Zombie Movie Review: Nightmare City

(Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/ )

Vector image for zombie movie Nightmare City

Vector image for zombie movie Nightmare City

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

3 responses to “Zombie Movie Review: Nightmare City

  1. Well, what can I say about this “treasure” of the zombie sub-genre that the author of this review has not already so eloquently written in his blog?

    I should start by saying that as the lucky – or is that misfortunate – individual that gets to flatshare with this horror obsessed guy I have watched some awesome horror films (check out REC); many of these have been mine of course, not least a potential greatest zombie flick 28 Weeks Later, however many have been laughably poor.

    Regrettably I have to say that Nighmare City is not a good film – unless you fancy a comedy – as for a start it is not remotely frightening. The make-up is rubbish, the gore something a college Film Studies student would be ashamed of and the direction/acting is very un-inspired.

    However……..grab yourself a beer/Jack Daniels/glass of wine and reduce your expectations and it may, just may be better than sticking needles in your eyes and it will make you appreciate it when you watch the classics of the zombie genre!

  2. I checked out this website because Neil told me to and I must say I have not been disappointed. I would be glad to see an entire zombie category in HMV but unfortunately they never do anything that I want them to (they NEVER have Akira on DVD – NEVER!) Anyway, I will eagerly anticipate regular updates to this blog. Perhaps you could include a link to Amazon on your page so that keen zombie fans can easily purchase the reviewed titles? You could make some money! And give me some for coming up with the idea. I mean it. I’m no mug, you know. I’ll be expecting that finders fee. 25% thank you very much.

    p.s. Is Nightmare City the film with the guy in the white vest that gets more and more dirty towards the end of the film? You know – the one with the Germans terrorists in the skyscraper and it’s christmas and then Alan Rickman falls out of the window? Is that the one?

  3. Pingback: An End of Year Cleanup. « Devouring the films of the living

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