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3.7 out of 5 stars77
3.7 out of 5 stars
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2001
No-one made horror films like Lucio Fulci. Even when the material was nothing more than cooked up spaghetti gore and hoary cliche he still managed to produce creepy, doom laden masterpieces, with atmosphere you could carve like a fillet of beef. City of the Living Dead doesn't disappoint; the incoherent and incomprehensible narrative borrows widely from Lovecraft and EC comics and simply serves to connect a series of startling images and twisted set peices, all served up with lashings of claret and the Fulci trademarks; close ups of darting eyes and dry lips, maggot ridden ghouls ambling slowly through inexplicable mists and a finale that leaves the audience as much in the dark as the characters. The gore scenes are close to visual poetry, at least as far as horror cinema can make any claim to the poetic. Indeed the film contains my own personal favourite sequence of any horror film; a necking couple in a car break off their groping as the mysterious priest again materialises, dangling from a tree outside the window, and suddenly the girls eyes begin to bleed before she vomits up her entire alimentary canal and finishes in style by pulling her boyfriends brains out of the back of his head. You can't buy the experience of seeing that for the first time with money... John Morghen (who you may remember ended up deep throated quite literally in Cannibal Ferox) also gets a drilling headache fixed with a drastic bit of home trepanning in another famous sequence. Both of these scenes were cut, or at least heavily edited, up until very recently (kept the film off the video nasties list); take advantage of the more relaxed censorship we've been having of late and enjoy a great peice of Italian grue. We owe it to the maestro.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2010
This release of "City" is without doubt the best print of the film I have ever seen. With extras to die for, plus a collector's booklet, lobby cards and your choice of four cover inserts, I have 3 words of advice: GRAB IT NOW!
Picture quality is top-notch, from the highest quality negitives.
Note: The DVD Version of this Fulci classic contains 2-discs.
The Blu-ray has an up-graded 7.0 master soundtrack and consists of 1 disc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2012
After a priest hangs himself in a cemetery, the gates of Hell are opened. Zombies appear and start killing off people in the remote town of Dunwich. Psychic Mary dies of what appears to be fright and is buried - only to revive, buried alive, in her own coffin. Investigating reporter Peter Bell, who is intrigued by the case, is present at the grave-site and rescues her and they team up and head to Dunwich.

This was Lucio Fulci's first film in what was later know as the Gates of Hell trilogy, the Beyond and House by the Cemetery followed. As with any Fulci Zombie movie these Zombies are completely different to the ones in his earlier film Zombie Flesh Eaters and the ones from George A Romero. These have super human strength and the power of Teleportation.

As with most of Fulci films it is well directed and he is able to create a very ghostly atmosphere with his use of fog and the opening scene where the priest hangs himself is a very surreal and scary image. The gore as expected is very explicit and not for the faint hearted, we have a young girl puking up her intestines while she bleeds from her eyes, a man has his head cut open with an electric drill and various people have their brains squeezed out by the Zombies.

I did however find the film very unbelievable but I guess that was never Fulci or Co-writer Dardano Sacchetti's intention.

Overall a decent film but fans of Fulci will have a field day with this blood filled 88 minute classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Written and directed by the Italian horror master Lucio Fulci comes "City Of The Living Dead." A horror film that was released in 1981 and previously banned, the film was quickly considered to be a video nasty and it's status is still refereed to such among horror fans to this day.

The film follows a young woman who has a vision foretelling the gates of hell opening under the New England town of Dunwich. She voices her concerns to a journalist and the pair set out together for the town, where a lot of strange things have been happening. They soon discover an army of zombies that have returned with a quest for revenge after being burned at the stake hundreds of years ago.

As usual with most of Lucio Fulci's horror films, the City Of The Living Dead offers a vast volume of stomach turning gore and horror. While a lot of his films were considered at the time to be simple exploitation and generally slatted by film critics, a great number of his films including this one are considered to be among his best by hardcore horror fans, and I personally would agree.

For me horror films such as this, always seem to come across as more realistic and plausible when compared to modern films. Perhaps it's the lack of computer effects, the low budget, or the fact that the actors (while not always the greatest) always seemed to be very real. Whatever the reason I always have prefer pre-1990's horror films.

