Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The City of the Living Dead or The Gates of Hell

This was Italian master Lucio Fulci's final zombie film. It was released in Italy as The City of the Living Dead but was called The Gates of Hell in the states.   Most versions now call the movie The City of the Living Dead. Zombie is Fulci's most famous film, but this film, made in 1980 actually did better at the box office.  Most Fulci fans would also say Zombie was his best film, but I have to say I loved this film and this is my favorite of Fulci's work.  It is absolutely wonderful from start to finish.  The film opens in a lovely cemetery.   A priest hangs himself.  At that moment, somewhere else, a medium goes into a trance and seems dead.   She rises from the dead with knowledge of  an upcoming apocalypse in which a priest has opened the gates to hell by hanging himself. 

The medium teams up with a reporter to find the town of Dunwich (yes, this film was greatly inspired by H.P. Lovecraft).  Their plan is to kill the priest zombie and thus stop the armies of the living dead from rising from the grave and destroying the world.  This seems easy enough.  These zombies have extra powers, however.   They can stare at their victims and make their eyes bleed.  If you look at them long enough,  your intestines will start oozing out of your mouth.   They can also teleport.

This film is campy and the dubbing is terrible, but it is worth it.  What wonderful horrors can you expect in Fulci's masterpiece?   A great scene involving a drill bit to the head,  intestines oozing out of victim's mouths,  lots of squishy brain scenes,  a scene in which it rains maggots, and zombies that look like they are covered in vomit and worms.  This is an absolute must see for any zombie movie lover.


  1. Hey I just started following your blog, which if ound through Blogexplosion. Great film, Fulci was brilliant!