(Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/ )
AKA City of the Walking Dead
Oh yes, Nightmare City! A brilliant example of what makes 70’s Italian Zombie films so appealing. A winning combination of gore, makeup, dubbing, direction, story and script all from the very bottom drawer of the movie technique cupboard, with a shed-load of gratuitous nork shots thrown in for good measure. To really up the ante, add on a truly extraordinary cop-out ending that just beggars belief to produce a grindhouse trashfest of the highest order.
So what is this film all about? Well, a plane load of radioactive scab-faced zombies land at an airport and proceed to attack and kill all humans in the vicinity, utilising a collection of knives, axes, guns and anything else they can lay their hands on to take out the humans and feast on their blood. A journalist who is banned from reporting this affair spends the film looking for his wife, and they then proceed to give the zombies a right good ‘running away from’. Oh yes, and the inept military try to keep the whole incident under-wraps even though the whole city is overrun by these creatures (who are smart enough to disable power stations, apparently).
Some utter genius set pieces along the way include the TV studio massacre where the dancing girls of some music show are chased by the zombies until their norks fall out of their leotards, as well as the amazingly daft scene involving the army generals daughter who, despite her phone being strangely cut off after numerous calls from her father, coupled with the fact that an army car comes to collect her as a matter of urgency suggests to her husband that “it’s probably nothing, lets not go with the soldiers but instead go on a camping trip”. With obvious results for all concerned.
A gloriously trashy exploitation classic, and one I never tire of watching. The ending alone is worth the price of the film simply for the reaction it provokes from the people who watch it with you.
Gore Score C
Norks Score B+
Originality Score B-
Overall Score B