City Of The Living Dead has a great atmosphere present throughout the film, which when combined with the appropriate and effective sound track generates a feel that's perfect for a horror. The effects and make-up used in the film are great and would still hold up today even after all this time. It's obvious that a lot of imagination and creativity has been put in to the creation of the Zombies. There are a couple of great scenes in the film that will really make your stomach turn, and looking back it's possible to tell that they may have inspired more modern film makers.

Naturally I could point out plenty of errors and mistakes, and the plot is a little thin. Certain things don't make sense, certain things don't add up, but in the end does any horror film make complete sense, but more to the point would you want it too. The acting leaves a lot to be desired, and the script is far from perfect, but the sheer atmosphere alone is enough to compensate. Dunwich really seems like a creepy town as opposed to a set.

Despite claiming to be Digitally Remastered, the picture and sound quality on the DVD, isn't the greatest (not much better than the VHS edition) which was a real shame considering the film's status. However my biggest disappointment was discovering that the dubbing is also very poor at times. In this particular case I think I would have preferred the original spoken language with subtitles.

But what counts the most in a film like this is the gore, and there is plenty of it here.

If you're looking for a brutal gore packed and entertaining horror film you've found it. City Of The Living Dead is a perfect example of what the horror genre is about.

Please note that there are several versions of this film available to buy on DVD. Some of these versions are cut, so make sure if you want the gore, and you want to watch the film the way that the film maker intended to get the uncut version.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2012
A lot of people seem to be discussing the pciture quality of the Arrow Video releases. While I was pleased with their outputs of "Inferno", "Phenomena" and "The Beyond", "City Of The Living Dead" sure is kind of a let-down. I'm not sure about the heavy grain on this transfer, but what really scares me is that this Blu-Ray has severe compression-problems. On many occasions you can see heavy digital blocking and it looks like a DVD. While it sure is an upgrade to the DVD, it is not up to par with the Blue Underground Release.

