryside . While the military leaders as General Murchison (Mel Ferrer) of Civil Defense , Officer Holmes (Francisco Rabal) and Donahue (Manuel Zarzo) fight a losing war of attrition against the relentless atomic zombies . Later on , Dean , the brave reporter who witnessed the original attack fights to find his wife Anna (Laura Trotter) at the hospital before the horde completely take over the city .

Gory , gruesome , pretty repellent , and ghastly cannibal feast in which the nimble flesh-eating atomic zombies carry out a real slaughter and can be only destroyed by fire in the head . Unrelenting shock-feast plenty of disturbing as well as frightening images laced with brief touches of black humor , including lots of blood drinking zombies who have been exposed to radiation emerge armed with knives , weapons and raging teeth . Taking in elements of classic horror gore and crafting a flawed yet exhilarating slice of horror trash , Nightmare City is a bonkers fusion of non-stop jumps and fast-moving zombies . Army of Zombies appearance roaming the city , countryside , and some people besieged inside a mansion , hospital , factory , church and attraction park deliver the goods , enough to be interesting . It is a batshit crazy zombie movie which may be the first instance of running zombies, all the way back in 1980 . Umberto Lenzi's main great success is middlingly directed with startling visual content and acceptable production by Luis Mendez . Furthermore , special mention to filthy make-up by expert Giuseppe Ferranti . The script had to be altered considerably due to budget limitations dealing mainly how a group of military and civil people fights against the relentless atomic zombies . Umberto Lenzi's utterly insane radiation-sickness opus Nightmare City is plenty of thrills , chills , high body-count executed by the eerie Zombies and photographed in pallid color with lurid images and acceptable results . Mediocre acting by Hugo Stiglitz, though 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 . He gives an average performance as the reporter who attempts to encounter his spouse , Laura Trotter , and both of whom getaway from the blood-thirsty zombies that are all over the city . Being a Spain/Italy co-production here appears several Spanish actors as Francisco Rabal , Manuel Zarzo , Eduardo Fajardo and uncredited Antonio Mayans , Jesus Franco usual , as a cameraman . This is an ordinary excruciatingly Zombie film where the intrigue , tension , suspense appears threatening and lurking in both , city and countryside . At the time considered the plus ultra of thoroughly disturbing movie is less stomach-churning by nowadays's standards, yet its fundamental power to thrill remains undiminished . This genuinely embarrassing story with correct utilization of images-shock is professionally photographed by Hans Burmann in Eastmancolor . Anti-climatic and inappropriate musical score Stelvio Cipriani .

The picture was regularly directed by the prolific filmmaker Umberto Lenzi . Talented and versatile writer/director Umbert Lenzi has made a vast array of often solid and entertaining films in all kind of genres as horror, comedy, Western, and science fiction in a career that spans over 40 years .Umbert Lenzi used the pseudonym Hank Milestone and Humphrey Logan . Umberto made his directorial debut with ¨Queen of the Seas¨ (1961) . Other pirate/sword flicks followed, starting with ¨Pirates of Malaysia¨ (1964) starred by Steeve Reeves, which was part of the height of the career of fictitious tales of historic legendary characters including Robin Hood , Catherine the Great, Zorro , Sandokan and Maciste . He subsequently directed a ¨Fumetti¨ titled The mask of Kriminal (1966) . After directing a war film and two "spaghetti westerns," Lenzi turned to the Giallo genre with ¨Orgasmo¨ (1969). During the 1970s, Lenz filmed a number of Giallo and thrillers , among them : ¨So Sweet, So Perverse¨, ¨Seven Blood-Stained Orchids¨ and ¨Eyeball¨ . Lenzi turned to the police thrillers called ¨Polizieschi¨, which rejuvenated his confidence and his popularity . Titles like ¨Almost Human¨ , ¨Free Hand For a Tough Cop¨ and ¨Brothers Till We Die¨ were the most popular and brutal of the thrillers . Lenzi is an expert on wartime genre such as he proved in ¨Desert commandos¨ , ¨Battle of commandos¨ , ¨From hell to victory¨ , ¨Young Lions¨ and ¨Bridge to hell¨. Prior to the Polizieschi, Lenzi directed ¨Man from Deep River¨ , which was the start of the Italian cannibal sub-genre . Later on , he directed two very gory jungle cannibal features , ¨Eaten Alive¨ and ¨Make Them Die Slowly ¨which was banned in 31 countries, made Lenzi distance himself from the cannibal genre . Then Lenzi directed this zombie flick ¨Nightmare City¨ (1980) , and ¨Iron Master¨(1983) . In the 90s his films were extremely low-budgeted and failed at box-office
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One of Lenzi's less good movies? No way.
MetalBreaker6 October 2006
First of all, let me tell you a little about the director of this film: Umberto Lenzi. That man was one of the leading horror directors in Italy through the 70's and the 80's. He should be very proud to have films like Almost Human, Eyeball and this masterpiece I'm writing about on his neck. This is my review of Nightmare City.

