21 March 2018

Review: City Of The Living Dead (1980)

City Of The Living Dead is the second installment in Fulci's classic quartet of of zombie films; beginning with 1979's Zombie Flesh Eaters, and continuing through 1981's masterpieces The Beyond and House By The Cemetery. It also marks the first tentative footsteps away from the relatively traditional narrative of Zombie Flesh Eaters towards the more fragmented structure of the final two entries.

When the local priest hangs himself the gates of Hell are opened in the town of Dunwich. Psychic Mary Woodhouse (Catriona MacColl in her first role for Fulci) appears to die of fright following a vision of the event during a seance and is buried alive. She is rescued by investigative reporter Peter Bell (Christopher George), in the first of many classic Fulci set pieces, and together they head to Dunwich to try and close the portal to Hell before All Saints Day when the dead will take over the Earth.

The film features a raft of great performances by MacColl, Carlo De Mejo and exploitation regular Giovanni Lombardo Radice who provides a sympathetic turn as the mentally challenged Bob before meeting his end in typical over the top Fulci style (think power drills and slow attention to detail).

City Of The Living Dead is a bona fide Fulci classic with a number a suspenseful scenes mixed with the trademark buckets of gore.