Just have a look at the sky, to see what I am talking about

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2012
After what twenty years of watching films with almost obsessive compulsive disorder like zeal i have found myself loitering in the splatter genre of the late 70s and the italian horror of Dario,Bava and this man,the don Lucio Fulci.I have to admit it took me a while but City Of The Living Dead peeled my eyes back.If the horror of Dario has the operatic sweep of a boxing match.Fulci is a bare knuckle fight.Glass allowed.Eyes goughes,brains spilling out of freshly ripped heads,drills through heads.Oddly mesmeric,beautifully pre c.g.i.Fulci's zombies don't have the socio political agenda of Romero,there function is to emerge,oozing,gooey aiming for the back of your skull.
I love these Arrow editions.For salivating,hot breathed geeks these editions are like a drug.You get reversible sleeves,postcards,extras plus a nifty catalogue f other titles available which will annoy the girlfriend as you proceed to purchase ultra gorefests rinsing your credit card.The missus will never understand my noble ambition of turning my shelf into a dvd equivalent of a video shop in the 80s,stacked full of delightful violence,marauding zombies and tons of blood.
These types of movies are a religion,i am fully converted.Its a beautiful thing how the FANS have kept the legacy of Fulci alive,constantly pushing his work to a status where critic's appraisals are not relevant at all.Fulci's horror reign has been taken to the bosom of carnage connosieurs.
Whats sad is Fulci is not here to see how his movies are loved.
I would say to appreciate this type of movie i think you have to be well versed in the mechanics of the genre,i do not mean to sound pompous it took me years but once your bitten....the dialogue can be terrible,logic can evaporate,stories left unfinished but there is undeniable charm to City Of The Living Dead.This was made in a time when independent producers could make movies truly outside the system before everything got swallowed up.
Lucio i tip my hat.Genius.Loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2012
Described as one of the most shocking films of all time!! This is Lucio Fulci classic supernatural living dead movie in all its glory uncut with loads of cult classic bloody gore!! The story is very weird especially the ending but very good, if your a big fan of cult classic zombie movies from the 70's and 80's you wont be disappointed its an essential purchase, great cast good music score, this is a must own!!
The arrow Blu-ray has an amazing picture and is crammed with tons of features, well worth the money!!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2005
Okay, first of all this is a Lucio Fulci zombie film - if you've never heard of Lucio Fulci chances are you'll be bemused/appalled/bored by this. But for those of us with a taste for cheesy Italian 80's splatter this is indeed a guilty pleasure.
Made back in the early 80's when Zombie movies were all the rage after the success of the original 'Dawn of the Dead', it's finally available uncut (previous versions were cut to bits by the BBFC) in all of it's gory detail. Plot wise it's loosely based on the work of HP Lovecraft (very loosley!) but to be honest it's the usual incoherent mess livened up by the occassional gruesome scene. The infamous 'head drilling' scene in particular is a real show stopper - they really don't make 'em like this anymore! Fans of Fulci will claim that the illogical plot adds to the dreamlike quality of the film - that probably makes perfect sense late at night after several strong beers and a kebab, which to be honest is the best way to enjoy this kind of film.
Picture quality is average - VIPCO are to be commended for digging out obscure previously banned horror/exploitation titles like this, but one thing they don't seem to be bothered with is picture or sound quality. I belive there is a far superior region 1 Anchor Bay version out there for those that want to import.
So in summary well worth checking out if Italian zombie gore is your thing (come on, you know who you are!.....). By the way, if you like this check out 'The Beyond' - in my opinion Fulci's finest (yes, even better that Zombie Flesh Eaters.......).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2012
And you make your choice.
The choice is between the Blue Underground version of this film or the Arrow version.
At first glance it seems an easy one. The Blue Underground picture is better. Not as soft and the colours are more muted. However with a slight tinkering of the contrast button on your television the difference is less obvious. Both copies have plenty of grain, not that I mind that, but the Blue Underground version does slightly edge the debate.
Then we come to the extras and Arrow is the clear winner here. The disc is stacked. Add to that the double sided poster, the booklet and the four different sleeves for the cover and it really does come down to is the picture quality the be all and end all or does the entire package mean more to you.
Personally I prefer the complete package from Arrow but I appreciate why some people prefer the Blue Underground.
Perhaps it's because I remember the awful, cut fuzzy disc from Elephant Videos that I grew up with but the Arrow package is miles better than that and that's what I had to put up with for many years.
Arrow might not always get it right but they do seem to care for their customers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2010
I think this film is pretty good. I think it has a creepy mood.I like the moody music of frequent collaborator Fabio Frizzi, who made music for many Fulci films. I like the theme song, but i personally think Fabio overused in the film. At the end of the film, i was a bit tired of hearing that repetitive song. I think it kind of loses it`s effect because it`s just used too much. I also like the Zombie makeup.

Picture Quality: 4/5

Previously i only had the region 1 DVD of this film, and i think this BD look much better than my old DVD. It has a lot of grain, but it is supposed to have that. The grain does not bother me. I think the details and colours are very much improved compared to my DVD.
COTLD was shot on 2-perf 35mm and only using part of the available 35 mm frame, resulting in a loss of overall resolution and detail.

It was not shot on 16mm then blown up to 35mm, as many people think. Yes, some scenes look unclear, but it is not the people doing the restoration`s fault. They looked like that originally in the cinema in 1980. There is some compression artifacts and noise, but it didn`t ruin the film experience for me. I think they did a pretty good job.

Audio Quality: 4/5

I used the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The music and the dialog sounds good coming from the Center speaker. The subwoofer channel does not sound like a new film, but i didn`t expect that at all, but there are several times when i hear good bass. Just make sure you have more volume on the sub, compared to newer films.

I was suprised to hear Zombies moaning, the wind and some other effects several times in the rear speakers. I thought the rear speakers would be used much less. I think it sounded good and was surprisingly used for good effect.

If you really like this film and has it on DVD, and was thinking about buying the BD, i would recommend you to buy it. I think it was worth the upgrade.

Film: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5
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Zombie Flesh Eaters [DVD] [1979]
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Inferno [DVD] [1980]
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The House by the Cemetery [DVD]
The House by the Cemetery [DVD] by Paolo Malco (DVD - 2011)

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