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"City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

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"City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Old 10-07-10, 08:17 PM
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"City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10



City of the Living Dead (1980)



IMDB PAGE

Selected by llandros.

Netflix Streaming Link

These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 Films in 31 Days Subset.

Main Discussion Thread | The List Thread

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.

Spoiler tags are unnecessary in these discussion threads, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

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Old 10-10-10, 06:30 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Used to be my favorite Fulci film, but was edged out by The New York Ripper over time. The overall atmosphere of Dunwich and the score (not the Zombie retread piece towards the end) are my favorite things about it. It also has a bit of unpredictability on it's side. I certainly didn't expect Christopher George to bite it when I took in my original viewing. I know the disappearing zombies bother some people, but they have the power of Hell behind them, so it wasn't a problem for me.
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Old 10-10-10, 08:35 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Agree with all of that J. Loved the creepy and depressing tone of the whole film, and was very surprised when the grizzly hunter died.

I've watched very little Fulci and think I'll have to change that.
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Old 10-10-10, 09:17 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

I watched this a few weeks ago and was bored out of my mind. This is one of the best zombie movies to watch if you have insomnia.

My rating: * out of *****
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Old 10-10-10, 11:55 PM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

I’m not spoiling anything when I say that this is a zombie movie. Anything with “of the living dead” in the title should pretty much drum up scenes of slow lurching undead and oodles of gory zombie madness. City of the Living Dead is another one of these titles that showed so much promise. Here I am picturing zombie stockbrokers and zombie telemarketers…a bunch of zombies car pooling to the office or acne laced zombie video store clerks. How about zombies jogging to their Ipods? Zombie dance clubs? People having found each other on PlentyofZombies.com suffering through their first date in zombie Starbucks? Lots of potential here but City of the Living Dead really just focuses on a small portion of a city and features maybe 7 zombies. Survival of the Dead takes place on a small island and manages to give us more zombie bang for our buck. Still, these zombies had the power to teleport! Strange, though, that they still lurch slowly about. You’d think if you could teleport you’d always utilize this to your advantage. Slow plodding villains along with a slow plodding film and slow plodding actors do not for interesting cinema make…or something. This is an Italian Fulci gorefest and watching this I will give the Italians credit. They have some damn fine dubbing going on. I barely noticed things weren’t matching. Japan take note! Strange ending on this one. It was as though they wanted one final scare but had no footage so they just shrugged, slow motioned and added a scream and left it up for the audience to figure out. Thanks for the homework, movie!
Rating: *.5
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Old 10-11-10, 12:39 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Lucio Fulci's first horror film after the international success of Zombie (or Zombi 2, if you prefer) continues on the same path, with zombies lurking around the city of Dunwich. Thanks to the suicide of a priest, the doors of Hell have been opened in Dunwich, and it's up to a psychic, a newspaper reporter, and a psychiatrist to get them closed again. Although the film has great atmosphere, it falls pretty short in the logic department...and I have absolutely no idea what the ending of the film means. It's worth a look, especially if you're a fan of Italian gorefests, but Fulci's The Beyond, which elaborates on many of this film's themes, is a much more satisfying film.
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Old 10-11-10, 02:39 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

I watched The Gates Of Hell Tonight (cut 90min version) on VHS and it was really dark and almost unwatchable, can anyone recommend the BR or should I just get a DVD release?
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Old 10-11-10, 03:46 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Loved the score, loved the lighting and that great Italian coloring process, and loved the sound mix. I ordered the blu-ray half way through the Netflix stream. I don't know what happened in the final scene. I was half expecting the cops to shoot them both as zombies since they were crawling from a crypt. The death scene of the girl in the car with her boyfriend will forever be one of the creepiest ever. CGI still can't touch the best of the best practical effects like that.
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Old 10-11-10, 07:35 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Originally Posted by SterlingBen View Post
I watched The Gates Of Hell Tonight (cut 90min version) on VHS and it was really dark and almost unwatchable, can anyone recommend the BR or should I just get a DVD release?
I recently got my hands on the Arrow Video UK Blu-ray, and it is outstanding, both in terms of the AV/PQ, which is pretty much the same as the US disc, and the overall package blows the US disc out of the water.
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Old 10-11-10, 07:46 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Originally Posted by ViewAskewbian View Post
I’m not spoiling anything when I say that this is a zombie movie. Anything with “of the living dead” in the title should pretty much drum up scenes of slow lurching undead and oodles of gory zombie madness. City of the Living Dead is another one of these titles that showed so much promise. Here I am picturing zombie stockbrokers and zombie telemarketers…a bunch of zombies car pooling to the office or acne laced zombie video store clerks. How about zombies jogging to their Ipods? Zombie dance clubs? People having found each other on PlentyofZombies.com suffering through their first date in zombie Starbucks? Lots of potential here but City of the Living Dead really just focuses on a small portion of a city and features maybe 7 zombies. Survival of the Dead takes place on a small island and manages to give us more zombie bang for our buck. Still, these zombies had the power to teleport! Strange, though, that they still lurch slowly about. You’d think if you could teleport you’d always utilize this to your advantage. Slow plodding villains along with a slow plodding film and slow plodding actors do not for interesting cinema make…or something. This is an Italian Fulci gorefest and watching this I will give the Italians credit. They have some damn fine dubbing going on. I barely noticed things weren’t matching. Japan take note! Strange ending on this one. It was as though they wanted one final scare but had no footage so they just shrugged, slow motioned and added a scream and left it up for the audience to figure out. Thanks for the homework, movie!
Rating: *.5
Awesome review. Wish I had taken the time to type more out but I just wanted this movie to end.
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Old 10-11-10, 08:03 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Originally Posted by brianluvdvd View Post
Awesome review. Wish I had taken the time to type more out but I just wanted this movie to end.
Go and reward yourself for getting through thsi by watching Rock and Roll Nightmare.
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Old 10-11-10, 08:56 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

This movie bored the hell out of me
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Old 10-11-10, 09:26 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

The ending was quite strange. I read a few threads about it on IMDB and it appears to be a case where Fulci decided at the last minute to have a twist ending, but didn't have the right kind of footage shot to make it make sense.

