City of the Living Dead

Released: 1980

Directed by Lucio Fulci

A priest commits suicide and opens the Gates to Hell. A reporter and a ‘back from the dead’ psychic race to a small town to potentially save the world from these ghost-like Zombies.

I have several bad things to say, so I’ll begin with the good. City of the Living Dead contains a handful of daring and powerful shots. The tension of the drill scene and the cringe-inducing effect of the priest’s gaze are nearly worth the time of sitting through the remaining 80 minutes.

The plot is rather thin; there are still questions lingering on regarding why the gates opened, what made these people special, etc. This film gave the audience little reason to even think the characters are somehow special, judging by the lack of development. The nature of the ghost/zombie hybrids aren't explained in any coherent form. The conclusion is still up in the air.

Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead is often praised as being an exemplar of the great Italian Horror scene. If this is the case, I am left to wonder if all Italian greats contain a few interesting and well executed death scenes and nearly an hour or so of confused filler.

Rating: 3/10

This review is part of Zombie Week 2013.

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