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
Director Lucio Fulci always carried around a bag with his trademark pipe and tobacco. One day on set, he reached into his bag and found a handful of maggots (which had been used earlier to film the scene in which maggots blow in through a window). The perpetrator of this prank is rumored to be Christopher George, the film's lead actor, who did not get along well with Fulci. See more »
The people of Dunwich are said to be descended from "Salem witch burners", although no accused "witches" were ever burned in Salem (most were hanged). See more »
In New York, the medium Mary Woodhouse (Katriona MacColl) sees Father William Thomas (Fabrizio Jovine) committing suicide by hanging himself in a cemetery in Dunwich. His death opens the gates of Hell permitting the rise of the dead. Mary is so frightened with what she sees that she dies in a séance.
The snoopy reporter Peter Bell (Christopher George) covers the death of Mary and goes to the cemetery. Out of the blue, Mary awakes locked in the coffin and Peter hears her screams and saves her. She tells what happened and Peter invites her to go to Dunwich with him. Meanwhile in Dunwich there are weird deaths and Peter and Mary meet the psychiatrist Gerry (Carlo De Mejo) and his friend Sandra (Janet Agren) to find out the grave of Father Thomas to close the gates of Hell before All Saints Day; otherwise the dead will raise and destroy the living. Will they succeed in their intent?
"Paura nella città dei morti viventi" is one of the best horror movies by Lucio Fulci. The story is simple and does not have explanations why the death of the priest will open the gates of Hell, but the special effects are gore and gruesome. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Pavor na Cidade dos Zumbis" ("Horror in the Zombie City")
Note: On 14 May 2013, I saw this movie again on Blu-Ray. The quality is excellent, but unfortunately the original audio in Italian is not available.
On 26 January 2017, I saw this movie again on a Brazilian DVD (Versátil), but unfortunately the original audio in Italian is not available.
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