I enjoyed this film, but The Beyond was better.
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Old 10-11-10, 10:57 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
The ending was quite strange. I read a few threads about it on IMDB and it appears to be a case where Fulci decided at the last minute to have a twist ending, but didn't have the right kind of footage shot to make it make sense.
It was actually a "happy accident". Something like the film spool screwing up in the editing room but Fulci liked the effect it had on the kid running. Fulci talks about this in his final Fangoria interview, heavily excerpted in this excellent book :



Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
I enjoyed this film, but The Beyond was better.
Agreed. As Fulci said, he was trying to dispense with traditional narrative storytelling, as if the supernatural was assaulting the film itself. He liked what Argento did with Inferno and was trying to take it, well, beyond.
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Old 10-11-10, 11:11 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Originally Posted by ViewAskewbian View Post
I’m not spoiling anything when I say that this is a zombie movie. Anything with “of the living dead” in the title should pretty much drum up scenes of slow lurching undead and oodles of gory zombie madness. City of the Living Dead is another one of these titles that showed so much promise.
And dude, like, any movie with "rats" in the title should conjure up killer rats. Mallrats. So much potential. A swarm of rats spreading the plague in a suburban shopping mall. Chewed up corpses strewn across Cinnabon.
But no, we get a stupid Kevin Smith movie.
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Old 10-11-10, 11:54 AM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

I've tried to watch this multiple times, but always give up. I can never figure out what the hell is going on, and am unable to engage.
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Old 10-11-10, 12:04 PM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
I've tried to watch this multiple times, but always give up. I can never figure out what the hell is going on, and am unable to engage.
It's basically a number of set pieces strung together by a thin thread, almost like someone spliced together scenes from different movies and made this.

When I was a kid, I enjoyed movies like this because it felt like anything could happen. All of this weird shit was going on and it didn't really make any sense, and it felt like horror. Maggots raining out of nowhere, a girl pukes her guts out (literally!), eyes gouged out...

However, maybe it's because I'm older, or maybe it's because I've seen inside the bag of tricks, but I now find I have less patience for these things.
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Old 10-11-10, 12:08 PM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Exactly. Every scene introduces one or more new characters, and often they are killed off almost immediately.
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Old 10-11-10, 12:16 PM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
I've tried to watch this multiple times, but always give up. I can never figure out what the hell is going on, and am unable to engage.
Yep. I had to stop it half way through and read a synopsis of the film. That put the pieces together for me and I was able to get into it.

I'd hate to have to do that for every film I watch, but I don't mind it occasionally. Actually sort of glad that my brain wasn't in tune with Fulci's and that I had to "work at" the film.
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Old 10-11-10, 12:49 PM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
I've tried to watch this multiple times, but always give up. I can never figure out what the hell is going on, and am unable to engage.
I know I've seen this a few times but I can't remember one thing about it.
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Old 10-11-10, 06:23 PM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

This movie doesn't have hordes of zombies and the story is hard to follow but I can completely forgive all of that when looking at the lovely gore exhibited in this movie, particularly the scene with the two young lovers in the truck. The girl whose eyes start to bleed then spews all of her organs out of her body was amazingly gross, and I wondered how the director was going to top that, and he doesn't but that's okay because that scene completely won me over. I admire all the bleeding eyes in this movie which is a favorite image of mine. Going to buy the blu-ray so thanks llandros for choosing it for the subset.
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Old 10-11-10, 08:51 PM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

I loved it. One of the most visually interesting Fulci films I've seen (and a great way to wash away my earlier experience with Zombi 3). I enjoyed the bleeding glass the most. But yeah, I have to agree that I was confused most of the time.

Last edited by Dick Laurent; 10-13-10 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:30 PM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

I prefer the American title "The Gates of Hell" because this isn't really a zombie movie.

A priest hung himself and it opened up a gateway to hell or something... and then... all of gross shit starts happening... a girl pukes up her entire digestive tract, it rains maggots, a guy gets a drill through his head... and some zombies show up, but it seems like they're more of an after thought than an attempt to make a Romero knock-off.
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Old 10-12-10, 10:32 PM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

^ I have to agree with you.. slightly.

the film's structure seems more a sleep induced nightmare, where the story, effects and characters dart in and out with random rapidity. The zombies are more 'ghost' like than the typical run of the mill walking gut munching cliched kind.

my only qualms with the film, is that I find the zombie makeup to be quite shoddy, evey by Fulci standards, at times it seems like they just threw mud on the extras faces - the living dead from Zombi were more skeletal and ferocious looking.

on a technical note, I thought the remastered 7.1 sound on the Arrow Film (UK bluray edition) to be quite lacking, is the Blue Underground bluray sound any better? If I have the time I'm gonna listen to Giovanni's commentary track, since he gave quite an insightful one on the Cannibal Ferox/Let Them Die Slowly DVD.

Last edited by Giles; 10-12-10 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 10-15-10, 07:32 PM
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Re: "City of the Living Dead" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 10

I loved this back in the 80's but not as much now. I enjoyed it and glad I recommended it, but found myself a bit bored at times. Probably because I have seen it so often. Love some of the effects that are still pretty impressive.

Have to agree with the whole 'set up characters only to knock them off in a scene or two' discussion.
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