Somehow Nightmare City didn't get the attention it was worth. Many people see it like one of Lenzi's less good movies. I think it's totally underrated, but there are some people with me - people who think it's a masterpiece. This is not a movie I would call horror, though Lenzi almost only made horror flicks. I believe this is a movie full of action and speed. Things are happening all the time.

Let's now start writing a little plot summary. The TV reporter Dean Miller wakes up and is going to do an interview with an arriving scientist. He's standing on the airport with he's camera man when suddenly an unknown military plane is emergency landing. Quite a few odd creatures are running down the stairs of the plane and killing all the guards. These beasts are not really zombies, though many class them as that. They can run and use weapons, telephones and such things that is nothing zombies can do. I would call them mutated humans because they can't die when you shoot them. Only if you get the bullet in their head. They're taking over the city. Everybody runs around and nothing can be done. The city is doomed. The rest is up to you to watch.

I would recommend this film to everyone who likes to watch old horror. Even if this isn't a classical horror movie, it's still very horror inspired because Lenzi is the director. Everyone who likes to watch old Italian movies should see this, fans of Giallo and so. I think you get it. This is with no doubts one of my all-time favourites, so I will of course set ten points of ten on this one. I don't rate many movies with ten points, but this is surely worth it.
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Consistently amusing.
Hey_Sweden31 March 2012
A fun horror movie from director Umberto Lenzi ("Eaten Alive!", "Cannibal Ferox"), "Nightmare City", a.k.a. "City of the Walking Dead", doesn't have a lot of story, it just has a lot of lively, gory mayhem for those Italian horror fans looking for some undemanding thrills.

The set up is simple enough: sadistic fiends, contaminated due to atomic radiation, run amok in a city, brutally slaughtering some victims and contaminating others. Even if not technically zombies, they do exhibit a certain tenacity (and CAN be killed by shots or blows to the head) and also are vampire like in that they enjoy drinking the blood of victims. They don't just use their bare hands, either, still being able to employ various lethal weapons. The army is content not to let too many details get out, while the body count rises, and a reporter (Hugo Stiglitz) and his doctor wife (Laura Trotter) try to make a trek to safety.

A nice amount of cheese (for one thing, one major set piece has the fiends cause havoc during the taping of a TV dance show) adds to the entertainment value, as does the music score by Stelvio Cipriani and the kind of gore we as fans come to expect from this sort of thing, and pleasurable doses of female skin.

Now, some viewers can take issue with the way the movie ends, but personally I don't feel it really hurts the movie at all, even if it has the air of familiarity. Lenzi keeps the action flowing for much of the running time, only slowing down somewhat for an interlude with our two main characters as they attempt to take a breather at a remote location.

The acting may not be exactly Oscar calibre stuff, but it gets the job done, with Mexican star Stiglitz definitely creating a real take-charge kind of guy, and entertaining performances by Francisco Rabal and special guest star Mel Ferrer as two of the Army guys. Other cast members include Eduardo Fajardo ("Django", "Lisa and the Devil") and Stefania D'Amario ("Zombi 2"). The ladies here sure provide fine eye candy.

Mostly, this movie is enjoyable for seeing our antagonists on the attack, no matter what they're doing, and "Nightmare City" amounts to 92 solid minutes of action, gore and sexiness that's never ever boring. It's highly recommended to lovers of Italian genre cinema.

