Movie of the Day – City of the Living Dead

I guess I am going on a zombie kick, probably due to the fact that Walking Dead is coming to an end and then we get our Game of Thrones.  After re-watching Doctor Butcher M.D. I was in need of some more splatter fest flicks and you know you can always rely on the stylings of Lucio Fulci.  This man certainly knows what to give horror fans in terms of their black heart loving, gore fests that really only serve to come up with some of the most gruesome looking death scenes.  This one certainly has all the hallmarks of being a cult classic for the deaths alone.

City of the living dead 1a

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.

So if you have watched a Lucio film before, then you know what to expect in terms of visuals.  His special effects team steals every scene of the film which is bogged down with plodding dialogue and ok acting.  It isn’t anything special in terms of a complete movie with acting and developed plot, just the grandiose plate that is used for some of the best looking zombie deaths and kills ever.  We are talking relatively iconic, wince inducing kills that pepper this entire movie.  That is one of the reasons why I like and remember this movie.  The plot is kind of interesting when you think about the implications that Fulci makes with the gates of hell being opened by a suicidal priest.  Kind of like the clergy being the gatekeepers between hell and earth in a sense.  But that is just the means to get us to a city full of the dead and kills come quickly.

City of the living dead 1b

I so want to talk about the death scenes, more so I want to show them to you all, but it is best that you see this movie if you are a splatter/gore horror fan.  Drill bits, vomiting, internal organs, buckets of blood and the usual zombie deaths is on full display.  The drill bit and vomiting scene are really the standouts from this flick since it is startlingly explicit and you can’t look away.  That is the sort of thing that makes a movie iconic to horror fans, the moment of truth where the camera never cuts away and gives the full monty of death.  But one of my favorite scenes isn’t really a gore scene, but a moment of sheer terror as one of the main characters is trying to free a woman trapped in a casket, buried under ground.  You sit there and witness as this pick axe is getting closer and closer to the woman’s face as the guy doesn’t know how close he really is.  Just an absolutely, terror inducing scene.

Most of the acclaim needs to go toward Franco Rufino, the special effects master of the film.  Without his truly insane insight into creating the horrific death scenes, you wouldn’t have the sort of cult following that this movie has.  That isn’t to say that Lucio doesn’t have a hand in setting up the scenes and tension, but those effects are just a master stroke of a genius.  That’s really why I enjoy Lucio flicks, I don’t expect some sort of complex story because the overall goal was give the horror fans what they wanted and this Italian director knows how to deliver.  There is no restraint given here so what you are seeing is the finest gore possible.  Really a memorable film and a much for the horror aficionados out there.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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