Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Step Two: Pick a Number.
Step Three: GET WEIRD!
City of the Living Dead
And the dead shall rise and walk the earth!
City of the Living Dead (Italian: Paura nella città dei morti viventi, also known as The Gates of Hell) is a 1980 Italian horror film directed by Lucio Fulci. It is the first installment of the unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy which also includes The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery. Fulci makes an uncredited cameo appearance as Dr. Joe Thompson in the film.
This was my introduction to Italian horror films which spiraled out of control into an obsessed frenzy after one watch. I remember renting this (as Gates of Hell) when I was still a teenager. I watched the tape, stopped it after the credits, picked up my jaw, rewound the tape and watched it again. I then walked a couple blocks to my friends house, invited her to my house where we could watch it together. In a single rental day span, I watched this movie three times.
While the notorious regurgitation scene (complete with an appearance by horror director Michele Soavi) in the cemetery BLEW MY MIND, I was hooked at the very beginning. Seeing a priest commit suicide while…
Extract from HAMLET by William Shakespeare:
Is she to be buried in Christian burial that
wilfully seeks her own salvation?
I tell thee she is: and therefore make her grave
straight: the crowner hath sat on her, and finds it
How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her
It must be "se offendendo"; it cannot be else. For
here lies the point: if I drown myself wittingly,
it argues an act: and an act hath three branches: it
is, to act, to do, to perform: argal, she drowned
Extract from CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD by Lucio Fulci:
I saw a porno flick once, where this guy got so
carried away, he humped himself to death.
Too much of a good thing.
Yeah, but what a way to go.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, City of the Living Dead may not be Lucio Fulci's finest horror film, but it can probably be considered one of the single most important horror films of my life. Everything changed after the first time I watched it and the rest is history.
*Watched on Arrow blu, which has a few different commentary tracks worth checking out.
Sixty in September: 1/60.
Holy god. My skin has crawled off me and into another dimension. I've seen The Beyond and House by the Cemetery and Zombi 2, and, lord, if nothing could have prepared me for this one.
Unease with The Cat o' Nine Tails, but I'm somewhere else entirely now. I've shuddered and grimaced with it and caught myself mumbling revulsions to myself out loud and rolling around. The face of zombie Emily! The crying blood and intestinal vomit!
Fabio Frizzi. My brain is reeling. Fulci. He gains more and more power over my imagination. It's tremendous. I scarcely know what to say.
Words will come. But this is the thing I'm looking for. It's startling to know something so bizarre and wonderful can possibly have existed -- can exist. I'm in some kind of sick and terrible love.
My first time seeing this horror classic. As I occasionally do on films that have a lot to dissect on a first viewing I will just list a few thoughts.
-There is so much great style on display here right off the bat. That opening with the wind ripping smoke and leaves though the graveyard intercut with the seance is terrific. The shots of the priest hanging himself and the closeup on Catronia MacColl's eye--fantastic!
-Bob* was a creepy weirdo but he didn't deserve to go out like that. Industrial drill to the temple. Harsh.
-The score by Fabio Frizzi is one of the all time great horror scores. The driving pulse and ultimate crescendo in the climactic scene is…
This is only the second Fulci film I have seen, and while part of me is embarrassed to be so late to the party, the rest of me is super excited because of all the fun ahead.
I really wanted to love this film a lot more than I did. The film is stylish and beautiful in many ways with some incredible effects and a fantastic score. For me though it's the story that really lets this down.
A preacher kills himself and in doing so opens a gateway to hell and lots of mad things start to happen before the end of the world. The good news is though, our heroes have time to eat lunch before going to face the undead.
There are some artistic gore scenes and they hold up really well to this day, there are also some really creepy scenes especially involving a dead baby covered in maggots and a lady throwing…
Wow, so THIS is why people love Lucio Fulci so much. Don't get me wrong, I was already on board with the guy after seeing New York Ripper and Manhattan Baby, but this is the one that really sums up the vibe of Fulci: the plot is nuts, the gore is disgusting, the music is amazing, and the cinematography is so dramatic.
The acting/dubbing is pretty comical and that might turn off a lot of people but for me it just added another unique entertaining element. So keep that in mind.
This is exactly what I want when I'm in the mood for Italian horror. Might be my favourite Fulci film now. Amazing.
Film #21 of my Hoop-Tober 3.0 list!
Alright, Fulci is pretty rad.
The atmosphere in City of the Living Dead is top-notch. The music, the sets, the cinematography it all just clicks. And it's beautiful. On top of that, the characters are all pretty likable and the effects are gloriously disgusting. As my first Fulci film this was a real delight. I must admit, I lost the thread of the plot a ways in which definitely impacted my enjoyment. There's a lot of exposition and explanation to digest here and I think I just hit critical mass at some point. Despite being a bit confused, it was still a great time. Highly recommend it.
My sweet husband had to leave the room for this one. Too much gore. I'm too high on sugar to feel bad about it.
Disclaimer: Throughout 2016 and beyond, I will be going through selected works from a director's filmography on a month by month basis. I will be specifically spotlighting directors who's work I've somehow never had the privilege of sampling until now. The lone requirement is that the director in question must be either retired/semi-retired or deceased. For the month of October, I will focus on the so-called "Godfather of Gore" himself, Lucio Fulci. Fulci helped popularize the Italian giallo genre in the Western Hemisphere thanks to the dozens of low-budget genre films he made throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s. This next film sees Fulci settling right into the kind of stuff that earned him his moniker.
City of the Living…
Worm larva tornado. Moriarty & Sons Funeral Home. Telepathic ghost zombies.
Not the best written zombie film out there - ok, it's kind of a mess. But the incoherence ultimately adds to its otherworldly quality, and pervasive sense of dread. Fulci isn't here for social commentary or storytelling; he wants to grab you by the back of the head and squeeze. And the way his camera lingers on the gore, ignoring the musical cues of one of the best scores of all time urging him to cut away, makes City Of The Living Dead a truly horrifying experience from which there is no escape, or relief.
Props to whoever was in charge of effects and sound. I never knew that death could look and sound so gruesome.
Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Movies that are slightly off.