Thursday, March 6, 2008

City of the Living Dead a.k.a. The Gates of Hell (1980)

Today we have Lucio Fulci's City of the Living Dead. You can go here for an in-depth plot summary, but beware of spoilers.

This is probably my third favorite Fulci picture, after The Beyond and Zombi 2. Fulci's trademark lack of plot coherence isn't quite as pronounced here as it is in The Beyond, but things still aren't exactly linear. Still, this factor is probably one of the reasons I like this movie since, when you think about it, there's only so much you can do with zombies before the concept starts getting stale. Fulci dodges this bullet by giving his zombies the ability to teleport... Like I said, it doesn't make much sense, but its cool.

That being said, this isn't a movie for everyone. Fulci's penchant for graphic gore is on display here in all it's glory. The special effects have actually aged fairly well, especially an infamous sequence involving an unfortunate man and a very large drill.

The film's DVD releases have been lackluster. Both Anchor Bay and Blue Underground have put out versions, but both releases are essentially identical. The lack of decent bonus features on both releases is disappointing, but the film is worth a watch if you aren't squeamish.

1) Fulci used the fictional Book of Eibon as a plot point both in this movie and in The Beyond.
2) Dunwich, the name of the titular city, is a reference to an H.P. Lovecraft story.

Link(s) of interest:
1) Buy the DVD from Amazon

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