Movies that are slightly off.
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…
A priest hangs himself and sets in motion a plague of undead murderousness in a tiny upstate town. A young woman is rescued from live burial by the rumpled man's George Segal. A creep in a shanty romances a blow-up doll. Mouths run over with entrails. Brains bubble out of shattered skulls. Airborne maggots swirl around a study. Drill bits sink into heads, children are traumatized and grave diggers reminisce about porn. Some of these things cohere. Some of them don't. None of it matters. Fulci gonna Fulci.
A fun watch if you like this kind of thing.
It's not one of Fulci's best but it is nonetheless entertaining, not always for the right reasons.
Too often characters stand around waiting for things to happens or for the special effects to play out but other than that this is a solid if nonsensical horror.
Lucio Fulci was one of the major players in the Italian horror/exploitation scene in the 1970's and 1980's (though he worked in other decades as well, it's then that he made his mark in the world of low-budget gore and schlock), and sometimes he could make some really terrific, even awe-inspiring genre work (The Beyond hits the spot for me), and other times very much not so (Zombie 3 and Sodoma's Ghost are rather pitiful). City of the Living Dead marks some of the high qualities of Fulci's style that's loaded for bear with dreadful imagery (I mean that word as a compliment, up to a point), but there was barely any work on the script or characters.
What does it mean? I don't know!
Is in one of Fulci's zombie trilogy? Yes, why do you think it got 5 FUCKING STARS?!?
Nonsensical gory awesomeness!
What the fuck is it with Italian horror films having such badass soundtracks? Fabio Frizzi is an absolute genius.
I did a complete 180 on this one tonight since I now know how to groove on Fulci's grisly brand of surrealism.
City of the Living Dead could have been one of the greatest Zombie-movies of all time. It really could have.
The most striking feature of the movie is how close and personal you get with death. The movie is really all about death - and not just because the dead are rising or anything, there's more to it. There are a lot of coffins, burials and churches all around, constant reminders of death. Many aspects of the burial ritual is visited upon, as many people die and gets buried during the film. You see people putting makeup on corpses, you see people digging graves, you see people buried in those graves. Sometimes with terrifying shots from inside the coffin. It…
Finally a Fulci movie I've liked. Its pleasures are very simple, it's super gross, and it has the good sense of almost completely dispensing with a plot.
It lags a bit between the money shots, but there are a lot of them and they're pretty evenly spread out throughout the movie.
Yeah! Go team!
recommend shit to me, please! esp. little known sleazy stuff
"Horror is one of the most readily dismissed genres from critics and film buffs, yet is, arguably, the…