Nightmare City ★★★½

Director Umberto Lenzi may have thought he was making a sociopolitical statement with Nightmare City — Trotter has few anemically polemic speeches that recycle the old "who are the real monsters?" trope — and not just an almost-zombie movie, but the scenes that work are the wild and savage not-zombie attacks. More than any other zombie-like movie I've seen, Nightmare City's action scenes are a dazzle of particularly unhinged mayhem, with a raw energy that completely mitigates the absurd lack of spatial continuity and poor self-preservation instincts on the part of the victims.

While it's not a non-stop gut-munching carnival like Burial Ground: Nights of Terror, Nightmare City is distinctive, visceral and as good as any Italian zombie movie of the late 1970s or early 1980s, even if it isn't one (but really is) itself.

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