A honeymooning couple from Hong Kong visit San Francisco. The husband has decided to sneak out and go to a topless bar - while he's gone the wife is kidnapped, drugged and forced into prostitution by a local gang.
M. Nichols | West Chester, OH United States | 08/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD is a beautiful Fulci film, expertly directed and gorgeously photographed. The performances are top notch considering the genre and foreign origins of the film.
Also known as GATES OF HELL, CotLD opens revolves around the suicide of a priest which opens the gates of Hell. A woman with a link to the beyond and a reporter (Christopher George from PIECES!) are drawn into the bizarre happenings surrounding this turn of events and the blood begins to flow. And does it ever flow: from the eyes of those who are unfortunate enough to stare down the undead, from the mouths of those vomiting their entrails, from the brains of those who don't mind their head when the zombies are around, and from the cheeks of poor old Bob who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, specifically between a huge drill and a very angry man.
Needless to say, these images amount to some of the most unforgettable Fulci imagery, topping even the eyeball-piercing gore of ZOMBIE. And even better, this film is well-paced and the viewer never grows bored or distracted. Even better, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD is genuinely frightening. The gore is disgusting, of course, but this film is remarkable in that it effectively marries the gore with true fear - these zombies are scary. They're not the dull-witted, slow-moving zombies like those in Romero films, but instead creatures of pure evil who don't give you time to run away.
In summary, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD is one of those rare, delightful films that sticks with you a long while after it's ended. A Fulci masterpiece that ranks among the best of his films - probably one of the best horror films ever made and definitely one of the top five zombie films of all time. I can't wait to watch it again."
LUCIO = MAESTRO
Cap Poobins | New York, NY | 10/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"the negative reviews are missing the point as usual because this is one of Fulci's Golden Greats. of course there's some plot holes and cheesy moments but they are few and far between, and the majority of movie is all guts and gory. all good Fulci movies establish hellish creeping dread that is punctuated by beautiful women, a few laugh out loud moments (some intentional, some not) and many gorious glorious death setpieces natch
although it's not a patch on The Beyond, I love this movie from start to finish, conceding that yes the last 15 minutes of this film is somewhat sketchily presented. howver the end scenes are in keeping with the logic of the narrative to that point, and really, if you've paid attention to a relatively (for Fulci) unconvoluted plot then the last 15 seconds shouldn't leave you "scratching your head". City of the Living Dead is masterful with several classic scenes, and there's few horror directors that have such a deft and entertaining touch when it comes to conveying a sense of encroaching godless doom"
Stephen Gladwin | USA | 05/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, this is the Fulci gore classic, now given the long overdue DVD treatment by Anchor Bay. Throw out those ancient dupes and tapes riddled with print damage and artifacting, this DVD is superior! But first, the story (what little there is): The Gates of Hell have been opened by a Dunwich priest who has hanged himself in a cemetary. That's it. What follows is typical Fulci mayhem and gory goodness. Yep, here on the DVD we get to see the ultra savage head drilling, the girl puking her guts up (look fast for future Italian horror director Michele Soavi as her boyfriend) and plenty of scalping and brain ripping, all in their uncut gory glory! As you might have guessed, the plot is secondary to the gore and atmosphere. As a result, many viewers will be turned off by the minimal (and convoluted) plot, and the atrocious dubbing. But for the real Fulci fans who are already primed in his style, they will eat this up. Anchor Bay's DVD treatment truly adds to the enjoyment of the film. It truly is great to see this film (and HEAR it) in digital quality, COMPLETELY UNCUT! Nevertheless, "City of the Living Dead" does have it's share of problems. Obviously the plot is nothing to write home about (like you care anyway) and Fabio Frizzi's score seems tacky (to me anyway). But once again, Gino De Rossi's amazing gore effects and Fulci's keen eye for gory detail (and some stylish direction, to boot) keep things humming. Finally, compared to the other entries in Fulci's "horror quartet" , I'd rate this light years ahead of "Zombie", and just behind "The Beyond" (his best in this genre) and "The House by the Cemetary.""
One of my favorite Fulci flicks
M. | Mass. | 07/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I absolutely love this movie. For some reason I cant stop watching it, and constantly keeps making its way into my dvd player. Its a very colorful and a dark movie at the same time and the soundtrack is nothing short of amazing. The regurgitation of giblets scene is worth the price of the movie alone! Sure,there are not zombies running loose all over the place like "Dawn of the Dead" but there are a lot of other supernatural things going on(raining maggots, deadly flying glass,giblets scene,ect.) and one of the coolest death scenes has nothing to do with zombies(drill scene) , if you go into it expecting zombie-o-rama you might be a bit disappointed but if you go into it just looking for a dark, creepy gore-fest you will love this flick. Without a doubt in my top five Fulci movies.LONG LIVE HORROR, LONG LIVE FULCI."
The dark mood of this film is unsurpassed
Mount_Olympus | above the delicatessan | 04/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film sets a creepy mood. The director, Lucio Fulci, also achieved this mood in "The Beyond". When I was a kid this film was forbidden to be seen. In America it was called "The Gates Of Hell". I was raised around hard core bible thumpers and they all declared this film to be banned. So ofcourse I had to get my hands on it. The film didn't need the gore. It could have been great on the mood alone. It stands as my fave zombie film. Some people just won't get it. P.S. I love the urban monkey screams in the film lol."