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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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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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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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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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on 27 April 2016
As I have a multi region disc player I bought this version. First up, I haven't seen it for years so I don't know if anything has been edited out. The film clock's in at 93 mins so I presume it's the uncut version. Secondly it states that it's region one. It's not it play's on my blu ray player which is not multi region. After a quick look the picture has not been remastered so it's quite grainy. But it's uncut and cost me less than two quid. Cheaper than the blu ray. This copy is the one with the blue/green cover with the zombie with one eye on it. And should play on UK DVD player's.
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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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on 25 March 2002
Seeing as most people who have heard of this film have already seen it and/or read the synopsis, let me get down to business and explain about the new uncut R2 DVD release from the ever despicable Vipco label.
First of all: some words about the DVD. The picture quality is in 1.85:1 widescreen (but not anamorphic), and generally worse than the R1 disc. The image looks dark and scratchy, there are visible white lines in between the image and the black bars, and on occasion I could see - please, God no!!! - flickering white lines, like you get on VHS playback. I doubt it was, but knowing Vipco, who can tell. The sound is in mono (as opposed to the R1's splendid DD5.1 mix), plus it's very muffly and at times can leave you straining to hear.
The only saving grace on this disc is the audio commentary from actress Catriona MacColl and the ever-busy interviewer Jason Slater. But even though it is quite entertaining to listen to, Slater is clutching at straws trying to think of what questions to say to MacColl, who herself is ill at ease with this movie, admits she doesn't care for it, and barely describes or relates to what's happening on screen. It seems so different as opposed to the marvellous commentary she recorded with the late, great David Warbeck for Anchor Bay's DVD release of "The Beyond".
Personally, I don't like this disc, and I wished that Anchor Bay picked the commentary up for their R1 release, because this Vipco disc just refuses to do the film any justice. If you're curious, give it a go (but keep the receipt).
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on 25 February 2014
Another movie I hadn't seen before and with all the horror films I have watched lately ranging from old classics to modern terrors you can get a bit misty eyed with them all becoming much of a muchness. This movie however is very well made and was thrilling me and my mate I watched it with throughout. It is part of an unofficial trilogy consisting of City of the Living Dead, The Beyond and The House By the Cemetery and in that order. I have the limited edition version from Arrow Video with the movie poster cards with the outer sleeve and reversible Blu-Ray cover. The picture was clean if I remember rightly with good detail and colour and one of the aspects of this movie that really wowed my mate and I was the 7.1 audio mix of which I have only really witnessed mixes like this on modern film. I have been watching these classics with the original mix first as I haven't seen them before so I want the same experience as the cinema goers had back in the day but for this one I was too tempted by the 7.1 and I'm glad I was too. The placement of sound in conjunction to where they are on or off screen was precise which really puts the listener right in the middle of the action. One of the scenes where they are in an old house the characters hear someone moving around upstairs. I can safely say it sounded the same to us, There is a loft above my flat so no one would be walking around and it's only a crawl space but my mate and I both looked up in hearing the creaking floorboards above us. I don't have hight speaker in my 7.1 set up just the 3 fronts and the 4 sattelites beside and behind the seating position. Now that's how you mix a movie

Plot wise. Watch and see is all I would say and take into account how old the film is. Great film.
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