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The City of the Living Dead (Special Edition) (1980)

Cast: Christopher George, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, more...
Director: Lucio Fulci
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Blue Underground
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Italian Horror, Cannibals
Running Time: 93 min.
Languages: English
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This gruesome horror film from cult director Lucio Fulci posits a priest's suicide opening the gateway to Hell, freeing bloodthirsty zombies to roam the town of Dunwich. The main attractions are startlingly explicit special effects by Franco Rufino, including two of the horror genre's most memorable deaths. One involves perennial victim Giovanni Lombardo Radice (also known as John Morghen) having his head run through with a power-drill, and the second is the notorious scene of a woman vomiting up all of her internal organs in a nauseating torrent of blood and guts. Fulci does manage one nice moment of splatter-free horror, as hero Christopher George struggles to free a woman who has been buried alive. As his pick-axe enters the coffin repeatedly, it comes ever closer to her face, causing the audience to wince with each strike. Aside from these scenes, though, Fulci's direction is somewhat plodding, as he substitutes slow pacing and clouds of fog for real suspense. Horror fans will still want to seek this film out, however, if only for the effects work and a familiar cast including Catriona MacColl, Janet Agren, Carlo de Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, and Daniela Doria. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Gates Of Hell by JCunningham August 17, 2005 - 11:32 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
The actual title of this classic is GATES OF HELL and it is one of Fulci's finest gut-wrenching horror films. When a priest desecrates hallowed ground by hanging himself, he opens the gates of hell, spewing every kind of foul and demonic force onto the town. This film has some seriously shocking gore sequences, a dark and slimey mood throughout, entrancing soundtrack (which seems to borrow from the 'heart beat' rhythm scheme of the Goblins' score for Dawn of the Dead) and a creepy descent into a walking-corpse filled level of hell(?). Mondo-Maggots in this film. The power of the evil priest forces others to do horrific violence upon one another, including clutching skulls until the brains ooze out or in one instance the Satanic priest depressurizes a girl until she bleeds from the eyes and vomits up her entrails! Strange, inexplicable ending, like all Italian horror. This is real, vivid, raw, fetid horror stuff for the hardcore viewer.

Average zombie film. by DLewis1 December 8, 2004 - 3:04 PM PST
0 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Slow and very dated, I just couldn't get into this film. The gore was fine and the zombie make-up was decent. Too many people in the film died by head wounds inflicted by the zombies, though. Horror films should grab hold of you and not let go until the credits. Worth your time when on a rainy day.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.90)
147 Votes
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