Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Short Attention Span Review: City of the Living Dead (1980)

Widely celebrated as a filmmaker who greatly enjoyed showering his audience with gore, Lucio Fulci was also incredibly talented when it came to establishing mood.  His movies also benefited from quality cinematography and unique plots.  City of the Living Dead is a great example of just what Fulci was capable of.  It is incredibly disgusting at times, so disgusting, in fact, that several sequences are truly difficult to watch.  It is also incredibly creepy, and the sinister mood deepens as the kooky story progresses.  Fulci seldom had the privilege of working with a stellar cast, but City of the Living Dead features Christopher George and Catriona MacColl as a mismatched pair of strangers who set out on a spooky trip to save the world.  They shine in this demented gem, and the supporting cast does a nifty job with the gruesome material as well.  Now, Fulci was always more interested in taking audiences on a ride than maintaining plausibility, so this blood-splattered oddity does include a few plot holes and some random crazy shit like teleporting zombies, people bleeding from their eyes and then puking out their intestines, and maggot showers.  The score is ominous, accentuating a number of tense moments that make all the brutal demises sprinkled throughout the picture that much more intense when they arrive.  City of the Living Dead isn't a great horror film, but it's very effective.  It's a strange zombie film with a bit of a Lovecraft vibe and a lot of energy.  It's not Fulci's best film, but it is one of his better offerings, and those who enjoy this sort of material should definitely take a little trip to the City of the Living Dead.  Just make sure to pack a barf-bag. 

Final Grade: C+

In City of the Living Dead, once the bleeding from the eyes begins,
watch out--things are about to get incredibly disgusting.

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