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City of the Living Dead

When a priest kills himself in the small city of Dunwich, the gates to hell open and unless they get closed before All Saints, the souls of the dead will return to earth. At the time of the priest’s suicide, in New York, the psychic Mary is doing a sceance and sees his death. Shocked by what she has seen, she slips into a coma and is believed to have died. Luckily for her, journalist Peter Bell goes to the graveyard where she’s about to be burried and saves her at the last minute. She tells him what she has seen and together they decide to head off to Dunwich to see what’s going on there.

Meanwhile, Dunwich is being overrun with strange happening. People disappear and/or die, dead people come back from the grave, windows crack without any reason, and so on. By the time Mary and Peter arrive at Dunwich, the city is already overwhelmed by sightings of dead people and time is running out. Will they be able to kill the evil that has taken possession of the dead priest’s body in time?

Sound and Vision:
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a bad transfer, but this one definitely should get a prize. At times the image is so unsharp that you start wondering whether there’s fog or that it’s because of the image quality. Print damage is all over in such a matter that you could almost confuse it with the grain that present. About the only thing that I didn’t spot was actual compression errors… Even the film cut hasn’t been done properly.

The 2.0 soundtrack sounds awfully dated but in fact the bad sound is because of any problem with the transfer. I’ve seen this film already before and I can assure you it doesn’t sound any worse than it did when I originally checked the movie out.

Extras:
None, luckily

Conclusion:
City of the Dead is not to be confused as to being part of George A. Romero’s well-known cult classic series. No, it’s made by Italian director Lucio Fulci in 1980 who also did the screenplay and the story of this film and is known for other horror “classics” like Zombi 2 which he made in the same year as this movie. The only good thing about this movie is that it doesn’t lack any gore. A woman coughing up her intestants, a guy getting drilled through the head, and lots of people getting their brains pulled out of their head are just some of the things you may expect when accidentally stumbling on this film.

Don’t worry that it all looks extremely fake, I guess it’s supposed to look that way. Just like the dead being able to appear and vanish whenever they want and being covered in some gue for no apparant reason, there being absolutely no logic at all in anything, and the acting being worse than any other movie I ever watched. If you still want to check out this dvd, the only thing I can imagine for being your reason is that it’s part of Dutch Filmworks’ Extreme label and you just have to have the complete collection. Maybe this film was scary back in 1980, and its effects fantastic for the time, but now this is just utter crap.

Nobody beats George A. Romero !

Our Score:
2.0

posted in: Dutch Filmworks, DVD, Reviews
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