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.
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.
on 3 July 2010
Along with their recent releases of Dawn Of The Dead and Day Of The Dead this is another quality release from Arrow. Multiple cover art, a double sided poster, collectors booklet and 6 poster cards are all included in this high end package.
Directed by the Italian "Godfather of gore" Lucio Fulci, City Of The Living Dead is the 1st of his "Gates of Hell" trilogy which also includes The House by the Cemetery and the sublime The Beyond.
The movie is a delerious melting pot of close fear, gory set pieces and misty environments, and while the characters may stumble over their motivation and indeed struggle to find a plot this does nothing to spoil this cracking 80's Italian horror. Great camera work, lovely use of colour and an excellent, creepy soundtrack are all on side to make this a fabulous experience for lovers of the genre.
The Blu Ray transfer of the movie is as crisp and sharp as you can get from 30 year old source material and shows the gore off in glorious hi-res colour and detail... really, what's not to enjoy?
If you like this then buy Arrow's Dawn and Day of the Dead. See also Lucio Fulci's Zombie 2 aka Zombie Flesh Eaters.
on 24 May 2010
Fuci's surreal precursor to the Beyond follows a Psychic recently buried alive after appearing to die from a horrifying vision (played by catriona macoll) and a journalist (played by christopher george) head to the sleepy town of dunwich to investigate the psychics vision only to find the gates of hell have opened and the dead are walking the earth.
Fans of this often overlooked fulci entry have previously been forced to make do with the crappy quality vipco release with a commentary track from catriona macoll (which appears as an extra on this disc) or the bare bones blue underground/anchor bay disc that while better in terms of picture quality than the vipco disc still was far from what the fans wanted...
Fortunately Arrow have addressed this with what has deservedly been called the definitive edition. 2 discs on dvd the blu-ray features it all on one disc with TWO commentary tracks, Several featurettes/documataries, postcards a poster and booklet from film critic callum waddell that shows arrow realeasing are along with rivals shameless making it worth buying genre films in the uk rather than importing from the states. My blu-ray turned up this morning so I stuck it on immediately, great menu screens, and played the film. WoW! the picture quality is razor sharp and the film has never looked or sounded better, this edition blows away any previous release of the film available, and if your a fuci fan with blu-ray this is a genuine MUST BUY.
Finally blu-ray is getting the release it needs, and arrow have delivered the greatest fulci collectors disc ever in the uk, and in terms of content easily rivals anchor bays Beyond and grindhouses cat in the brain as a must own release... more like this please Arrow!
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!!
on 25 May 2010
How would one try summing up "City of the Living Dead", well it is a zombie movie but unlike so many other zombie films of the time which were interested only in imitating what Romero had done Lucio Fulci who up until then hadn't been given much recognition for his many interesting films including various notable westerns and giallo was about to make a real impact and transcend the endless barrage of zombie fodder that began to appear, not that I'm bashing the zombie genre but many of them do just rehash the same theme's and format, Fulci would instead challenge what a zombie film could be and leave a very unique mark with his entries in the genre, in 1979 he made "Zombie Flesh Eaters" or "Zombi 2" in Italy (a name only unofficial sequel to "Zombi" or "Dawn of the Dead") which owing more to the voodoo zombies of the pre-Romero era became popular the world over, although his second zombie effort "City of the Living Dead" didn't go over as well at the time it has since gained a lot of popularity and become one of the must see zombie films of all time, first I should mention that in style its worlds apart from the typical example of the genre, the narrative is disjointed and dreamlike, the atmosphere dark and gothic, the violence a slow and sinister showreel of entrail vomiting and head drilling that is as beautiful as it is disgusting and musical score a haunting surreal experience that suits the madness, Lovecraftian themes are strongly evident.
The plot revolves around a priest, Father Thomas, who upon hanging himself opens the gates of hell, a medium and a reporter head off to the small community of Dunwich to close the gateway before all saints day at which point the dead would engulf and destroy the world, meanwhile the citizens of this sleepy little town try to survive as the strange goings on threaten them and the dead begin to move among them, being Fulci these zombies aren't going to walk around aimlessly biting people, the kills are rather creative especially for a zombie film, now the plot does make enough sense if thats what you're watching for but lets face it the films amazing gore, music and atmosphere are its strongpoints.