Seven out of 10.
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Laughable zombie romp.
HumanoidOfFlesh25 September 2003
Dean Miller,a tv journalist is planning to make an interview with a very important scientist who is supposed to be landing at the airport.He notices an odd airplane preparing to land on the runway.Soon afterward the scientist steps off the plane,and along with the group of other zombies that were on the plane,promptly starts killing people.Umberto Lenzi's "Nightmare City" is a laughable zombie romp.The acting is pretty bad and the script is even worse.The zombies are really fast-they can carry weapons,drive cars and scheme to kill.Still there is plenty of gore and violence to satisfy fans of Italian horror.There is a breast mutilation,an eye piercing and plenty of exploding faces.So if you're looking for trashy Italian zombie films give this one a look.
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It's entertaining.
rossstan-7731321 July 2019
I thought this movie was entertaining and intense from start to finished not the greatest make-up zombies, but convincing enough nonetheless
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Pure Zombie Mayhem
MovieManiacX7 October 2005
Nightmare City is probably one of the most unorthodox, crazy, over-the-top, wildly entertaining zombie movies that exists. Unberto Lenzi gave us a movie that doesn't play by any rules and goes straight for the jugular.

First, the pace of the movie is very fast. This makes the film very easy to watch because all sorts of interesting things happen. The characters go from a news station to a hospital to the countryside to amusement park all while trying to escape from the fastest zombies I've ever seen. This keeps you on the edge of your seat.

The special effects are decent and the zombies look extremely gross. Their faces look like they're melting away and the mayhem they cause is deliciously gory. There are a bunch of nasty slit throats, lots of stabbings, many cool exploding heads, and to top it all off, a cut off nipple! And I thought I'd seen everything.

The acting is mediocre, with the best job being done by Mel Ferrer, the military leader during all this. Hugo Stiglitz's character looks very unhappy and his dialogue is sketchy. But this isn't a movie you go to see for the plot or dialogue.

The ending, which many feel is a cop out, was very satisfying. It leaves you hanging, wondering whether or not it is really going to happen.

The Bottom Line:

If you're looking for pure zombie entertainment with some good gore, Nightmare City is for you.
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Attack of the oatmeal people!
cmetz16 October 2002
Warning: Spoilers
(***May contain possible spoilers, but with this kinda goofiness who really cares?***)

Yowza! Unfortunately, this didn't even meet my low expectations. I figured "Italian, horror, it might be all right." Nope. This was, as others have said, quite funny at times, like when the dancer gets her leotard ripped open and runs around with her breasts hanging out for two seconds before being killed. That bit of gratuitious nudity was good for a chuckle. A lot of the zombies looked like they had fallen asleep at the breakfast table and they had fallen over into their oatmeal. The plot was...geez, I won't even get into it.

All this might have been forgivable if their had at least been some suspense or tension. The silly philisophical moments did great wonders at sucking dry any tension that might have been there. Just because a movie doesn't have a large budget doesn't mean that it has to suck. If this movie had been tweaked just a bit in certain areas it might have been all right.

No offense to Umberto Lenzi, but if you're looking for even a half way decent horror movie, I'd pass on this one.
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"the worst......but funny as hell"
reikowolf14 January 2002
Warning: Spoilers
(SPOILER ALERT DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE END OF THE MOVIE) Okay, first off, in all my years of seeing zombie movies this one takes the cake; Not only does the plot prove useless in the end, the film itself tries to leave the watcher with a sense of fear or utter hopelessness but all you realize is how bad the plot truly is. I recommend this film however. If you like horror movies and you've seen enough to pick really good form really bad, you can appreciate how bad this film truly is and get a good laugh from it. A 12 year old could write a better story and it probably wouldn't end with "And so the nightmare becomes a reality." So don't get this film because there's a guy with a pizza face on the cover, like some people. Get it if you just want to laugh at the fact that some movies could be dead awful and still find a place on the shelf of a video store.
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no refunds
ventues9719 May 2009
After this opened in my local movie theater they posted a sign stating " No Refunds Based on Quality Of Film being Shown " I saw it 3 times that weekend! As soon as the credits started to roll and all the foreign names appeared on the screen...people burst out laughing!!! I love these types of films and went to see them all the time. I started to purchase these on DVD and VHS. the Gates of hell was a classic!! best line " Dunwich a terrible place of death and doom " Christopher George " Yes..but how do we get there?? " Classic. House by the Cematry.." Dr Freudstien " a great combination of Sigmund Freud and Frankenstien....I love it!!
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