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 »
In Emily's house, she lays the .38 pistol down on her work bench and pours herself a glass of Jack Daniels and sits the glass back down beside the pistol and bottle. When her visitor pours himself a drink a minute later, same spot, the bottle has become a Dewar's bottle. Two minutes later, the Jack Daniels bottle is across the room on a low end table with the glass beside it. See more »
A priest commits suicide in order to open a gateway to hell. This leads to a series of grim events, including several supernatural zombies.
City of the Living Dead is the second of Italian director Lucio Fulci's four celebrated zombie films from 1979-81. Each and every one of them was primarily famed for its graphic violence. In the case of City of the Living Dead it is most probably two gruesome set-pieces in particular that have established its infamous reputation - a nasty scene where a man is killed by a power drill through his head and a sequence where a woman vomits up all of her innards. Both are memorably grotesque. Add to this a maggot storm and several moments where zombies pull the brains out of their victim's craniums. Like other Fulci pictures of this period, this is an inventively grotesque film. But also like those other movies there is also a sustained creepy atmosphere. The fog encased town of Dunwich is quite an effective setting, while the Goblin inspired score from Fabio Frizzi adds a gloomy ambiance of dread to proceedings. There is also a notable macabre scene that doesn't involve any blood and guts, where a woman who has been buried alive is freed by a man hacking her coffin open with a pick axe, which just misses her head several times.
Lead actor Christopher George will be familiar to a few fans of early 80's splatter flicks from his lead role in the bonkers Spanish slasher Pieces. He's pretty decent here again. But, ultimately City of the Living Dead is a film most notable for its no-holds-barred gory violence and horror atmosphere. Although it is not among Fulci's best films, it's certainly a key entry in the Italian zombie film cycle of that time.
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