Now that I've covered the film itself lets talk about this particular edition, the film, remastered in a brand new HD transfer has never looked so good, it comes with both 5.1 surround and 2.0, on the Blu-Ray edition it also has 7.1, the special features include the original trailer, the Italian trailer, an introduction to the film by actor Carlo De Mejo, a Q and A session with actors Giovanni Lombardo Radice and Catriona McColl at the Glasgow Film Theatre, Catriona McColl interview featurette and audio commentary, Giovanni Lombardo Radice featurette and audio commentary, an interview with Lucio's daughter Antonella Fulci, interview with actor Carlo De Mejo, Luigi Cozzi reflects on his memories of Lucio Fulci and an interview with scriptwriter Dardano Sacchetti, the features total up to over three hours worth, six hours if you include the audio commentaries, how's that for a special edition!
Still not sold on this great edition of a legendary film? Well the film comes in a great packaging which includes a slip-over cover, four reversible covers allowing you to choose the cover you like best, six cool looking postcards, a double sided poster (one side is all new artwork, the other the American "Gates of Hell" poster) and a small booklet which is a fine little read, Blue Underground have also just released this film and have an equally good looking transfer but with so many little treats and a vastly superior selection of extra's all exclusive to the UK release by Arrow Video the choice is easy, if you're a Fulci fan or even just someone who likes gothic horror, 80's gore films or zombies this is a must have release, perhaps even the best release of the year!
Note on format comparison: The DVD edition has the extra's on disc two whilst the Blu-Ray keeps everything on one disc, also being of a higher quality format the Blu-Ray has better picture quality (both copies were taken from the same HD print but DVD as a format has its limitations) and the option of 7.1 surround, other than these technical aspects both versions are exactly equal.
on 2 April 2014
This was another of Arrow's releases that I picked up in the slip-case format, for the bargain price of £6 off Amazon.
Again, I was really happy with the packaging Arrow have put together on this release. The reversible sleeve looks great, the booklet is a nice little read, the 6, yes that's right 6!! artcards are excellent but the standout piece is the reversible poster which looks fantastic 8.5/10
Onto the picture; To be honest I was somewhat disappointed with picture quality on this release. There was an abundance of grain with some minor dirt and it suffers from softness/blur in a few of the scenes, normally I wouldn't be this harsh but in comparison to their ZFE release it is relatively poor 5.5/10
Plenty of extra's on this one with multiple commentary tracks, one featuring star Catriona Macoll. Original theatrical trailer, picture gallery, interviews on Fulci from Co-workers and his daughter, plus some more tidbits.
The audio comes in both stereo and 7.1 and as I don't have a surround sound set-up I cannot comment on the 7.1. The stereo
track is relatively pleasant with no noticeable drops although it did feel somewhat flat compared to other Arrow releases. 7/10
The film itself; I wasn't too keen on it the first time I saw it although I did enjoy the gore scenes, I picked it up again in hope of enjoying it more, which I did to a certain extent. To me this is one of Fulci's weaker films and lacks the appeal of Zombie Flesh Eaters and The Beyond although if you're a Fulci aficionado then this is a must! 5/10
on 15 April 2013
City of the living dead is a great film. I like the italian style of horror.
The acting is not the best but its okay. Very happy to have it on my collection especially because it's a extremely complete edition, has a double sided poster & more extras.
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.
on 30 July 2007
from the director of "zombie 2"the beyond "& "house by the cemetary"
released under italian title of "paura nella citta dei morti viventi"or
"the gates of hell" the film begins when father thomas hangs himself in
dunwich causing the gates of hell to open & the dead return from their graves in dunwich.
medium mary (catriona macoll)dies after seeing the dead city in a vision.
reporter bell (christoper george)saves her from a nasty premature burial
& together they set out to find dunwich,they must destroy the priest before all saints day when the dead will rise to seek their revenge on
eerie atmosphere of a fog shrouded city ,lots of shocks along the way.
the music is by fabrio frizzi of "zombie 2 "fame .
forget the plainly packaged vipco version,buy the blue underground or
ec entertainmemt versions with digital sound .
another classic gore-drenched classic by fulci,buy it!