Wednesday, October 12, 2005

City of the Living Dead

(1980) ***

For some reason I have a difficulty following Fulci's movies despite their simplicity. I was lost in the first 5 minutes so I started over. Still nothing seemed to stick so I shrugged and plowed forward. Our grisly fable begins with a priest hanging himself, which if you didn't know, opens up the gates of Hell. A reporter and a psychic take it upon themselves to close the door, thus preventing the dead from walking the earth. With the setup out of the way, Fulci is now free to do what he does best - make you sick to your stomach. This includes a girl getting buried alive (much more intense than Kill Bill) and a deeply troubling scene involving a power drill. I found myself thinking "please don't drill this poor guy's head open" and thought he had a chance at surviving. Then I remembered Fulci was in charge and the drill (like his cries for help) went in one ear and out the other. Maybe I've become desensitized to his morbidly grotesque style but City of the Living Dead just didn't drop my jaw as often as some of his other films. Still, helluvan experience...


Octopunk said...

JPX and I saw this at a drive-in in 1985, under its USA title "Gates of Hell." We were there to see Burial Ground, a zombie flick so bad it's...horrible.

All I recall about the Fulchi flick was that girl sitting in a car, quietly yakking up intestines.

JPX said...

I never realized that City of the Living Dead was Gates of Hell! I was just telling Summerisle that he needed to see Gates of Hell and that I wanted to see Children of the Living Dead, go figure.