City of the Living Dead (1980)

So, I guess I’m the only person here who didn’t care much for this?

City of the Living Dead (1980)
Directed By: Lucio Fulci (The Beyond)

The Prologue
Ah, Lucio Fulci…Fulci, Fulci, Fulci, what an odd, yet very talented man he was. A known atheisit, Lucio Fulci seems to have a lot of religious things going on in his films, and isn’t it odd that most the time the preacher is the bad guy? So what we have here is another dip into that direction with City of the Living Dead. A film that deals with more supernatural zombies than just straight up zombies. Also, these zombies don’t seem to want to eat your brains, they are just happy with ripping them out of your head. When it comes to Lucio Fulci you know you’ll get gore, and you’ll probably get a story with some elements you don’t really understand, but does the quality of this one hold up?

The Movie
So in the easiest way possible I can think to word this, a preacher hangs himself and thus it opens up the gates of hell. A psychic knows whats coming, so she along with a reporter go to look for the dead preacher, who is now in um..supernatural form(?), and re-kill him before All Saints Day. Now, if they don’t do this it will forever keep the gates of hell open and the dead will walk, or randomly appear in thin air in various places on the earth ripping out your brains. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, it kinda is, but the whole thing is a little confusing when you really try to analyze it..maybe we just shouldn’t?

Well the movie sure has a pretty noticeable cast if you like the same weird films I do. You not only get people from Fulci movies (or well, she was in The Beyond after this, which I saw first), you got people from Pieces and even Cannibal Holocaust walking around in this thing. Add that with the fact it WAS directed by Lucio Fulci, and you have to ask yourself just how this movie couldn’t be awesome..But I’m sad to report that, at least to me, it wasn’t. Mixed in with the complex plot, and the close up of people’s eyeballs, you get a lot of time in this film where nothing really exciting at all is going on. And while it does have some cool stuff, it’s too few and far in between to flow well..That hurts while watching it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like seeing people get power tools rammed through their heads and puking up their intestines just as much as the next horror blogger, but does anything really of note happen at all in this movie besides that? I almost felt as if the movie was on auto-pilot for the majority of it. And was it a homage to Zombie that a remixed version of it’s theme was used as one of the main themes for this movie, or was that just laziness on the half of Lucio Fulci? I mean after all, he didn’t bother trying to fix the ending..more on that later. But at the moment I just got to say I sadly found myself bored in between the gore scenes.

Plus I think I must have missed something with the plot. The preacher hangs himself to open the gates of hell? Then the preacher is there giving people the death star of doom causing eyes to bleed (which was kinda cool I’ll admit) while these zombies just appear in then air and rip people’s brains out? Should I point out (and a mild spoiler coming here so watch out), they were supposed to find the preacher and stop him before All Saints Day, then one line of dialogue in the movie lets us know that it’s All Saints Day and they hadn’t found the bastard yet..Soo..um..Shouldn’t they have failed then?? None the less the movie rolls along, people who you feel should be more important than they turn out to actually be dieing in very dull ways, which you’d expect had they not been so important up to that point, then we get the ending..Oh gosh..the ending..

Look folks, I know why the ending is like it is. I’ve looked it up. But I still think it sucks, and any of you that see it without knowing what is coming or knowing why it is like it is will have no idea just what the hell is going on when it wraps. While not an exciting movie (or at least not to me), the film had enough creepy stuff going for it along with the gore to hold up a little better than the score I’m going to end up having to give it. That’s because the ending just brings it down and makes you scratch your head regarding what you just saw. I think anyone who sees this for the first time would bring their ratings down due to what we get. It’s really a shame we get stuck with that because a better ending could have helped a lot, not all the way saved it, but helped none the less.

The Conclusion
Well, it is a Lucio Fulci movie, so I can’t say there is nothing at all to see here. But it’s for sure no Zombie or The Beyond. As a matter of fact, I’d probably rank it last out of all the Fulci movies I have seen up until now. It has a good cast, has a creepy feel, and has some really good gruesome moment, but it’s got a plot that falls apart and an ending that might make you want to punch someone.

The Rating (6/10)