Zombie Movie Review: City of the Living Dead

Vector Image for zombie film City of the Living Dead

AKA Gates of Hell

I guess it must have been about 3 months since I last watched a Zombie film with the Girlfriend (Night of the Living Dead) so that means I get to inflict another one on her. Apparently I am allowed 1 every quarter, so that’s 4 a year. I’ve pretty much given up choosing ones that I think she’ll like and have decided to go with one I know that I like. I’ve been getting the itch to watch ‘The Beyond’ for a while, but realised that I’ve not seen the 1st in Fulci’s pseudo-series ‘City of the Living Dead’ in even longer, so why not start at the beginning then?

City of the Living Dead is without a doubt a classic of the genre. Featuring several highly memorable scenes that only Fulci could imagine, we start off with a daft seance where we see a vision of a priest hanging himself. This is so traumatic it causes the young lass who has seen it to have a spectacular heart attack and die. Actually she was only ‘mostly-dead’ as during her unattended burial she comes back to life. Sadly it’s a bit too late as she’s already 6 feet under, although a passing journalist hears her screams and decides to bust her out of her coffin. Stupidly of all the tools to use to open a coffin I would have thought that a pick-axe would be the most dangerous option, particularly when you’re whacking it into the coffin lid directly over the body’s head, luckily this doesn’t cause any problems aside from adding to the already immense stress the buried alive lass is suffering. (I wonder, had he speared her in the face and killed her, what would he have been charged with?)

Anyway, this journalist and lady decide to head off to the village from her vision to try to stop the dead from taking over the world, which has already started in earnest. People are dying all over the place in bizarre fashion, and the locals aren’t dealing with it too well. One of the obvious highlights of the whole film is the death of a young lady who it hypnotised by the zombie-priest and promptly vomits up her whole internal organs. Yes, hell unleashed on earth is apparently pretty gruesome.

There are several awesome scenes here, (a drill to the head anyone?) and coupled with the fact this film actually has some semblance of plot it’s overall a highly enjoyable movie. Even my Girlfriend quite enjoyed it, which was perhaps the most unexpected aspect of the film, (although the drill scene where the villagers turn on the local nutjob didn’t meet with her approval, but seeing as that’s my favourite part I guess we even out nicely.)

Gore Score B
Norks Score F
Originality Score B
Overall Score A-


4 responses to “Zombie Movie Review: City of the Living Dead

  1. The girl throwing up her insides could possibly be the greatest death scene in cinema history. Then to top it off she rips out the back of the guy’s head. Brilliant!

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

  3. Pingback: Feature: Rob Zombie’s Favourite Zombie Movies, Reviewed | Devouring the Zombie Films of the Living

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