365horror

City of the Living Dead

by on Mar.17, 2010, under Daily Review

This is a beautiful movie. The essence of the word captured on film showing all the ups and downs and multi layers that make up perfection and treats for the eyes and mind. Fulci at his finest? Maybe, but this is definitely, for me anyway, Fulci’s breaking point. Following up his earlier Zombie outing (Flesheaters) in which he split away from the comfort of his giallo home, he stepped up the game and offered this incredible complex visionary film, which I believe he has never bettered on a magical visual level.

During a séance, Mary (Catriona MacColl)  sees a priest commits suicide, hanging himself from a tree in a graveyard, in the process, opening the 7 gates of hell, allowing all manner or evil to be unleashed and of cause, a growing number of undead. Mary dies of shock, later awakening buried alive (or dead) screaming to be rescued. A passing reporter, Peter (Christopher George) hears her cries and takes a pickaxe to the grave. An amazing scene with the axe tip grazing Mary’s head. They soon head off to save the world from the evil which is manifesting in the sleepy town of Dunwich, and the grave of the priest needs laying to rest once again, or something to that effect.  Along the way, a number of set pieces grace the screen which are loosely connected, or could be connected if you thought about it for long enough, but this film doesn’t really rely on a solid static plot, allowing dreamlike sequences free reign over conscious reality. MacColl is amazing in this film looking brilliant in every scene. True cinema presence with rich depth. A real highlight of the film.

One of the most famous scenes has the intestines of a young girl, sprew from her mouth. A scene that seems to last an eternity, and how on earth did they get all that meat in that girls mouth? This was after a romantic moment with a young Michele Soavi. The other brutal scene has John Morghen’s character, Bob get a power drill through the jaw for perving on a Carpenter’s daughter. A bit harsh I hear you say? Although the moments of gore here are seriously over the top, the balance is one of harmony with drifting scenes of perfect cinematography from Sergio Salvati. Once again, Fulci has his team together to create a stunning picture. Tomassi, Salvati, DeRossi and Frizzi.

This is a challenging movie, competing with Argento once again (Flesheaters follwing Dawn) after the release of his Inferno, City had a much smaller budget, but a mighty heart and vision to produce this landmark.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Helen

    Hi Geoff – i luved this movie & am now a real Fulci fan! Another ambiguous ending which i’ve noticed has created much speculation online amongst fans. I would be interested to hear your take on it – obviously a scream seems to sugggest it didn’t end well!! Helen

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